Analysts on impact of cooling measures on resale property market

Asking prices of private resale homes appear to be holding up right after the new cooling measures kicked in over the weekend.

But some analysts said sellers may be forced to lower their expectations if sales volume stays thin and developers cut prices of new units in the market.

Following the implementation of new cooling measures, some analysts have said the resale property market will be “quiet” or even “non-existent” in the coming weeks.

SLP International Property Consultants observed that a handful of buyers cut their asking price by one to five per cent over the weekend. But most are staying put.

Nicholas Mak, executive director of SLP International Property Consultants, said: “The present asking prices throughout the high-end, mid-end or mass market are still higher than the average transacted prices in the fourth quarter of last year.

“On average, the asking prices still range anywhere from 10 per cent to 20 per cent above the transacted prices at the end of 2012.

“Going forward, some of these sellers need to be prepared to lower their asking prices because the market will gradually turn into a buyers market.”

Some analysts said sellers may be pressed to lower their asking prices if developers lower prices of units at new property launches.

Generally, they expect slow sales and prices to stay flat for the private resale market at least in the first quarter of the year.

It took one to three months on average for a property agent to close a resale transaction towards the end of last year. Some analysts said it could take twice as long now, as buyers and sellers weigh their options after the introduction of new cooling measures recently.

However, some market watchers said the outlook could be a little brighter in the second half of the year, supported by high liquidity and strong investment demand.

Colin Tan, director for research and consultancy at Chesterton Suntec International, said: “As in the previous six sets of cooling measures, the effectiveness is temporary.

“At the moment, it appears that it is effective for maybe five to six months; if we can get something longer than that, I suppose it is a bonus to the authorities.”

Meanwhile, analysts expect the public housing resale market to be more resilient, driven by healthy demand and limited supply of units.

They believe HDB resale prices could still see some growth, albeit a more gradual one, in the first quarter.

Flash estimates showed that HDB resale prices rose by 2.5 per cent on-quarter in the fourth quarter of 2012, while prices of private residential property climbed 1.8 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2012, compared to the 0.6 per cent increase in the previous quarter.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 18 Jan 2013

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