Private home prices in Singapore drop 5.9% in Q2

Private home prices in Singapore have fallen for the fourth straight quarter, though at a slower pace.

Initial estimates from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Wednesday showed that the cost of private residential properties fell by 5.9 per cent in the second quarter, compared to the record drop of 14.1 per cent in the previous quarter – the steepest fall since 1975.

Observers projected that some 4,000 new private homes were sold between April and June, 50 per cent more than the previous quarter.

Strong sales volume and improved market sentiment drove prices up, narrowing the decline in the second quarter.

Donald Han, managing director, Cushman and Wakefield, said: “We are going into a scenario of an upturn. (For) the third quarter, we may look at a potential positive number.

“There is still liquidity in the market and system, looking for good yielding assets. There is still a lot of activity out there and that will continue for the next two to three quarters.”

According to the latest numbers, prices for homes in the second quarter slid across the board, dipping by 6.6 per cent in the central region, 6.3 per cent in the city fringe and 2.6 per cent in suburban areas.

Going forward, experts say developers will continue to launch mass market projects starting at S$800 per square foot (psf).

Overall, prices for the second half of the year is expected to rise by up to 10 per cent, with prospects for mid-tier properties also looking up.

Liang Thow Ming, director, Residential Services, Credo Real Estate, said: “Mid-end market has basically gone to the four-digit region at this point in time. I expect mid-end (market) will start at S$1,000 (psf) upwards. There has been a lot of activity which will sustain very well. In fact, I think it may be the out performer for the rest of this year.”

More expensive luxury apartments averaging between S$3,000 and S$4,000 psf may also be placed for sale, though on a selective private preview basis.

Market watchers say foreign investors will take positively to the latest figures. And they expect some foreign buyers to return in the next six to eight months, with the majority of them likely to be looking at properties above S$5 million.

A minor recovery was also seen in the resale prices of public flats.

The Housing and Development Board said preliminary data showed that the resale price index rose 1.2 per cent between April and June, to an all-time high of 140 points since records began in 1990.

This was a 1.2 per cent price increase in the second quarter, reversing a dip of 0.8 per cent in the previous quarter.

Property agents say this is on the back of greater job security and realistic home prices.

For the whole year, observers expect resale prices of public flats to go up by some three to five per cent.

The figures captured transaction prices in the first 10 weeks of the quarter. The data for the full second quarter will be released on July 24.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 1 July 2009

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