Private property prices expected to stay fairly flat

A couple months after the introduction of property cooling measures, property experts feel that Singapore private home prices are likely to be fairly flat until the end of the year.

Mr Mohamed Ismail, chief executive PropNex, expects the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s price index to reach a plateau in the current fourth quarter, with another 2 per cent growth at most.

Reason given is because buyers are not coming in big numbers as they were becoming more price-sensitive.

He said August’s market cooling measures had weakened demand for mass market homes.

Buyers are also carefully considering purchases given the restrictions on dual ownership, said director of research and advisory at Colliers International, Ms Tay Huey Ying.

‘Buyers are really standing on the sidelines and watching,’ Ms Tay said.

Colliers expects the price index to increase by 2 per cent, at most, in the current quarter.

The experts have differing views on the outlook for the mass market segment.

Mr Ismail expects prices of these homes to fall 5 to 10 per cent in the first half of next year as developers respond to price-sensitive buyers.

Mr Ong Kah Seng, senior manager for Asia-Pacific research at Cushman & Wakefield, however believes that prices are likely to remain flat.

‘Buying interest will improve,’ said Mr Ong, as buyers adjust to the measures by next year. However, better sentiment laced with some caution is likely to keep prices muted, he said.

Experts agree though that prices of high-end condominiums and landed properties will continue to rise, although at a slower pace.

They expect high-end residential prices to rise 2 to 3 per cent per quarter in the first half of next year.

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