All property’s in boomtown

Sky-High prices at luxury launches such as Sky @ Eleven, One Shenton and One North Residences over the past three months have lifted the private property market to a quarterly gain of 4.6 per cent, according to flash estimates from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).The property price index rose from 130.2 points in the previous quarter to 136.2 points in the first quarter of this year, the highest increase in seven years.

The latest record gain has led some property analysts to revise their growth projections for the year from 8 per cent, to between 10 and 18 per cent. Last year, private-property prices rose 10.2 per cent.

Chief executive Mohd Ismail of real estate firm Propnex said: “With the development of the integrated resorts and strong foreign investor interest, I believe the momentum in the property market will continue at least for the next two to three years.”

While the gains were led by condominiums in the core central region – such as St Thomas Suites, One Shenton and Orchard Turn – which had an average quarterly price increase of 5.6 per cent, mass-market property prices in the rest of Singapore grew at a healthy pace.

Prices of condos in non-prime areas of central Singapore rose 2.9 per cent in the first quarter, following a prior 2.2 per cent rise. Non-landed private residential property prices rose 2.6 per cent, compared with 1.5 per cent the previous quarter.

Ms Tay Huey Ying, Colliers International director for research and consultancy, expects next quarter’s price gains in areas outside the core central region to breach 3 per cent, while the core central region – comprising the Downtown core, Sentosa and districts 9, 10 and 11 – could stabilise in the region of 6 per cent.

Other areas that have seen a significant rise in prices include the Meyer and Amber roads region, and Buona Vista, where new projects are now priced at 50 per cent more than what they would have fetched a year ago, said CB Richard Ellis executive director Li Hiaw Ho.

Colliers’ Ms Tay said: “Final numbers of the price growth will be higher than these flash estimates, as transactions that took place in the later part of the quarter would not have been taken into account yet.”

These include transactions for Orchard Turn Residences, Botanika, One North Residences and The Trillium.

Meanwhile, prices of Housing and Development Board flats picked up, too, rising 1.2 per cent over the last quarter. This follows a mere 0.8 per cent rise in the final quarter of last year, that was preceded by three straight quarters of falling prices.

Knight Frank director of research and consultancy Nicholas Mak said: “The public housing market will also see a price increase but at a more moderate pace. The question is, will HDB upgraders be priced out of the private-property market with the rising prices?”

Source: Today, 03 April 2007

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