SINGAPORE - After a small uptick in November, resale prices of private non-landed homes in December resumed the mild downtrend they have been in since July's cooling measures, flash estimates by real estate portal SRX Property on Tuesday (Jan 8) showed.
Condominiums and private apartment resale prices fell by 0.8 per cent last month from the previous month. This comes after a 0.3 per cent rise in November, slightly higher than the 0.2 per cent increase earlier estimated by SRX.
Resale prices of non-landed private homes are now down by 1.5 per cent from their peak in July 2018, when property cooling measures were announced.
Nonetheless, resale prices are still 7.5 per cent higher than in December 2017.
The cooling measures also continued to hit the volume of transactions. An estimated 479 non-landed private residential units were resold in December, a 24 per cent decrease from the 630 units resold in November.
Year on year, transactions have fallen more sharply. The number of resales is down by 50.7 per cent from the 972 units moved in December 2017.
OrangeTee & Tie research and consultancy head Christine Sun noted that the cooling measures in July have "substantially stabilised" the price growth of private resale homes.
"Resale prices have risen continuously in the first seven months of last year, posting a 7.7 per cent increase from January 2018 to July 2018. After peaking in July, prices started to decline gradually within a 0 to -1 per cent monthly growth rate from August to December 2018. For the last five months of last year, resale prices fell 1.4 per cent.
"Without the property cooling measures, the private resale market could have seen a double-digit price growth last year. Therefore, the recent cooling measures seemed effective in curbing a potential runaway in private resale home prices," Ms Sun said.
She noted that the number of resale transactions in December was half the number sold year on year, and that the pullback in housing demand could be attributed to new project launches in recent months, especially in November, as individual resellers will not be able to match the marketing and advertising strength of private developers.
A spate of bad news on the economic front, such as rising trade tensions between the United States and China, uncertainty in the stock market and increase in interest rates, could have also affected buying sentiments temporarily, Ms Sun added.
Separately, SRX data also showed that the premium which buyers were prepared to pay over market value stayed the same in December.
SRX's overall median transaction over X-value (TOX) was negative $10,000 in December, unchanged from the previous month. TOX measures how much a buyer is overpaying or underpaying on a property based on SRX Property's computer-generated market value.
Among districts with more than 10 resale transactions, District 27's Yishun and Sembawang posted the highest median TOX of $21,000, while District 15's Katong, Joo Chiat and Amber Road posted the lowest median TOX at negative $80,000.
In terms of location, resale prices in the prime or core central region saw a month-on-month decrease of 1.8 per cent in December. Similarly, resale prices of non-landed homes in the city fringes, or rest of central region, fell by 0.5 per cent, while those in the suburbs inched down 0.6 per cent.