Buying activity in private residential market remains tepid in Q1

Buying activity in Singapore’s private residential market remained tepid in the first quarter of this year.

Property consultancy DTZ said in its latest report that only 906 private homes changed hands in the secondary market in the first quarter.

This was a 34 per cent quarter-on-quarter decline or 62 per cent decline year-on-year.

DTZ attributed the slower activity to buyers becoming more selective, with some holding back their purchases on expectation of further price declines.

It said this was especially so after the Finance Minister said during his budget speech that it was too early for the government to start relaxing property-cooling measures.

However, DTZ noted that transactions in the Good Class Bungalow (GCB) segment picked up in the first quarter as buyers with deep pockets returned to the market.

Eight GCBs have changed hands so far this year, for a total of S$225.8 million.

This was higher than the five GCB transactions amounting to S$134.6 million in the second half of 2013.

DTZ said the GCB buyers are mostly buying for their own occupation and they are less affected by property-cooling measures such as the total debt servicing ratio (TDSR) and Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD).

The property consultancy said the pullback in overall buying activity has caused resale prices of private non-landed residential homes to soften further in the first quarter.

It reported that resale prices of luxury condominiums declined by a further 2.0 per cent, following a 2.0 per cent quarter-on-quarter drop in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Meanwhile, resale prices of prime freehold condominiums fell another 1.5 per cent quarter-on-quarter and suburban leasehold condominiums declined 1.1 per cent on-quarter.

Within the landed segment, resale prices across all areas remained flat in the first quarter after a slower year-on-year growth in 2013.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 8 Apr 2014

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