Resales of private homes fall 27% in 2014: URA

SINGAPORE - Fewer homes changed hands in the resale market last year amid tepid demand and falling property prices.

There were just 1,151 resale units sold in the secondary market in the three months to Dec 31, down a notch from the 1,377 resale transactions in the preceding quarter.

In the same period a year ago, about 1,206 units were resold.

Last quarter's figures added up to a total of 4,860 resale units for the full year, which was "significantly lower" than the 6,671 units resold in 2013, said the Urban Redevelopment Authority on Friday. It was also a low not seen since 2001, when 4,549 units were resold.

The results came on the back of a 1.1 per cent slip in private home prices in the last quarter, bringing the full-year decline up to 4 per cent.

Resales refer to transactions of completed properties.

In a market where slipping prices are par for the course, owners are more willing to negotiate and price their homes realistically, compared with developers who have strong balance sheets and holding power, experts said.

In the sub-sales segment, there were just 108 units which changed hands - lower than the 152 transactions in the previous quarter.

Sub-sales, which are typically an indication of speculation in the market, accounted for 4.1 per cent of all sales last quarter, compared with 5 per cent in the preceding three-month period.

For the whole of 2014, 547 units were snapped up on the sub-sale market, well down from the 1,100 units in 2013,

Sub-sales have not been this low since 2004, when 322 transactions were recorded.

ocheryl@sph.com.sg