Private property prices up 3.7% in first quarter

Prices of private residential properties increased by 3.7% in the first quarter of this year from the last quarter of 2007.

Analysts said this could be due to the price discounts offered by developers for some units in the suburban areas.

Dr Chua Yang Liang, Head of Research & Consultancy, Jones Lang LaSalle, said: “Here and there there are some anecdotal evidence of them giving some kind of rebates. But overall, I think the market is still going to hold for a little bit more. Transaction volume has come down. But naturally, looking at it from purely an economic point of view, transaction volume has declined. The next thing to move is probably the price.”

The Q1 pace was slower than the 6.8% rise in the previous quarter and the 8.3% increase in the third quarter of last year.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said prices of non-landed private residential properties rose by 3.8% on quarter in the core central region in the first quarter, slower than a 7.5% increase in the fourth quarter of 2007.

Prices of properties in the rest of the central region increased by 3.3% in the quarter, compared with a 7.7% rise in the previous three months. Outside the central region, prices moved up by 3.8%, slower than a 7% rise previously.

The URA said sales of homes yet to be built by developers dropped to 730 units for the first quarter, nearly half the 1,397 units sold in the previous quarter.

The total number of sub-sales fell to 346 in the first quarter of this year, compared to 649 sub-sales in the previous quarter.

At the end of the first three months of this year, there were 67,736 uncompleted units of private housing from projects in the pipeline. Of these, 42,685 units were still unsold.

Earlier this month, the URA estimated that prices of private homes in the first three months of this year had risen 4.2% from the fourth quarter. That estimate was based on data from the first 10 weeks of the first quarter.

Private home prices jumped 31% in 2007 for the largest increase in eight years, but growth has slowed since the final quarter of 2007, while the January-March sales volume fell to the lowest since 2003. – CNA/sf/ir

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 25 Apr 2008

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