Monday, October 27, 2008

Luxury Condo Prices Come Off Their Peaks

Source : The Business Times, October 27, 2008

But most units in high-end projects still changing hands at above their launch prices

Prices for some luxury and high-end projects launched in 2006 and 2007 have come off their peaks by up to about 26 per cent, anecdotal evidence shows.

Data compiled for The Business Times by property firm DTZ shows that at selected high-profile upmarket properties launched in 2006 and 2007, prices started dipping in the third quarter of 2007 and are now between some 4 to 26 per cent off their highs.

At City Developments' The Oceanfront @ Sentosa Cove, prices have fallen some 26.4 per cent since the third quarter of 2007.

On the other end of the scale, prices at Wheelock Properties' Scotts Square, fell 3.6 per cent between their peak in Q3 2007, and the second and third quarters of this year.

In both cases, the caveat is that the volume of transactions was relatively low. There were only about 10 transactions for each project in the second and third quarters of 2008.

DTZ's data supports what other property consultants are saying - that luxury apartments in prime districts are harder hit by the current downturn.

Knight Frank's in-house numbers show for example that prices of luxury apartments in Districts 9, 10 and 11 have fallen by 12-13 per cent since the start of the year.

And the fall is gathering pace, said Nicholas Mak, director of research and consultancy at Knight Frank.

Savills also reported that its in-house price index, which tracks luxury and 'super-luxury' projects, fell 10 per cent from January to July this year. Other analysts estimate that prices at some condos are around 20-30 per cent lower than during last year's peak.

The drop has been larger than expected. Knight Frank, for example, was expecting to see a 10 per cent fall in high-end residential prices for the whole of 2008.

Official numbers show that residential prices in the upmarket core central region started to fall in the third quarter of 2008, and has to date registered a 2.7 per cent drop. These numbers, however, take into account all property transactions.

Despite the price correction, property firms say that most units in high-end projects are still being transacted at prices higher than their launch prices. DTZ's data supports this.

The price falls from Q3 2007 are partially due to property investors and speculators selling out, said DTZ's senior director of research Chua Chor Hoon. 'For some projects launched in late 2006 and early 2007, there was a lot of speculation as the market was very bullish,' she said.

Luxury and high-end residential projects attract more investors and speculators than the broader residential market. With the current economic downturn, many of them are off- loading their properties.

Knight Frank's Mr Mak said: 'Right now, what everyone is saying is that cash is king.'

The availability of cheap and ready credit in 2006 and 2007 boosted property sales then. But now, banks have cut back on the amount of financing they are willing to offer to home buyers who are seen to be speculators and/or investors - as opposed to owner- occupiers, who are thought to be lesser credit risks.

In the past, most buyers were able to obtain 80 per cent financing for homes. In contrast, banks now offer speculators and investors only 60-70 per cent financing.

Ku Swee Yong, director of marketing and business development at Savills Singapore, believes that prices at projects that will soon receive their temporary occupation permits (TOPs) could go even lower.

Speculators who bought homes under the deferred payment scheme (DPS) could sell as TOP approaches. Under the DPS scheme offered by most high-end properties launched in 2006 and 2007, buyers could pay only a 10 per cent or 20 per cent downpayment, with the rest due upon completion. With TOP, these speculators will have to fork out a big chunk of the remaining sum owing.

'So there is the danger of price drops as TOP approaches,' Mr Ku said. 'But how much prices fall at each property depends on the profile of the buyers there.'

Most agents BT spoke to said they have yet to see fire sales though the pressure could continue to build up.

During the Asian Financial Crisis, the official Urban Redevelopment Authority price index fell 40 per cent from Q2 1997 to Q4 1998.

'In the next six to nine months, we are going to see downward pressure (on prices) across the board,' said Knight Frank's Mr Mak. 'And how severe the chill that spreads across the property market will be depends on the real economy in Singapore, especially the employment market.'

