Region's residential property sectors still resilient: Report

Residential property markets in the Asia-Pacific remain resilient, a housing report published by S&P Global Ratings said yesterday.

Favourable economic conditions, tight labour markets and accommodative monetary policy have supported the trend.

"At the same time, cooling measures have... had some success in controlling house price inflation in China and Singapore," S&P said.

The report also highlighted that public housing here is still undergoing "mild price declines", while the private residential market improved in the first quarter this year following a long period of price falls.

S&P Asia-Pacific economist Vishrut Rana noted: "Out of the markets we cover, prices in the latest quarter fell only in three places: mainland China's tier-one markets, and public housing in Singapore and Sydney."

Australian residential property markets appear to have slowed, particularly in Sydney, where additional housing supply is in the pipeline, the report said.

S&P said: "Several indicators, including residential transactions and housing starts, are showing cyclical downturn. Macroprudential policies have been effective in slowing down new mortgage borrowing, particularly by investors."

In China, stringent cooling measures in tier-one cities led to property prices decreasing slightly for the first three months this year, while somewhat milder measures have been maintained in tier-two cities.

Although mortgage credit growth has slowed partly due to these measures, China's home loan market is still expanding at the fastest rate in the region, the report noted.

Conversely, tough cooling measures in Hong Kong have not been very effective in dampening prices due to strong demand.

"Hong Kong's residential property market stands out in the region for being unstoppable," said Mr Rana.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 08, 2018, with the headline 'Region's residential property sectors still resilient: Report'. Print Edition | Subscribe