Saturday, July 26, 2008

S'pore's Private Housing Hits Peak, With Q2 Prices Inching Up Just 0.17%

Source : The Straits Times, July 25, 2008

Home rentals are also down by half, but HDB resale flats continue to draw more buyers.

SINGAPORE'S private housing market appears to have peaked, with home prices inching up just 0.17 per cent in the April to June period.

This is the smallest rise in four years and well below the 3.8 per cent climb in the first quarter, according to the closely-watched data released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Friday.

The growth in private home rentals also halved, rising 2.5 per cent in April to June compared to six per cent in the previous quarter. -- ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA

In the prime districts, home prices actually slipped by 0.1 per cent in the second quarter, after climbing some 30 per cent last year.

Less well-located properties fared slightly better in the latest tally. Home prices in the city-fringe areas rose 0.7 per cent, while those in the suburbs went up 0.9 per cent.

The growth in private home rentals also halved, rising 2.5 per cent in April to June compared to six per cent in the previous quarter.

However, the HDB resale market continued to go from strength to strength. Prices jumped 4.5 per cent in the second quarter, from 3.7 per cent in the first quarter.

The number of resale deals also went up 22 per cent to 7,760 transactions. Outside of homes, office and shop prices went up a mere 0.7 per cent, with rental growth for offices also slowing.

They rose 6.3 per cent in the quarter, down from 7.3 per cent in the first quarter. Shop rentals, however, jumped 5.2 per cent in the period, from only one per cent previously.

During the second quarter, prices of landed properties rose 0.6 per cent, compared with 3.9 per cent in the previous quarter.

Prices of detached, semi-detached and terrace houses went up 0.7 per cent, 0.5 per cent and 0.7 per cent respectively.

The URA said the price index for private homes - an indicator of inflation holding at 26-year highs - rose to 177.5 for the three months ended June from 177.2 in the previous three-month period.

'The rates of increase in the prices and rentals of private residential and office properties have moderated in the second quarter as compared to the first quarter,' said the URA, noting that prices are not uniform and vary from project to project.

But there are a number of of uncompleted private units in the suburban areas with prices 'at more affordable level', it added.

Rentals of private residential homes rose 2.5 per cent during the second quarter - from the 6 per cent increase in the previous quarter.

Supply in the pipeline

There were 67,569 private homes in the pipeline at the end of the second quarter. Of these, 43,473 units were still unsold.

About 46,500 units are expected to be ready by 2011. A total of 1,814 units were launched for sale by developers, which was more than the 1,343 units in the first quarter.

More uncompleted units were sold by developers in the second quarter - 1,417 against 730 in the earlier quarter.

Office rentals up 6.3%

Overall rentals for office space, based on leases which began in the second quarter, rose by 6.3 per cent, compared with 7.3 per cent from January to March.

The median rentals were between $14.7 and $6.47 psf per month.

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