Property sales and rentals down in Q1 2009

Property prices across the board were down in the first quarter of 2009.

Official figures released Friday showed that in the private property market, residential, office, shop and industrial properties decreased fetched lower prices both in terms of sales and rentals.

As for HDB’s Resale Price Index (RPI) for public housing, it showed a fall by 0.8% in 1st Quarter 2009 over the previous quarter. This comes after an increase of 1.4% in 4th Quarter 2008.

There was an increase in resale transactions from 6,186 cases in 4th Quarter 2008 to about 6,446 cases in 1st Quarter 2009, but this increase is slightly lower at 1.4% compared to 1st Quarter 2008.

The HDB data also revealed that the median Cash-Over-Valuation (COV) amount for all resale transactions has been declining since 1st Quarter 2008.

In 1st Quarter 2009, it fell to $4,000, which is $11,000 lower than that in 4th Quarter 2008.

As for the rental of government flats by owners, the numbers in the 1st Quarter remained the same as previous quarter for the smaller flats, but fell by $100 to $200 for 4-room and larger units.

The number of subletting transactions also fell by 4.3% from 3,685 cases in 4th Quarter 2008 to 3,525 cases in 1st Quarter 2009, even though the total number of flats approved for subletting rose to about 22,800 units as at 1st Quarter 2009.

In the private property sector, overall prices for residential units fell by 14.1% in 1st Quarter 2009, compared with the decline of 6.1% in the previous quarter.

Prices of non-landed properties fell by 15.1% in 1st Quarter 2009, compared with the decline of 6.3% in the previous quarter, with apartment prices falling by 15.9%, while those of condominiums fell by 14.7%.

Hardest hit was those in the Core Central Region(CCR) where the drop was by 16.2% while the Rest of Central Region(RCR) and Outside Central Region (OCR) fell by 17.0% and 7.3% respectively.

Rentals of non-landed properties in CCR, RCR and OCR also fell but not as sharply by 10.3%, 7.2% and 6.5% respectively in 1st Quarter 2009.

The drop was not as steep for landed property sales which fell by 9.2% in 1st Quarter 2009, compared with the decrease of 4.8% in the previous quarter.

Overall, the rental market for private properties fetched prices that were 8.5% in 1st Quarter 2009, compared with the decrease of 5.3% in the previous quarter.

The URA also reported in its latest release that as at the end of the 1st Quarter 2009, there was a total supply of 64,152 uncompleted units of private housing from projects in the pipeline.

Of these, 42,045 units remain unsold.

As for the 64,152 uncompleted units, 27,423 units were expected to be completed between 2nd quarter 2009 and 2011, and most are already under construction6.

The URA also said that developers have obtained planning approvals for for projects totaling some 4,000 units, but have yet to commence construction.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 24 Apr 2009

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