Analysts say 1.3% fall in private home prices in Q3 within expectations, moderate decline to continue

SINGAPORE - The 1.3 per cent estimated price decline for private property prices in the third quarter was largely within expectations, experts said.

"Overall pricing seems to be inching downwards. Many higher-end sales are still taking place at losses, especially for those who bought after 2005," said Mr Lee Liat Yeang, a Rodyk & Davidson real estate partner.

Global market weakness in the third quarter also caused jitters, said Mr Ku Swee Yong, Century 21 chief executive. These include the devaluation of the Chinese yuan, stock market plunge and the rise in the three-month Singapore interbank offered rate (Sibor), which is used to set mortgage rates.

"Home buyers and investors stayed away, with the exception of the High Park launch which, due to its attractive pricing, managed to achieve stellar sales but it added to the downward pressure on the index."

Given the poorer economic outlook, sellers are also starting to soften their asking prices, he added.

Mr Desmond Sim, CBRE Research head for Singapore & South East Asia, said he expects price corrections to continue at a moderate pace as long as the current slew of property measures are still in place and given the current economic outlook and rising interest rates.

"Generally, the rate of descent has been gentle compared to the previous two corrections which were impacted by global events," said Mr Sim.

"Should the price decline persist, it is likely that price levels will edge closer to the previous peak of 2008 pre-global financial crisis," he added.