Singapore private home prices rise 1.5% in Q2, beating estimates; rents up 1.3%

Prices of landed properties dipped by 0.1 per cent in the second quarter, compared to a 1.1 per cent increase in the previous quarter. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Private home prices rose 1.5 per cent in the second quarter of this year after a 0.7 per cent decline in the previous quarter, lifted by non-landed properties in prime and city-fringe locations, according to data released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Friday (July 26).

The increase was higher than URA's earlier estimate of a 1.3 per cent rise and reverses two previous quarters of declines. It is also the highest since the second quarter of 2018, when prices jumped 3.4 per cent before property cooling measures were announced in July last year.

URA data showed that prices of landed properties dipped by 0.1 per cent in the second quarter of 2019, compared with a 1.1 per cent increase in the previous quarter.

However, prices of non-landed properties in the the core central region (CCR) were up 2.3 per cent in Q2, versus a 3 per cent decline in the previous quarter. Prices of non-landed homes in the rest of central region (RCR) rose by 3.5 per cent, in comparison with a 0.7 per cent decrease in the previous quarter. Meanwhile, prices of non-landed properties in outside the central region (OCR) edged up 0.4 per cent, versus a 0.2 per cent increase in the previous quarter.

Ms Catherine He, associate director of research at CBRE, said: "A year after the latest cooling measures were implemented, prices displayed resilience to register a healthy rebound this quarter. This happened after two consecutive quarters of decline, bringing the year-to-date change for 2019 to 0.8 per cent."

She attributed the increase in the RCR segment to the certain successful launches such as Amber Park, The Tre Ver and Parc Esta.

Ms Christine Li, head of research (Singapore and South-east Asia), at Cushman & Wakefield, highlighted that interest from overseas buyers - particularly in the high-end segment - appears to have held up, even after cooling measures.

"In addition, the recent turmoil in Hong Kong and the United Kingdom due to the Hong Kong protests and Brexit could bode well for the residential market here as high-net-worth individuals start to eye other wealth centres such as Singapore to preserve their wealth," she said.

"Geopolitical and trade tensions in the region have led to increased foreigner interest in Singapore properties," she added, pointing to the increase in foreigners buying non-landed properties above $4 million, even after the cooling measures.

URA's data also showed that private home rents increased 1.3 per cent in the second quarter, up from one per cent in the previous quarter. The vacancy rate edged up 0.1 percentage point to 6.4 per cent.

During the second quarter, developers launched 2,502 uncompleted private homes (excluding executive condominiums or ECs) for sale, less than the 2,989 units launched in the first quarter. In the quarter under review, they sold 2,350 homes, more than the 1,838 units sold in the previous quarter. No EC units were launched for sale in the second quarter, but developers did sell 10 EC units from previous launches over the period.

There were 2,371 resale transactions in the second quarter, which made up nearly half of all sale transactions. In comparison, 1,858 resale units were transacted in the previous quarter.

As at the end of the second quarter, there was a total supply of 50,674 uncompleted private homes (excluding ECs) in the pipeline with planning approvals. Of this, 33,673 units remained unsold as at the end of the second quarter. The supply of EC units in the pipeline stood at 3,022, of which 1,865 EC units remained unsold.

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