Private residential properties see sharp fall in rentals in Q1

Private residential properties in Singapore saw a sharp fall in rentals and a slight price decline in the first quarter of 2009.

Real estate consultancy firm DTZ in its report on Tuesday said monthly rentals of luxurious homes slid 18.8 per cent to S$5.20 per square foot, a level not seen since the third quarter of 2006.

Rent of units in prime districts also saw a drop, down 16.2 per cent to S$3.65 per square foot per month.

The decline was largely due to corporate downsizing and increased supply from newly completed projects.

DTZ’s findings showed that some 10,122 private residential units were completed in 2008, about 17 per cent more than the annual average of 8,671 units recorded in the past 10 years.

Meanwhile, prices of private homes fell at a slower pace in the first quarter of 2009.

DTZ said prices of freehold private apartments in the prime districts of nine, 10 and 11 dipped by 3.7 per cent to S$1,120 per square feet, compared with the 14 per cent drop in the previous quarter.

Luxurious home prices declined 3.6 per cent after a 22 per cent plunge in the fourth quarter of 2008.

But despite the gloomy economic conditions and job losses, DTZ said response to the two new launches in February created a stir in the property market.

Overwhelming take up rate for Caspian and Alexis also prompted other developers to bring forward new launches and relaunched projects at lower prices. Units in the mid-tier and mass market segments went for under S$1,000 per square foot or about S$1 million per unit.

In all, some 1,323 private homes were sold in February, the highest since August 2007 when 1,731 units changed hands.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 31 Mar 2009

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