Phillip Securities Research analyst Alfred Low expects high-end property prices to fall by 15-25 per cent in the next four quarters.

Others are more bearish. Morgan Stanley analysts Melissa Bon and Brian Wee on Oct 24 took a more aggressive approach to cutting residential prices and projected that residential prices for the mid-high end segment will fall by 75 per cent for the next three years.

HDB Prices Up As Demand Rises

Source : The Business Times, October 25, 2008

Rents also rise, Q3 data shows; prices and rents of private mass-market homes fall as demand shifts to HDB flats

DEMAND is shifting to HDB flats from mass-market private homes - pushing up HDB prices and rents, but causing mass-market home prices and rents to fall.

Figures released yesterday by the Housing & Development Board (HDB) and Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) show HDB's resale price index rose 4.2 per cent in the third quarter.

This means that in the first nine months of 2008, HDB resale prices climbed 12.4 per cent. The number of transactions also increased in Q3 to 8,110, from 7,760 in Q2.

In contrast, private mass-market properties put up a decidedly lacklustre showing in Q3. Prices of non-landed properties in the outside central region - where most mass-market private homes are located - fell 1.5 per cent.

The decline was not expected - most analysts have said mass-market home prices will hold steady this year.

'In contrast to the private property market, despite the gloomy economic outlook, demand in the resale HDB market is still very active, with buyers coming from up-graders, down-graders and Permanent Residents,' said ERA assistant vice-president Eugene Lim.

Analysts attribute this to a shift in demand towards HDB flats and away from private mass-market projects.

'Demand is moving towards the HDB market,' said Nicholas Mak, director of research and consultancy at Knight Frank. 'A greater proportion of new homeowners, such as newlyweds and new immigrants, are looking only at HDB flats.'

In the past, a greater proportion of new homeowners would have considered private mass-market apartments, he said: 'Compared to purchasing private residential properties, buying an HDB flat may allow some to set aside funds for liquidity during this uncertainty.'

More people are also eligible to buy HDB flats now. Statistics show the number of Singapore citizens and Permanent Residents (PRs) is set to hit a record this year. In the first half of 2008, there were 34,800 new PRs and 9,600 new citizens, up from 28,500 new PRs and 7,300 new citizens in H1 last year.

Another reason homebuyers are choosing HDB flats over private mass-market homes is that HDB flat prices are still rising, while prices of private homes are falling.

'People want the asset they buy to appreciate in value. In the HDB market there is still room for prices to move up,' said Ku Swee Yong, director of marketing and business development at Savills Singapore. At Sengkang, where HDB flats are going for around $250,000-$300,000, prices could climb 5-10 per cent in the next few quarters, he said.

Private mass-market rents have also been hit by the shift in demand. They fell 2.7 per cent in Q3, as demand switched to the HDB rental market. Overall median sub-let rents for HDB flats rose slightly in Q3.

But looking ahead, even growth in HDB prices is expected to slow as the economy worsens. 'As such, although there is good demand for resale HDB flats, we expect buyers to turn more cautious and exercise more prudence by offering less for flats so as not to overstretch,' said ERA's Mr Lim.

Because of this, cash-over-valuation (COV) figures will continue to decline in the coming quarters, analysts say. The median COV for resale transactions fell to $19,000 in Q3, from $20,000 in Q2 and $21,000 in Q1.

The bigger drops in median COVs were for five-room flats (down 15 per cent) and executive flats (down 22 per cent), notes Mohd Ismail, chief executive of PropNex. 'This is evidence of buyers resisting paying larger COVs for larger properties in this bleak economy,' he said.

The increasing popularity of smaller three and four-room flats was also reflected in the median resale prices. The increase for smaller flats, at almost 5 per cent, outstripped the 1.5 per cent increase for larger flats.

HDB resale prices are expected to continue to increase, but probably at a more measured pace in the coming months.

