Propnex says home buyers may snag good deals if they want to upgrade

For those with an eye on property, it’s a buyers market now, and home hunters who’ve done their homework may be able to snag some good deals, especially for those looking to upgrade.

This, according to real estate agency Propnex’s CEO, Mohamed Ismail, who held a talk for alumni members at the National University of Singapore.

Prices of HDB flats jumped 17 per cent in 2007 and it is set to continue its climb in 2008, though at a more modest pace.

Industry players also expect robust demand with HDB ramping up its building programme.

But the private residential space is seeing prices moderate.

So, some property agents said it’s an appropriate time to upgrade if home owners can afford it.

Mr Mohamed Ismail said: “If someone wants to buy a mass market property or upgrade to a landed property, I think this is the best time for the HDB owners.

“It makes sense for them to sell their public housing when the market is positive and go look for a bargain buy to upgrade themselves when the market shifts and starts to move.

“A 10 per cent increase in the private property would mean that a million dollar property would cost 1.1 million. While at the same time, a 10 per cent increase of a HDB property that is worth S$400,000 is going to grow by 40,000. The net result – you are going to lose out.”

Agents said the private mass market segment will continue to do well this year, with prices creeping up slowly.

“Look at today’s public housing pricing, and the DBSS (design Built and Sell Scheme) pricing per square foot. They are already going at almost S$600 if one would want to buy at a mass market price that is less than S$800 with full facilities,” the Propnex CEO continued.

In the high-end space, prices are expected to fall by between five and ten per cent from six months ago.

But prices of landed homes may be steady.

Property agents expect the dust kicked up by the US sub-prime crisis and the rising oil prices to settle by 2009.

They are also confident that the future is still bright for the property market. That’s because Singapore has the right fundamentals in place.

These include a tight labour market, stable economy and a series of high-profile international events lined-up such as the Formula One Grand Prix in September, and the Youth Olympics in 2010.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 20 Mar 2008

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