Condo resale prices up 0.3% in Oct; fewer units sold following latest cooling measures

Resale volume declined by 24.2 per cent compared with October last year. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Prices of resale condominium units increased at a slower pace in October, with fewer units changing hands in a knee-jerk reaction to the latest property cooling measures.

Condo resale prices rose by 0.3 per cent compared with September’s 1 per cent, according to flash figures from real estate portals and SRX released on Tuesday. This marks the 27th straight month of growth.

It was the lowest growth rate since June 2021, when prices remained unchanged from the month before. But compared with October last year, prices were up by 10.5 per cent, with those in the suburbs rising the most at 12.3 per cent, data showed.

Meanwhile, resale volume fell by 11.6 per cent, with an estimated 1,240 units changing hands in October, down from 1,402 units in September. Resale volume declined by 24.2 per cent compared with October last year.

Property analysts attributed the fall to the market reacting to the property cooling measures introduced in September that tightened housing loans.

OrangeTee & Tie chief executive Steven Tan said the decrease in volume could be a result of the new 15-month wait-out period for private home owners under 55 years old who want to buy Housing Board resale flats after selling their private properties.

“They may have put their selling decisions on hold since the cost of renting in the interim will be quite substantial,” he said.

Demand from HDB upgraders could also be dampened in the short term as the HDB resale market slows down and owners take a longer time to sell their flats, said Mr Tan.

PropNex Realty head of research and content Wong Siew Ying said the stock of resale condos remained tight, as highlighted by its property agents.

“Given the healthy leasing demand and rental upside, many condo owners prefer to lease out their units in a landlord’s market rather than sell. Furthermore, the financial position of many home owners is still generally healthy and there is no urgency to offload their properties,” she said.

Last month, condos in the suburbs accounted for 61.1 per cent of total condo sales volume. Homes in the city fringes accounted for 23 per cent, while the remaining 15.9 per cent were in core central Singapore.

ERA Realty head of research and consultancy Nicholas Mak noted that while prices of condos in the suburbs and city fringes increased, those in the core central region suffered a decline of 1.1 per cent.

“This could be because a significant proportion of the property purchased in the core central region is for investment by both local and foreign buyers. The recent cooling measures, coupled with rising interest rates, have caused discretionary property investments to hit a speed bump,” he said.

“The loan curbs would limit the housing budget of investors. In addition, some investors would have to pay a substantial amount of additional buyer’s stamp duties,” he added.

But the asking prices for resale condos have not budged as owners consider the high costs of a replacement home, said Ms Wong.

Some private home downgraders who intend to rent during the 15-month wait-out period may also factor rental expenses into their asking prices, she added.

Mr Mak said he expects the property market to remain subdued until after Chinese New Year in 2023, after which pent-up demand could lead to a burst of sales activities.

The highest transacted price for a resale condo in October was $13 million for a 3,251 sq ft unit at 3 Orchard By-The-Park, a freehold development in the Orchard Road area.

In the city fringes, the highest transacted price was $12.5 million for a 99-year leasehold 7,526 sq ft unit at Reflections at Keppel Bay in HarbourFront. In the suburban areas, a freehold 3,230 sq ft unit at The Hacienda in the Marine Parade area sold for $5.4 million.

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