SingaporeSouth East Asia

Private home prices have been decreasing steadily for 14th straight quarter

Private home prices have been declining over a 14th straight quarter in Singapore. However, analysts in the country have noticed that the pace of falls has slowed down so it could be a time of change for the housing market. Suburban prices have even risen a bit.

Urban Redevelopment Authority said that overall prices fell by 0.5% from the last quarter of last year to the first quarter this year. Prices of landlord properties dropped heavily than hose of non-landed properties in the first quarter ending March 31.

Non-landed property prices were even for the first time in a long time after 13 quarters of decline.

The estimates are based on sale prices given in contracts that are presented for stamp duty payment and data on units sold by developers.

Ong Teck Hui, JLL’s national director of research and consultancy, said: “During the quarter, we saw strong responses to launches such as The Clement Canopy and Grandeur Park Residences, while projects from previous launches such as Parc Riviera and The Santorini also garnered substantial sales.”

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The number of primary market sales for non-landed homes in the suburbs increased to 74% in the first quarter up on the 2016 averages. Land property prices on the other hand decreased by 2.8% after rising by 0.8% in the last quarter.

Head of CBRE research for Singapore and South- east Asia, Mr Desmond Sim, said the fall was a “function of the price of the projects transacted”, particularly in the suburbs.

Head of research at Colliers International Singapore, Ms Tricia Song, said: “We expect the market will still soften in the first half of this year by 1 to 3%, due to economic uncertainty and the historic high level of home completions in 2016.

“With supply tapering off, we could see prices begin to stabilise by end-2017.”

Mr Ong commented that positive buying trends in the first quarter and healthy sales volumes would “eventually lead to prices stabilising, especially in the non-landed market”.

However, the Housing Development Board (HDB) said that the outlook wasn’t so strong and well for the public housing sector, where resale flat prices were predicted to have fallen by 0.6% from the fourth quarter last year to the first quarter this year.

Prices have not really fluctuated for five quarters. Head of research and consultancy at SLP International Property Consultants, Mr Nicholas Mak, said the “fall could signal a new round of price weakness”, but could also be due to a quiet period over Chinese New Year.

He continues to highlight that the anticipated recovery in the HDB resale price index may not happen this year, so who knows what the future brings. Private home prices go up and down frequently, but let’s see what the rest of 2017 has to hold.

Written by Gemma Smith

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