URA data shows stalemate between buyers and sellers in private home market

SINGAPORE - Private home prices here have maintained a moderate pace of decline despite the plunge in new home sales in the third quarter because of the impasse between buyers and sellers, analysts said.

Developers only recorded sales for 1,531 condo units in the three months to Sept 30. The tally has not been this low since just 419 homes were sold in the fourth quarter of 2008, amid the woes of the financial crisis.

However, the Urban Redevelopment Authority's property price index on Friday showed that prices slipped 0.7 per cent in the third quarter, in its gentlest fall since home prices turned south a year ago.

Consultants noted before Friday's results that a stalemate between buyers and sellers has lent support to private home prices, as home owners and developers still have holding power and are not willing to slash their asking prices.

They pointed out that while the price declines have moderated, it does not mean private home prices have bottomed out. Instead the property market could see a protracted and slow price correction.

ocheryl@sph.com.sg