ERA's Mr Lim said: 'For 2008 we may see an overall price increase of 15-17 per cent, slightly lower than the 17.5 per cent increase for the whole of 2007. As for 2009, we are likely to see only marginal quarterly price increases, as current resale prices are a new peak.'

Likewise, PropNex's Mr Ismail expects the HDB resale price index to increase about 15 per cent for the whole of 2008.

Private Property Prices Seen Falling 5-6% In '09-10

Source : The Business Times, October 25, 2008

This will be so even under NUS economist's best-case projection for the Singapore economy

PRIVATE property prices will fall 5-6 per cent in the next two years even if the Singapore economy holds up, according to an economist's projections.

National University of Singapore economist Tilak Abeysinghe's forecasts see the domestic economy growing 3 per cent in 2009 - and one percentage point higher and lower under the best and worst-case scenarios.

In all three scenarios though, his simulations result in 5-6 per cent price falls a year in 2009 and 2010. Only in the optimistic outlook is there a projected 1.4 per cent rebound in 2011.

Already, the latest official figures show a 2.4 per cent dip in private housing prices in the third quarter from Q2 - the first decline since the property market bottomed out in 2004.

Housing prices tend to accelerate faster than expected during upswings and fall faster than expected during downswings, Dr Abeysinghe noted. He presented his findings yesterday at the Singapore Economic Policy Conference, jointly organised by the three local universities.

Since 1975, private property prices here have risen about 7 per cent a year - and with the uptrend, housing affordability has declined over the years.

Dr Abeysinghe's findings show the housing affordability index for private home owners at the lower end of the income range (up to the 25th percentile) fell to 0.5 in 2007, from near-two in the late-1970s.

An index of exactly one means the household's lifetime income is just enough to pay for the property. A measure below one implies 'perpetual debt' for the household.

The affordability index for private property owners in the medium income group averaged 1.2 over the period 1980-2007. This implies that if the household bought a property that cost $1 million, it would be left with $200,000 of income over its lifetime.

For high-income households, the index is a stronger 2.1 over the period 1980-2007. That's still well below the index for HDB households - which ranges from three for the low-income group to 9.4 for the richest.

So while rising home prices spell higher wealth for individuals, the economy as a whole may not be 'better off' if highly-geared households have less to spend, Dr Abeysinghe says, alluding to the paradox of thrift.

More predictable increases in property prices that do not erode long-term affordability are desirable and needed for the economy's health.

The conference also heard from Nanyang Technological University professor Choy Keen Meng that policy efforts to reduce inflation by one percentage point would result in about a two-point fall in GDP growth.

This 'sacrifice ratio' of two compares with around 3-4 for the US and an average 2.5 for the OECD.

URA Figures Ease Fears Of Housing Glut

Source : The Straits Times, Oct 25, 2008

Only 8,538 new private homes to be ready in 2010 - down from 11,788 in 2nd-quarter forecast

WORRIES about an oversupply of private homes are receding after the release of government figures that, for the first time, offer a detailed geographical breakdown of new homes in the pipeline.

It was the second straight quarter that the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) had lowered its forecast of home completions for 2010 and beyond.

The URA now expects only 8,538 homes to be ready in 2010 - down substantially from the 11,788 homes that it had forecast in the second quarter. Earlier, in the first quarter, it had forecast a whopping 17,545 homes.

In all, its forecast for the number of uncompleted homes in the pipeline dropped to 67,463 units in the third quarter, from 71,643 units in the second and 74,208 units in the first.

The lower supply figures would ease downward pressure on rentals, said Knight Frank's director of research and consultancy, Mr Nicholas Mak.

Earlier, concerns were building as the supply numbers remained high even as the market slowed considerably this year and the financial turmoil raged on.

The URA now expects to see 16,145 private homes completed in 2011, down from 19,559 in the second quarter.

And home completions in 2012 and beyond 2012 are now at 16,742 units and 13,565 units respectively, compared with 14,179 and 10,826 previously.

