SINGAPORE - Prices of private residential properties softened by 0.5 per cent in first quarter of this year from the previous three months, the same rate of decline seen in the previous quarter, flash data for the first quarter from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) showed on Monday (April 3)
Analysts say the residential market is showing signs of stabilising even as private home prices slipped for the 14th consecutive quarter, with the 0.5 per cent price decline in the last two quarters easing from the 1.5 per cent fall in the third quarter of 2016. But despite the moderating price declines, they are not expecting a quick turnaround in the property market given a challenging economy, rising interest rates and uncertainty in the jobs market.
The Government's finely calibrated easing of a few property cooling measures last month gave a knee-jerk boost to market sentiment but that has faded. Analysts say some developers may opt to cut prices of their unsold higher-end units, keeping private home prices under pressure, after regulators at the same time equalised stamp duty rates, effectively closing a tax loophole that allowed developers to offload apartments in bulk to institutional investors and wealthy Singaporeans to avoid paying stiff penalties for missing sales deadlines.
URA's flash data showed prices of landed properties fell by 2.8 per cent in the first quarter of 2017, reversing the 0.8 per cent rise in the previous quarter.
The prices of condominiums and private apartments had a mixed performance. Those in the Core Central Region (CCR), dipped by 0.2 per cent, compared to the 0.1 per cent rise in the previous quarter. Prices in the Rest of Central Region (RCR) remained unchanged, after declining 2 per cent in the previous quarter. Prices in Outside Central Region (OCR) edged up by 0.1 per cent, after registering a 0.6 per cent decline in the previous quarter.
Private home prices in Singapore softened in the last three months of 2016 to hit their lowest level in six years. For the full year of 2016, prices fell 3.1 per cent, narrowing from the 3.7 per cent decrease in 2015. From the recent peak in the third quarter of 2013, prices have fallen 11.3 per cent, reflecting the sustained impact of the loan curbs and cooling measures.
However, this came after prices surged 62.2 per cent from the second quarter of 2009 to the second quarter of 2013 as the economy emerged from the global financial crisis.
For the whole of 2016, prices fell 3.1 per cent, less than the 3.7 per cent decline in 2015.
Based on URA figures for the fourth quarter of last year, 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.