Private home prices slide further in Q3: URA

Prices for private homes in Singapore continue to drop in the third quarter, with the private residential property index down 2.1 points from 140.0 in the second quarter to 137.9 points, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said on Monday (Oct 3).

According to the agency’s flash estimates, this represented a decline of 1.5 per cent, compared with the 0.4 per cent dip in the previous quarter. It is also the 12th consecutive quarter of decline.
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Delving deeper, prices of non-landed private residential properties declined by 1.8 per cent in the Core Central Region, while prices in the Rest of Central Region slid 1.3 per cent, reversing the 0.2 per cent increase the previous quarter. Prices for those in the Outside Central Region declined by 1.2 per cent, it added.

As for landed property private homes, there was a drop of 2.2 per cent in the index, from 156.6 to 153.2, deepening the drop of 1.5 per cent from the second quarter, URA statistics showed.

Commenting on the numbers, Mr Eugene Lim, Key Executive Officer at ERA Real Estate, said that the “largely negative” economic news has had an impact on buyer sentiment, causing larger-than-expected price declines.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry recently revised their forecast for Singapore’s economic growth to 1-2 per cent, down from 1-3 per cent at the beginning of the year, Mr Lim said.

He also cited higher unemployment rates as well as retrenchments in the financial, oil and gas sectors as possible factors affecting buyer sentiment.

“For buyers to bite, sellers have to price their properties attractively,” he said.

Another analyst Channel NewsAsia spoke to said the magnitude of the decline was due somewhat to a change in URA’s methodology.

“I was expecting a decline in private residential price index since the market situation has not really improved and furthermore the URA has mentioned they would be including the net prices of completed residential projects that were sold by the developers,” said Mr Nicholas Mak, executive director of research and consultancy at SLP International. “With some of this transactions where the discounts and incentives have been stripped away, the actual net prices may actually be lower. Hence this will have an effect of dragging down the price index.”

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 3 Oct 2016

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