Singapore private home prices drop for 12th quarter, decline accelerates to 1.5% in Q3: Flash URA data

An aerial view of the private estates in the Upper Thomson area. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Singapore home prices dropped for a 12th quarter, extending the longest losing streak on record, with the slow decline accelerating in the third quarter.

An index tracking private residential prices fell 1.5 per cent in the three months ended Sept 30 from the previous quarter, capping the longest series of quarterly losses since 1975 when prices were first published, according to preliminary data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority on Monday (Oct 3).

Private home values have dropped 10.8 per cent from the peak in 2013. Prices prices dipped by 0.4 per cent in the second quarter of this year, following a 0.7 per cent decline in the first quarter.

URA's latest flash estimates include for the first time the net prices of de-licensed projects - as opposed to their gross prices which might include discounts and rebates. To improve transparency in the market, developers of such projects were required to submit net prices of units sold to the URA from September.

De-licensed projects are those that have obtained the Certificate of Statutory Completion and where individual titles have been issued.

It is not clear from URA's preliminary data how much of the 1.5 per cent drop in the Q3 price index was due to the change to net prices for de-licensed projects in September.

URA said its flash data for Q3 are compiled based on transaction prices given in contracts submitted for stamp duty payment, and data on units sold by developers (both licensed and de-licensed) only up till mid-September.

Analysts have said they expected the change to net prices to have some impact on the URA index, though not a big dent.

URA reiterated that past data have shown that the difference between the quarterly price changes indicated by the flash estimate and the actual price changes when the statistics are updated four weeks late could be significant when the change is small. It advised the public to interpret the flash estimates with caution.

The Q3 flash data also show that prices of landed homes fell by 2.2 per cent from the second quarter, more than the 1.4 per cent fall for non-landed properties.

Prices weakened across locations, with homes in prime districts having the biggest 1.8 per cent decline. This was followed by a 1.3 per cent drop in prices for properties fringing the prime areas, and 1.2 per cent decline in the suburban areas.

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