Savills Singapore's director of business development and marketing, Mr Ku Swee Yong, said the lower URA completion figures are a result of developers deferring projects due to the slow take-up rates of new homes and high construction costs.

The delays in completion dates were expected, given insufficient construction resources, completion delays in collective sales and delayed launches, he said.

Since the market turned quiet at the start of the year, many developers have delayed launches.

In the first nine months of this year, developers launched 5,401 private homes for sale - just 44 per cent of the total launches in the same period last year, said Knight Frank.

In the same period, they sold a total of 3,845 private homes, which is only 29 per cent of the sale figures in the corresponding period last year.

Yesterday, for the first time, URA released more detailed pipeline supply data, breaking down supply by the three main regions and expected year of completion. The Straits Times proposed such a breakdown in a commentary last month.

The URA made this information available separately on its website.

The data showed that there is a pipeline supply of 23,008 private homes in the core central region which includes districts 9, 10 and 11, down from 24,582 in the second quarter.

Supply in city-fringe areas such as Bukit Timah, Newton and Toa Payoh, rose to 19,736, from 19,053 in the second quarter.

As for the suburban areas, the pipeline supply fell slightly to 23,678 units, from 23,934 in the previous quarter.

According to the new URA data, just 733 homes in the core central region would be ready this year, down from the 2,363 expected in the second quarter.

While the drop next year is not dramatic, considerably fewer high-end homes will come to market from 2010 onwards.

Coming up

Number of private homes expected to be completed:

# In 2008: 2,440
# In 2009: 10,033
# In 2010: 8,538
# In 2011: 16,145
# In 2012: 16,742
# After 2012: 13,565
# Total 67,463


URA Data Shows More Completions Put On Hold

Source : The Business Times, October 25, 2008

URBAN Redevelopment Authority yesterday gave the public greater access to data on property supply in the pipeline, particularly for private homes, detailing the expected year of completion, location of the supply by regions, and development status.

The additional information was included in URA's press release on Q3 2008 real estate data, although the information has always been available through its Realis system.

There were 66,422 uncompleted private homes from projects in the pipeline (with either provisional or written permission) as at end-Q3 2008, of which 23,008 units were in Core Central Region, 19,736 units in Rest of Central Region and 23,678 in Outside Central Region. About 51 per cent of the 66,400-plus total units in the pipeline are under construction.

URA said that 37,051 private homes are scheduled for completion between Q4 this year and end-2011. This is 20 per cent or 9,429 units lower than the 46,480 units slated for completion between Q3 2008 and end-2011 listed in URA's end-Q2 data.

Of these, 2,195 units were completed in Q3 this year and have hence been removed from the supply pipeline. Other completions have been put on hold as some developments have been postponed. Weak market sentiment and higher construction costs have also delayed the construction of some projects.

Notwithstanding this, the 66,422-unit total supply of new private homes in the pipeline is not far off from the 67,569 units as at end-Q2 2008. More of these homes may now see completion post-2011.

URA's data also showed that about 1.03 million sq m of office space, 500,000 sq m of business park space and 685,000 sq m of retail space are expected to be completed between Q4 this year and end-2011.

Projects that received provisional permission in Q3 include MGPA's office, hotel and mall development at Marina View and a 46,010 sq m retail project at Serangoon Central by a unit of Pramerica Real Estate Investors (Asia). SingTel was also given approval for additions/alterations to its existing Pickering Operations Complex and City Exchange at George St/Pickering St. The approval is for 7,860 sq m of offices and 300 sq m of shop space.

Rents Get Squeezed By Credit Crunch

Source : TODAY, Weekend, October 25, 2008

THE leasing market has become the latest casualty of Singapore’s weakening property market, with both residential and office rents posting their first declines since 2004 in the third quarter of this year.

