Home prices in Singapore dropped for the first time since the first quarter of 2012, following government measures introduced last year to cool the property market. Prices fell 0.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013, according to the Urban Redevelopment Authority. The new data revises the estimate of an 0.8 percent drop released earlier this month.
The drop in the final quarter, helped drive prices lower for the full year. Home prices increased 1.1 percent in all of 2013, lower than the 2.9 percent increase in 2012. The country’s government started a campaign in 2009 to curb rapidly increasingly home prices. New measures were introduced last summer as prices continued to climb. Figures released earlier this month showed home sales in Singapore dropped more than 80 percent. Similarly, today’s data shows developers sold 14,948 units in 2013, compared to 22,197 homes sold in 2012.
The owners of five-marla houses have been served notices by the Excise and Taxation Department, Rawalpindi, to clear their revised taxes otherwise their houses would be locked.
Talking to ‘The News,’ the owners of five-marla houses and commercial properties said that they have cleared their taxes but they were still getting notices from the Excise and Taxation Office with increased amount of tax.
On the other hand, sources in the Excise and Taxation Office claimed that the Punjab government has increased property taxes on residential and commercial houses with different ratios. The provincial government is charging Rs1.20 against 20 paisas per square yard on houses, they claimed.
Contrary to the policy of the Punjab government, building bye-laws are being violated in different localities of the city, especially Satellite Town, allegedly in connivance with the municipal officials and building authorities.
The big plots, meant for single unit construction, in E-Block, 4th-B Road and around the Holy Family Hospital, have been divided into plots of four to ten marlas and houses built in sheer violation of the building bye-laws. Mumtaz Shah, a resident of E-Block, said such houses, hundreds in number, were being built without approval of the authorities concerned.
He alleged that the civic authorities seemed to be hand in glove as they had turned a blind eye to the illegal construction of small houses on big-sized plots. Another resident Hafeez Khan urged the civic authorities to launch an operation against the violators of bylaws, besides initiating stern action against their corrupt officials.
When contacted, sources in the Rawal Town Municipal Administration said legal action would be taken against the violators and the staff found involved in corrupt practices. Continue reading