URA flash estimate for the first quarter of 2019 shows that its overall price index for private homes fell 0.6 per cent over the preceding quarter. This is a bigger decline than the 0.1 per cent quarter-on-quarter dip in the fourth quarter of 2018.
Year on year, the index is up 3.2 per cent.
URA data released on Monday morning also showed that prices of non-landed private homes fell 1 per cent quarter on quarter in the first quarter of 2019, contrasting with the 0.5 per cent gain in the fourth quarter of 2018.
Giving a breakdown by region, URA said that prices of non-landed private homes in the prime areas or core central region (CCR) decreased by 2.9 per cent quarter on quarter, a steeper decline than the 1 per cent decrease in the previous quarter.
Prices in the fringe areas or rest of central region (RCR) dipped 0.2 per cent, after posting an increase of 1.8 per cent in the previous quarter. In the suburbs or outside central region (OCR), prices were unchanged, following the 0.7 per cent increase in the previous quarter.
Landed home prices rose 1.1 per cent in the first quarter of 2019, contrasting with a 2 per cent fall in the previous quarter.
URA said its flash estimates are compiled based on transaction prices given in contracts submitted for stamp duty payment and data on units sold by developers up till mid-March. The statistics will be updated on April 26, 2019 when URA releases its full set of real estate statistics for the first quarter of 2019.
“Past data have shown that the difference between the quarterly price changes indicated by the flash estimate and the actual price changes could be significant when the change is small. The public is advised to interpret the flash estimates with caution,” it added.