Private home prices dip 0.3% in Q2

Overall prices of private homes fell by 0.3 per cent in the second quarter from the first three months this year, and analysts see this as a positive sign for buyers who are holding out for good buys.
Overall prices of private homes fell by 0.3 per cent in the second quarter from the first three months this year, and analysts see this as a positive sign for buyers who are holding out for good buys.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

It is the 15th straight quarter of decline but smallest drop since fourth quarter of 2013

Private home prices here have posted a 15th straight quarter of decline but analysts see signs the market is getting closer to the bottom.

It was the shallowest drop since the fourth quarter of 2013, when prices started falling as the then-latest cooling measures kicked in that year. Prices are down 11.6 per cent from the peak in April 2013.

Analysts see this as a positive sign for buyers holding out for good buys.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority estimates out yesterday show that overall prices fell by 0.3 per cent in the second quarter from the first three months this year.

JLL national director of research and consultancy Ong Teck Hui said: "The decline in the second quarter, followed by the softening in the first... is indicative of a further moderation in price decline and the market heading closer to the bottom.

"It is likely to be read positively by the market and have a favourable effect on buyers."

Prices of landed properties fell only 0.4 per cent in the second quarter to June, compared with a 1.8 per cent fall in the previous quarter.

ENTICING PRICES

The current price points are indeed enticing for buyers to enter the market... With lower prices, resale transactions in 2017 are expected to surpass last year's - signalling a return in confidence of the current resale market.

PROPNEX REALTY CEO ISMAIL GAFOOR

Non-landed property prices mostly softened, reversing some growth in the previous quarter.

The star performer was non-landed property in the "rest of the central region", posting a price growth of 0.5 per cent. The region covers areas such as Marine Parade and Bishan.

Non-landed properties in the core central region fell the most by 0.9 per cent. Dr Lee Nai Jia, head of research at Edmund Tie & Company, said it was "likely to be weighed down by transactions of older developments and mortgagee sales".

The flash estimates are compiled based on sale prices given in contracts submitted for stamp duty payment and data on units sold by developers up until the middle of last month.

Recent tweaks to property market curbs helped buying sentiment somewhat but this is not considered to be a major factor.

ERA key executive officer Eugene Lim said: "Buyers who were holding back while waiting for a further relaxation of the cooling measures might now decide that it is fruitless to wait any more and would enter the market progressively as opportunities present themselves."

JLL's Mr Ong said buyers are finding landed prices more attractive and this led to 527 units transacted - based on caveats - in the second quarter, 56.8 per cent higher than in the first quarter, "and the highest quarterly landed sales volume since the fourth quarter of 2012".

He added: "The landed market may well be on the road to bottoming, if buying interest is sustained."

Housing Board resale prices dipped only 0.1 per cent in the second quarter, less than the 0.5 per cent fall in the first quarter.

PropNex Realty chief executive Ismail Gafoor said: "The current price points are indeed enticing for buyers to enter the market, especially so for young buyers and upgraders. With lower prices, resale transactions in 2017 are expected to surpass last year's - signalling a return in confidence of the current resale market."

Dr Lee said that with the resale market stabilising, more people may upgrade and move to the private market, "especially those with concerns that the value of their older flats may depreciate as the lease runs down".

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 04, 2017, with the headline 'Private home prices dip 0.3% in Q2'. Print Edition | Subscribe