Hopes that the resale property market may have finally hit bottom have been undermined by the latest transaction data.
They show that private apartment resale prices fell again last month - the third consecutive month of decline - alongside a slip in the number of sales.
Prices of resale private condominium units dipped 0.9 per cent from August, SRX Property said yesterday. It added that last month's reading of 163.6 on its resale price index was the lowest since the index hit 162.3 in July 2012.
Condo resale prices were 1.5 per cent below their level in September last year. Analysts told The Straits Times that the dour growth prospects in the economy have weighed on the resale market.
"The weak rental market and poor economic outlook could have contributed to the continued poor performance of the resale index. The weak rental market will continue to put pressure on the resale market," noted Mr Wong Xian Yang, head of research and consultancy at OrangeTee.
The decline in prices from July to last month followed four consecutive months of marginal price increase from March to June.
Mr Nicholas Mak, research head at SLP International Property Consultants, said: "There seems to be more bad news about jobs these days. That will influence whether people buy real estate... I don't think the resale market has bottomed out, and it probably won't in the next six months."
An estimated 683 condo units were resold last month, down 17.7 per cent compared with the 830 units transacted in August.
However, sales were up by 45.9 per cent over the corresponding period a year ago, when just 468 units were resold.
September's decline in resale condo prices was led by suburban areas, with values falling 1.5 per cent from August.
"The notable price fall showed that cautious buying sentiments and leasing headwinds do persist for suburban resale units due to the substantial number of private condos which have been completed since 2014," said R'ST Research director Ong Kah Seng.
Prices dipped 1.3 per cent in the city fringe, while those of resale homes in the core central region bucked the trend, rising 0.6 per cent last month over August.
To close the deal, sellers last month went a median $10,000 below the estimated market value of their property.
SRX's median transaction over X-value (TOX), which measures whether buyers are overpaying or underpaying its computer-generated market value, came in at negative $10,000 last month, compared with the negative $11,000 in August.
Analysts believe sellers are still willing to negotiate on prices in order to move units, in the light of the weak leasing market and fragile economy.
"Given the dim economic outlook and the number of expected completions in 2017, the tenant's market may possibly last till 2017," Mr Wong added.