According to Urban Redevelopment Authority figures released yesterday, rentals of private residential properties fell 0.9 per cent in the third quarter, compared to a 2.5 per cent rise in the second quarter. Office rents declined 0.8 per cent, swinging from a 6.3 per cent rise in the previous quarter.

Most analysts attributed falling residential rents to the double whammy of increased supply and weakening demand as the financial sector deals with the severe crisis.

“Instead of increasing headcount, most multinationals are holding back and waiting, so fewer expatriates are coming in,” said ERA Asia Pacific’s assistant vice-president, Mr Eugene Lim. At the same time, developers are holding off developments of their enbloc sites due to the credit crunch and rising construction costs. They are instead renting out these units, resulting in a sudden surge in supply, added Mr Lim.

Additional supply from completed projects will accelerate rental declines in the coming quarters, said Mr Colin Tan, Chesterton Suntec International’s research head. But this may not necessarily be a bad thing for Singapore. “On a country level, Singapore will now be more competitive, since rentals had started off on the high side,” he said.

Meanwhile, HDB prices continued to show resilience amid the downturn, posting a 4.2-per-cent rise. That was a slight moderation from the 4.5-per-cent increase in the previous quarter, which PropNex chief Mohamed Ismail attributed to the overall drop in median cash-over-valuation (COV) to $19,000.

“It’s interesting to note that the bigger drops in median COV were for five-room flats and executive flats. This is evidence of buyers resisting paying out larger COV for larger properties in this bleak economy,” he said.

Still, Chesterton’s Mr Tan finds the 4.2-per-cent hike “extremely disturbing” as it bucks the trend amid deteriorating fundamentals. “It must mean that there is a real shortage of resale flats. This can happen when there are more downgraders than anticipated and secondly, few sellers are upgrading to the private market, because of its affordability.”

Prices in the private residential property market fell 2.4 per cent, worse than the earlier flash estimates of 1.8 per cent.

ERA’s Mr Lim noted that some investors hit by the recent stock market plunge have started to offload their properties in “fire sales” to raise cash, although any major price declines going forward depends on the extent of such scenarios and whether developers also start to lower prices.

Overall, Knight Frank’s research head Nicholas Mak expects private residential prices this year to contract up to 3 per cent.

Private Home Prices And Rents Down

Source : The Straits Times, Oct 25, 2008

PRIVATE home prices in Singapore fell faster than expected in the third quarter as the global financial turmoil weighed heavily on already weakened market sentiment.

The price slide is expected to continue into next year, property consultants said.

But the HDB resale flat market continued to buck the trend, with prices rising 4.2 per cent in the third quarter following a 4.5 per cent rise in the second quarter.

They have now surpassed the peak seen in the fourth quarter of 1996. But analysts expect this growth trend to slow as buyers turn cautious.

Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) data yesterday put the private home price dip at 2.4 per cent for the period ended Sept30, the first contraction after 17 straight quarters of growth.

This compares with an initial estimate of a 1.8 per cent drop released by URA earlier this month. In the previous quarter, private home prices rose 0.2 per cent.

The outlook is grim. Since the end of the third quarter, global markets have tumbled further and Singapore officially entered a technical recession. Buyers expecting a full-blown recession are set to become even more cautious, analysts say.

Colliers International's director for research and advisory, Ms Tay Huey Ying, said the lower-than-expected third-quarter private home price figure indicates that sales recorded in the last two weeks of the quarter were done at lower prices.

The price fall was led by luxury homes, as such properties in choice areas like Orchard Road and Sentosa Cove posted a 2.7 per cent fall after slipping just 0.1 per cent in the previous quarter.

Prices of city-fringe homes dropped 2.4 per cent, compared with a 0.7 per cent rise in the the April-toJune period.

Suburban homes, which showed the strongest growth of 0.9 per cent in the second quarter, fell 1.5 per cent in the third. Landed home prices, which inched up 0.6 per cent in the second quarter, fell 1.9 per cent.

