SINGAPORE - Resale prices of non-landed private homes edged up by 0.3 per cent in March from February, flash estimates from SRX Property showed on Tuesday (April 12).
March's small increase came as SRX revised its figures for February, saying prices fell 0.6 per cent that month, double the 0.3 per cent fall in its earlier flash estimate.
But in signs that the private resale market may be moving to steadier ground, the number of homes transacted in March was 19 per cent higher than a year ago. What likely helped was sellers becoming more willing to lower their asking prices, as SRX data showed.
Said Mr Eugene Lim, key executive officer of ERA Realty Network: "Moving forward, due to challenging economic and market conditions, sellers who are in a pinch may decide to cut their losses to sell now rather than later. So buyers with the capacity and ability to pick up properties are in an increasingly favourable position.
"We can expect the private property resale market to remain active in this March to July window before the onset of the Hungry Ghost month," he added.
Compared to a year ago, prices last month were 1.2 per cent lower than in March 2015, SRX dtaa showed. They were also down by 7.3 per cent from their recent peak in January 2014.
In terms of location, prices in the prime districts and city fringes continued to recover, while prices in outlying areas continued to weaken.
Prices in the core central area (CCR) and rest of central area (RCR) posted year-on-year price increase of 1.9 per cent and 0.8 per cent, respectively, while those outside of central area (OCR) recorded a price decrease of 3.5 per cent.
An estimated 577 non-landed homes were resold in March, 47.6 per cent higher than the 391 units in February, which suffered the traditional Lunar New Year lull.
Year-on-year, resale volume was 19 per cent up compared to 485 units resold in March 2015, though still 71.9 per cent off the peak of 2,050 units resold in April 2010.
SRX figures also showed that it has become increasingly a buyers' market, with more sellers willing to lower their asking prices.
Its overall median Transaction Over X-Value (TOX) - which measures how far or below a computer-generated market value units are actually going for - fell to a negative S$10,000 from negative S$7,000 in February.
SRX data showed that at least half of March buyers bought their units at a S$10,000 discount relative to their TOX market value.
Broken down further, among relatively active districts, district 9 (Orchard, Cairnhill, River Valley) posted the highest median TOX at positive S$20,000.
District 14 (Geylang, Eunos) fared the worst, posting the highest negative TOX of S$29,000.