Private residential property prices down 3.7% in 2015: URA

Private residential property prices fell 3.7 per cent for the whole of 2015, extending a 4 per cent decline in 2014, according to Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) flash estimates released on Monday (Jan 4).

Prices fell 0.5 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2015, following a 1.3 per cent drop in the previous quarter, based on the private residential property index, which declined 0.7 points to 141.6 points in the fourth quarter.

Prices of non-landed private residential properties declined by 0.4 per cent in the Core Central Region (CCR), compared with the 1.2 per cent decline in the previous quarter. Prices in the Rest of Central Region (RCR) and Outside Central Region (OCR) remained unchanged, compared with the 1.6 per cent decline in each segment in the previous quarter.

For the whole of 2015, prices in CCR, RCR and OCR have fallen by 2.6 per cent, 3.9 per cent and 3.7 per cent, respectively. Prices of landed properties fell 2.1 per cent, compared to the 0.4 per cent decline in the previous quarter. For the whole of 2015, prices of landed properties fell by 4.4 per cent.

The flash estimates are compiled based on transaction prices given in contracts submitted for stamp duty payment and survey data on new units sold by developers during the first 10 weeks of the quarter. The statistics will be updated four weeks later when URA releases the full real estate statistics for the fourth quarter of 2015, which captures more data from the stamp duty records and the take-up of new projects.

“Past data have shown that the difference between the quarterly price changes indicated by the flash estimate and the actual price changes could be significant when the change is small. The public is advised to interpret the flash estimates with caution,” the URA added.

Analysts have said the movements were likely quarterly fluctuations and that private property prices will continue to face pressure from interest rates normalisation and more new developments expected to be completed this year.

Said one, Mr Wong Xian Yang, who is a research and consultancy manager at OrangeTee: “Interest rates are poised to rise and rents are expected to come down. Many landlords will be in a disadvantageous position and they will be forced to sell. When all this selling takes place, it will put further pressure on overall prices, especially when cooling measures are going to remain unchanged for now.”

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 4 Jan 2016

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