In a reversal from relentless rent increases of recent years, rentals of private homes fell by 0.9 per cent compared with a 2.5 per cent rise in the second quarter. Like home prices, the fall in rents was the first after 17 straight quarters of growth.

Mass-market homes saw a bigger fall of 2.7 per cent in rents, compared with 0.7 per cent for coveted high-end homes and 0.5 per cent for city-fringe homes.

The growing market caution was also reflected in resale and sub-sale deals. A total of 1,974 resale deals and 462 sub-sales were done in the third quarter, down from 2,291 resale deals and 518 sub-sales in the previous period.

Given the worsening global financial climate, private homes prices are expected to continue slipping. 'The momentum of home sales will likely slow down due to either the increasing difficulty in obtaining loans or buyers' anticipation of further price cuts,' said CBRE Research's executive director Li Hiaw Ho.

In the HDB market, resale transactions rose 4 per cent to 8,110 sales, amid continued buying from permanent residents and Singaporeans upgrading from a smaller flat or downgrading from a private home.

While the sector is still strong, property experts are expecting slower price growth ahead as current resale prices have hit a new peak. With slower economic growth and possible job losses, buyers are likely to turn more cautious and exercise more prudence by offering less for the flats so as not to overstretch, said ERA Asia-Pacific's associate director Eugene Lim.

On a brighter note, URA revised down its supply figures, dispelling the prospect of a private home oversupply.

Its data also showed that office rents have slipped by 0.8 per cent, compared with 6.3 per cent growth in the second quarter.

Shop rents also dipped 0.6 per cent islandwide in the third quarter, reversing a growth of 5.2 per cent in the second.

Industrial rents rose, but at a slower pace.

Private Property Prices, Rents Fall

Source : The Business Times, October 25, 2008

URA's private-home price index down 2.4% in Q3; industrial property prices, rents make gains

OFFICIAL data released yesterday confirmed that the private property market has started sliding backwards, while analysts tried to work out how much of its recent gains it would eventually give up.

Price and rental indices for private homes, offices and shops fell in Q3 over the preceding quarter - for the first time since the market bottomed in 2004. Industrial property prices and rents still managed to register quarter-on-quarter gains in Q3, albeit at a slower pace than the increases reported in Q2.

Urban Redevelopment Authority's (URA) price index for private homes declined 2.4 per cent in Q3 over the preceding quarter, more pronounced than the 1.8 per cent drop indicated in a flash estimate earlier this month.

The Q3 private-home price index is still 8.3 per cent higher than a year ago, leading some analysts such as JPMorgan's Chris Gee to say the official price indices are lagging market expectations. 'If you wanted to close a condo sale today, you'd expect the price to be around 20-30 per cent lower than last year's peak.'

Between the trough in Q1 2004 and the peak in Q2 this year, URA's price indices appreciated 68 per cent for offices, 58 per cent for private homes and 39 per cent for shop space. The question is how much of these gains will be surrendered during this downcycle and how long the slump will last.

The optimistic view is that about half the gains could be lost in a downcycle lasting until end-2009.

Some pessimists suggest the downturn will drag for around two to three years, and see prices easing back to the previous trough, that is, all the gains will be lost. 'Although the Singapore economy is much broader-based today than a few years ago, financial services was a key driver of recent economic growth and had a disproportionate impact on the high-end residential and prime office markets. So if the financial industry tanks, the impact will be greater on these two property segments,' said an analyst with a US bank.

A property industry veteran said: 'This property slump will be much worse than the one during the Asian financial crisis; this time, we have a global crisis. We still don't know what the entire suite of knock-on effects will be. Right now, it's consumers lacking confidence. Failures may come from many other sources, some of which will be unexpected. The downtrend has begun and is not expected to reverse any time soon.'

