Private home resale prices drop in Feb

rices of resale private homes are 0.8 per cent cheaper in February than in the previous month.

This is according to the NUS Singapore Residential Price Index (SRPI ).

Still, analysts expect overall prices to rise by between 0.5 and three per cent in the first quarter.

Since January, the market for new private homes have been abuzz, with eight in 10 buyers being locals.

In December last year, the government introduced cooling measures like the Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD).

Back then, many had predicted property prices to go down by as much as 15 per cent.

ERA key executive officer Eugene Lim said: “The measures are working in the sense that foreigners… [during the] pre-ABSD days make up almost 20 per cent of the market. Today, they account for less than seven per cent of transactions, as far as new home sales are concerned.”

Excluding executive condominiums, nearly 2,413 new private homes were sold in February, more than a third from January’s.

But in the secondary market, where it includes the resale market and the more speculative resale of uncompleted private units, it is a quieter affair.

While private new home sales have spiked up in the last two months, experts noted the resale and sub-sale markets have been slow, and that should stablise the property price index in the first quarter of this year.

Jones Lang LaSalle research head Chua Yang Liang said: “In the first, second quarter, we are going to continue to see that kind of disparate, two-market behaviour, top and new sales and resale.

“New sale markets tend to… do better because of the conditions in there — the financing and progressive payments.

“You don’t really need to make immediate payment, except according to the construction phase. Interest rates remain fairly low for now, and that is going to be more helpful for both markets.

OrangeTee research director Tan Kok Keong said: “We are likely to see more launches, as well as strong sales, unless there are instances of sharp economic shocks externally.

“In terms of pricing, I do think that developers are pricing it at lower end of market expectations, so I do think that prices will continue to climb, but on a moderate level, meaning you are looking at one to two per cent price increases, going forward, in the primary market.”

With more Government Land Sales sites being taken up by developers, the supply of new private homes should meet demand. And that is a major price stabiliser for many analysts.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 28 Mar 2012

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