Private apartment resale prices down 2.1%

Resale prices of private apartments fell at a slower pace last year compared with 2014, according to data out yesterday.

They were down 2.1 per cent for the full year compared with a 4 per cent fall in 2014, according to flash estimates from SRX Property.

This suggests owners are not pressed to sell while prices may have found some support on the back of fewer new sale offerings.

Still, the overall resale market remains muted due to a gap in price expectations between buyers and sellers, said Mr Nicholas Mak, SLP International executive director.

The number of private apartment resales rose about 22 per cent to 4,999 last year, but this was still below the 5,473 resales in 2013 and 10,598 in 2012.

An apparent slowdown in price declines also seems to fly in the face of various high-profile sales where significant losses were recorded last year, said Mr Ku Swee Yong, Century 21 chief executive.

For example, St Regis Residences recorded eight unprofitable sales in the first half of last year, with losses ranging from $542,300 on a four-bedder to $4.78 million on a four-bedroom penthouse.

Still, this trend seems to mirror that in the Urban Redevelopment Authority's property price index, which fell an estimated 3.7 per cent last year compared with a decline of 4 per cent in 2014, according to recent flash estimates.

Buyers may be returning to the market as there does not appear to be much indication that cooling measures will be tweaked while sellers in both the new sale and resale sectors do not seem inclined to trim prices by much.

SRX Property said private apartment resale prices fell 0.8 per cent from November after rising 0.6 per cent in October.

"We attribute this to monthly price fluctuations, which could go in either direction, but are expected to be small in magnitude," said ERA Realty key executive officer Eugene Lim.

"The general downtrend of prices is expected to continue, with demand being slow due to loan restrictions and rising interest rates," he added.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 13, 2016, with the headline Private apartment resale prices down 2.1%. Subscribe