URA's data showed that developers sold 1,558 private homes in Q3, up 2.2 per cent from 1,525 units in Q2. The 3,845 private homes developers sold in the first nine months of this year are about a quarter of the 14,811 units they sold for the whole of last year.

A property analyst pointed out that an even more alarming trend was the decline in resale transactions of private homes, which have slipped from a high of 7,776 units in Q2 2007 to 1,974 units in Q3 this year.

'Resale transactions are sometimes seen as a proxy for the level of genuine demand, whereas the primary market tends to attract more investment/speculative demand and the subsale market is an even more direct proxy for the level of speculation,' the property analyst from the US bank said.

The number of private-home subsales islandwide fell 10.8 per cent quarter on quarter to 462 in Q3. Subsales accounted for 11.6 per cent of total private housing transactions in Q3, down from a 12 per cent share in Q2.

In the Core Central Region, subsales made up 24.1 per cent of total transactions in Q3, an increase from a 22 per cent share in Q3. The rising subsale share in the region was on the back of a 29 per cent drop in developer sales in Q3.

Meanwhile, URA's Q3 price indices for non-landed private homes fell 2.7 per cent quarter on quarter in Core Central Region, 2.4 per cent in Rest of Central Region and 1.5 per cent in Outside Central Region (OCR).

The official price indices for office and shop space declined 3.9 per cent and 0.3 per cent respectively in Q3. The all-industrial property price index rose 0.9 per cent.

The public housing market continued to buzz, with Housing & Development Board's resale flat price index rising 4.2 per cent quarter on quarter in Q3.

Colliers International director Tay Huey Ying said that developers' sales failing to keep pace with launches led to a surge in the stock of launched but unsold private homes in uncompleted projects to 3,570 units in Q3, almost 30 per cent higher than Q2's 2,755 units and more than double the recent low of 1,658 units in Q2 2007.

Knight Frank director Nicholas Mak expects the decline in private home prices and rentals to persist. 'With the slowdown in the private residential market, it is anticipated that developers could sell between 4,900 and 5,400 units in 2008, which would be only about one-third of the primary market sales last year,' he added.

Home Sales Record Biggest Gain Since July 2003

Source : The Business Times, October 25, 2008

(Washington) SALES of previously owned US homes rose 5.5 per cent last month, the biggest gain since July 2003, and the inventory of unsold homes fell, a hopeful sign for a housing market mired in a long slump.

The National Association of Realtors said yesterday that sales of existing homes rose to a 5.18 million unit annual rate from the 4.91 million unit pace set in August. Economists had expected sales to rise to only a 4.93 million unit rate.

It was the first time the sales pace had risen above its year-ago level in three years, a sign the market could be stabilising.

The surprisingly large jump in sales pushed the inventory of unsold homes down by 1.6 per cent to 4.27 million, or a 9.9 months' supply at the current pace.

Home prices, however, showed no signs of escaping their long, deep slide. The median national home price declined 9 per cent from a year ago to US$191,600, the lowest level since April 2004, the industry trade group said.

The increase in sales was spurred by a rise in foreclosure and other 'distress sales' in regions of the country hard-hit by the ongoing housing downturn, said the Realtors' chief economist, Lawrence Yun.

'In some regions, the lower prices are seeing buyers return to the marketplace,' he noted. 'This was a nice jump and hopefully this trend can continue because the first step to stabilising the market is an increase in home sales.'

Sales rose in three regions, with the West recording a 16.8 per cent jump. The Midwest saw an increase of 4.4 per cent and the South saw a 2.2 per cent rise. In the Northeast, sales fell 1.2 per cent.

