Private residential prices up 6.6% in fourth quarter

Private residential property prices rose by a slower pace in the fourth quarter – up 6.6 per cent compared with the previous three months.

Meanwhile resale prices for public housing or Housing and Development Board flats grew by 5.6 per cent in the fourth quarter.

That’s also at a slower pace, down from 6.6 per cent in the previous quarter.

Analysts believed this was due to the uncertainty over the economic outlook and the government’s measures to cool the property market.

Prices of private residential properties continued to climb in the final quarter of last year, but at a slower rate and analysts said this was not totally unexpected.

Nicholas Mak, Director of Knight Frank, said: “The figures are quite in line with our expectations – we expect prices to continue to expand but at a slower pace – this is because 2007, the private home prices (rose) at a very fast rate and we think that this is not sustainable.”

He added: “Going forward 2008 and 2009 we expect (that it) will continue to expand but at a slower and more sustainable growth.”

Prices rose by about 7 per cent across the board, but it is those outside the core central region that’s taking the lead, with a 7.5 per cent climb.

This includes areas such as Bukit Batok and East Coast.

The core central region saw seven per cent growth, rest of central region was 7.3 per cent, and outside Core Central Region 7.5 per cent.

Analysts said this trend of rising prices in outlying areas is likely to continue into 2008.

Donald Han, Managing Director of Cushman and Wakefield, said: “Well I think if you look at the statistics itself, most of the price increase that we have been seeing is from outside of the central region as well as the fringe area which dominated in the price increase over the last six to 12 months.”

He added: “On top of that I think we are also seeing some re-investment money coming from those who are affected by the collective en bloc – looking into downsizing – looking at outlying areas in terms of affordability.”

Private residential home prices rose by 31 per cent in 2007.

Meanwhile, HDB resale prices grew by 5.6 per cent in the fourth quarter, taking the total climb for the year to 17.4 per cent. -CNA/vm

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 2 Jan 2008