SINGAPORE - Prices of private residential properties declined by 0.5 per cent in fourth quarter of 2016, easing significantly from the 1.5 per cent drop in the previous quarter.
For the whole of 2016, prices fell 3.1 per cent, less than the 3.7 per cent decline in 2015.
Analysts say the residential market is showing signs of stabilising even as private home prices slipped for the 13th consecutive quarter, going by final data for the fourth quarter from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Thursday (Jan 26).
The 0.5 per cent dip in Q4 prices is slightly more than the 0.4 per cent in URA's initial estimates.
The slide in private property rents eased slightly, going by URA's latest data. Rents in the three months to December fell 1 per cent compared with the 1.2 per cent decline in the previous quarter. For the whole of 2016, rent dropped 4 per cent compared to the 4.6 per cent fall in 2015.
The vacancy rate of completed private residential units (excluding ECs) dipped to 8.4 per cent at the end of the fourth quarter from 8.7 per cent for the third quarter.
Prices of landed properties rose by 0.8 per cent in the fourth quarter, reversing the 2.7 per cent fall in the previous quarter. In contrast, prices of condominiums and private apartments were still on the decline, down 0.8 per cent, though less than the 1.2 per cent fall in the third quarter.
For the whole of 2016, prices of landed homes decreased by 4.5 per cent while non-landed properties fell by 2.6 per cent.
In terms of location, prices of non-landed properties in the prime core central region (CCR) inched up by 0.1 per cent, compared with the 1.9 per cent decrease in the previous quarter.
Prices of non-landed properties in the rest of central region (RCR) and outside central region (OCR) fell 2 per cent and 0.6 per cent respectively, compared with the 1 per cent decreases seen for both in the previous quarter.
For the whole of 2016, prices in CCR, RCR and OCR declined by 1.2 per cent, 2.8 per cent and 3.4 per cent respectively.
Developers launched 2,944 uncompleted private residential units (excluding ECs) for sale in the fourth quarter, more than the 1,609 units in the previous quarter. They also sold more units - 2,316 (excluding ECs) compared with the 1,981 in the third quarter.
For the whole of 2016, developers launched 7,877 units, more than the 7,056 units in 2015. They sold sold 7,972 units, higher than the 7,440 units in 2015.
For the resale market, there were 1,944 resale transactions in the fourth quarter, compared with the 2,477 units in the third quarter. For the whole of 2016, there were 7,901 resale transactions, more than the 6,160 deals in 2015.
There were also 125 sub-sale transactions in the fourth quarter, down from 138 units in the previous quarter. For the whole of 2016, there were there were 505 sub-sales compared with 517 in 2015.
Based on the expected completion dates reported by developers, 18,307 units (including ECs) will be completed in 2017. Another 13,785 units (including ECs) will be ready in 2018.
In terms of total supply - which covers all projects with planning approval - there are 40,913 uncompleted private homes (excluding ECs) in the pipeline as at end-2016, compared with 43,693 units in the previous quarter. Of this number, 19,071 units remained unsold as at end-2016.
There are also 9,635 ECs in the pipeline, bringing total supply to 50,548 units. Of the EC units in the pipeline, 3,970 units remained unsold.
So, in total, 23,041 units (including ECs) remained unsold.