Sunday, October 26, 2008

Singapore's Q3 Private Home Prices Down 2.4% On-Quarter

Source : Channel NewsAsia, 24 October 2008

Private home prices in Singapore came in weaker than expected for the third quarter, dropping by 2.4 per cent - worse than an earlier estimate of 1.8 per cent. The quarter-on-quarter drop was the first decline in more than four years.

Data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) showed prices fell across the board, with prices for high-end homes in prime areas seeing the biggest drop of 2.7 per cent.

Analysts said there has not been panic selling yet, but they expect prices to drop by about 3 to 5 per cent in the quarters to come.

Donald Han, managing director of Cushman & Wakefield, said: "We don't know what's going to happen in the next 2 to 3 months. There will be people who've been affected by the stock market (declines), who might be late in their payment, and that might eventually translate to more pressurised selling."

The mass-market and mid-tier segments, which have shown some resilience in previous quarters, have also not been spared.

Prices for mass-market homes fell by 1.5 per cent, while those for the mid-tier segment declined by 2.4 per cent.

URA said there are over 66,000 units of private homes in the pipeline - of these more than 37,000 units will be completed by 2011.

Some property consultants said developers may choose to launch their projects before the market gets worse.

Tan Huey Ying, Colliers International's director for research & advisory, said: "Now that the market is firmly on a downward path, I think there are some developers who may take this opportunity to launch their projects instead of waiting for prices to drop even further.

"On the other hand, there might be some developers with strong financial standing who may want to continue to develop their properties, but launch at a later date when the market recovers."

Sub-sales accounted for about 11.6 per cent of all sales transactions in the third quarter.

Ms Tan expects this segment to hold steady for the next six to nine months. And it is likely to be dominated by purchasers for properties that are nearing completion or speculators who opt to take profit now.

Rentals of private residential properties also fell in the third quarter, dropping by about one per cent.

Meanwhile, Housing and Development Board (HDB) data showed prices of resale flats rose by 4.2 per cent in the third quarter compared to the previous quarter. - CNA/yb/ir

No comments: