Private home prices, rents up but …

Private home prices and rents in Singapore went up in 2011 from the previous year, despite the cooling measures that include imposing seller’s stamp duty and reduction in loan-to-value limit, said property consulting firm DTZ.

However, the growth is expected to have tapered off last month and is likely to continue falling this year, it said.

“Historically, significant price falls have been triggered by external events that affect the economy rather than cooling measures. The projected economic slowdown in 2012 will thus have a more significant impact on buyer sentiment and consequently on demand and prices,” said Ms Chua Chor Hoon, DTZ’s head of Asia Pacific Research.

In a report released yesterday, DTZ said the resale prices of leasehold condominiums in suburban areas rose 8.2 per cent from a year ago.

This makes it the fastest-growing segment among non-landed housing, according to a basket of completed condominiums tracked by DTZ.

Fourth-quarter flash estimates released also showed Housing and Development Board resale prices went up last year by 10.7 per cent, but prices of luxury condominiums only saw 1.0 per cent on-year growth in 2011.

DTZ said the global economic uncertainties dampened demand for luxury condominiums, dragging prices down by 0.7 per cent in the fourth quarter.

Home prices in the prime freehold segment also took a hit, growing only 4.6 per cent on-year compared to 8.3 per cent in 2010.

This is in contrast to resale prices of freehold landed homes, which rose 12.8 per cent on-year in the prime districts. Leasehold landed homes in suburban areas also rose 12.4 per cent last year.

Rents, meanwhile, were also higher last year, led by condominium rents which inched up 8.9 per cent.

This was due to demand from foreign professionals with higher housing allowances.

But rents for luxury condominiums only grew 1.3 per cent on-year.

From January to November last year, private home sales of 15,393 units already outpaced the 15,288 units sold in the same period in 2010.

Overall, DTZ expects take-up rate for the year at 16,000 units or slightly lower than the 16,292 units sold in 2010.

Source : Today – 6 Jan 2012

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