Prices of private homes reach new high: Report

Mass market prices of private apartments in Singapore have climbed to new highs in the first quarter of this year, mainly driven by demand from mainland Chinese buyers.

Average values of properties are now at S$1,935 psf in prime areas, and S$1,043 for non-prime areas, the highest since the first quarter of 2008, according to a release from Jones Lang LaSalle.

Prime market property sales continue to be dominated by foreigners, with mainland Chinese, Indonesian and Malaysian buyers taking at least half of the sales in the first quarter of this year.

Chinese buyers have overtaken Malaysians in purchasing prime residential units and were second to Indonesian buyers.

Chinese buyers took up the largest share for mass market units, at 63 per cent, priced between S$500,000 and S$1.5 million. Their share of units priced above S$5 million in central and prime districts was at 32 per cent. “The surge in Chinese buyers in Singapore coincided with the policy tightening in China. While we do not expect a repeat of what is observed this past quarter, we can expect the number of Chinese buyers to continue at a healthy level as seen in previous quarters as the fiscal and monetary policy in China remains conducive to overseas investment by the wealthier Chinese,” said Dr Chua Yang Liang, head of research for South-east Asia and Singapore at Jones Lang LaSalle.

While resale capital values for luxury prime and typical prime properties saw marginal increases, capital values in the central and east coast regions have enjoyed growth of between 2 and 2.5 per cent compared with the same quarter last year.

Rental values in the central and east coast regions have remained stable from levels in the fourth quarter of last year, while prime properties saw rental values only growing marginally at 0.7 per cent quarter-on-quarter from last year.

Rental demand for smaller units softened while larger four-bedroom units in prime districts were the only residential unit type to see an increase in rental value for this quarter.

Head of Residential at Jones Lang LaSalle, Ms Jacqueline Wong, said: “The preference of the expatriate community is for larger four-bedroom apartments of at least 2,800 sq ft. The smaller size units are not particularly attractive as the majority of middle and upper management families relocating prefer spacious four bedroom units that come with entertainment areas.”

Source : Today – 31 Mar 2011

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