January private resale home prices flat

Overall prices of completed private homes stayed flat in January compared with the previous month, after inching up a revised 0.1 per cent in December, flash estimates of the NUS Singapore Residential Price Index (SRPI) showed yesterday.

Excluding small units, prices of non-landed units in the central region rose 0.7 per cent, following a 0.3 per cent decline in the preceding month. But prices in the non-central region dropped 0.6 per cent, reversing a 0.5 per cent rise previously.

The central region refers to properties in districts 1 to 4 and 9 to 11, while units in the other districts fall under the non-central region.

The SRPI also showed that shoebox units, measuring 506 sq ft or below, saw a slight price increase of 0.1 per cent, after dipping 0.4 per cent in December.

Mr Ong Kah Seng, director of R'ST Research, said prices of completed properties in December and January were overall stable, at about zero per cent month-on-month change, when they were expected to dip over the year-end period.

"We must, however, note that recent limited price changes for completed properties were also, to a notable extent, due to more new units, whether shoebox apartments or family-size units, completed in recent times, which tended to be smaller in size and have higher psf (per sq ft) prices," he noted.

Mr Ong expects more resale properties to be put up for sale this year as those who bought a second investment property in 2013 - when cooling measures came into effect - will have completed their four years of a holding period, following which they can avoid paying a seller's stamp duty when they sell their properties.

Mr Nicholas Mak, head of research and consultancy at SLP International Property Consultants, said the rate of decline of private residential property price indices is slowing down.

"But they have not reached the bottom yet," he added.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 01, 2017, with the headline 'January private resale home prices flat'. Print Edition | Subscribe