Housing has been suffering through its worst downturn in decades following a five-year boom that ended in 2006, and builders have been responded by cutting back drastically. -- Reuters, AP

第三季指数超过1996年创新高 组屋转售价已近顶峰

Source :《联合早报》October 25, 2008









对于历史重演的可能性,Dennis Wee房地产经纪行董事许家荣受访时说:“下来一年,组屋转售价格将保持平稳,起落的幅度估计不大,因为它仍有基本需求支撑。”









建屋局至今已在设计、兴建和销售计划(Design,Build and Sell Scheme,简称DBSS)下推出6块地段。当局原本有意在今年第四季推出勿洛的DBSS地段,不过现在则表示会继续观察市场情况,才决定何时推出。



Source :《联合早报》October 25, 2008






房价与办公楼租金 跌势仍将持续


世邦魏理仕(CB Richard Ellis)执行董事李晓和估计,第四季的私宅价格可能继续下滑2%至4%。麦俊荣则预测,2008年全年的私宅价格可能下跌0%至3%。





郑惠匀认为,这可能是因为最近几个月有好几个高档豪宅项目完工,协助扶持了租金市场。这包括滨海舫(The Sail)、都市名苑(The Cosmopolitan)、The Azure,以及巴德申居(Paterson Residences)。






Source :《联合早报》October 25, 2008


新加坡国立大学经济系副教授蒂拉克(Tilak Abeysinghe)根据我国未来几年经济增长的三种可能性,预估了本地私宅价格的变化。







他指出,央行在制定政策时,既要考虑保持价格稳定,也要照顾到增长放缓所付出的代价,从中取得平衡。而牺牲率(sacrifice ratio)就可以显示每降低通胀一个百分点,产值的累计损失为多少。




年初至今下跌超过三成 未来三年完工新私宅将减1万6000个

Source :《联合早报》October 25, 2008













空中绿意奖 它们都绿意盎然

Source :《联合早报》October 24, 2008

坐落在诺维娜地铁站附近的纽顿轩(Newton Suites)公寓,有座本地最高的常春藤墙,青翠的攀藤植物从低层楼一路攀到第36层楼。

不仅如此,纽顿轩的另一特色是每四层楼就有一个绿意盎然的“天空廊道”(sky terrace),让住户不论居住在高层或低层,都能在绿意中俯瞰市景。

乔治街一号(One George Street)商业大厦分别在5楼、12楼、15楼和22楼建有空中花园

此外,公寓的停车场、游泳池旁也都种植了花草树木,使公寓的绿色面积比占地面积(site area)高出30%,是名副其实的绿色建筑。





另一个得奖项目是位于佘街(Seah Street)的Naumi精品酒店,其建筑风格也非常绿色环保。建筑设计由Eco-id Architects操刀。


由DP Architects及Toyo Ito设计的怡丰城也是今年的得奖者之一。它的3楼公共天台花园,让走累了的购物者在绿意中舒适地歇息。


第四个获颁“空中绿意奖”的是乔治街一号(One George Street)商业大厦。负责设计工作的是DCA Architects和Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP建筑设计事务所。



大宗房地产交易 第三季锐减七成

Source :《联合早报》October 24, 2008


根据高力国际(Colliers International)昨天发表的报告,今年7月至9月,房地产发展商和投资者只买下总值18亿8000万元的房地产,这比一年前楼市巅峰时的购买能力猛降85%。如果与今年第一季和第二季相比,则显著下滑了超过七成。

本地的房地产投资销售金额(investment sales)在2007年第三季创下最高峰,该季成交的大宗房地产交易总值高达126亿6000万元。但在美国次贷风暴于去年8月引爆后,投资者的信心便大受冲击,今年第一季的房地产投资销售额下跌至83亿7000万元、第二季下跌至63亿1000万元。











Source :《联合早报》October 24, 2008





据中国房地产界人士的分析,此次新政出台,很大程度上宣告了去年出台“二套房贷政策”寿终正寝。新政中的“改善型普通自住房”,可理解为二次置业,这就等于说是“二套房贷”退出历史舞台。如果是政策条文的制定者有意避免开“二套房贷”,那么,或许就在一定程度上为各地方政府在接下来制定补充细则时真正摒弃 “二套房贷”打开了一扇门。