S’pore resale property market continues to slow

Singapore’s resale property market continues to slow as buyers remained on the sidelines after the government’s latest round of property cooling measures.

Flash figures from the Singapore Real Estate Exchange (SRX) revealed that transaction volumes in both private and HDB resale markets fell last month.

Prices stayed fairly resilient as the overall median price of resale HDB flats inched up, while prices of resale private homes declined marginally in April compared to March

Meanwhile, analysts say a continued drop in HDB cash-over-valuation (COV) and slowing volumes are indicative of an imminent correction in HDB prices.

COV for HDB flats fell for the third consecutive month in April, according to SRX.

At S$30,000, April’s COV is at its lowest value since September 2012.

Still, overall median resale price of HDB flats inched up 1.1 per cent to reach S$465,000 in April.

Resale volumes of HDB flats remained stable, with 1,271 units sold.

Year on year, transaction volumes slumped 36 per cent. There were 2,000 HDB resale flats transacted in April 2012.

Earlier this year, the government lowered the mortgage servicing ratio (MSR), from 50 per cent to 30 per cent.

Mohammad Ismail, CEO at PropNex, said: “On average, banks would give 50 per cent of someone’s income to finance the monthly instalment but that has been reduced to 30 per cent and that’s a drastic drop…and that causes a lot of people to think twice. It is very glaring that the public housing is heading for a correction in price. In another word, the heyday of double-digit growth is over. For that matter, even last year’s 6-over percent growth is not likely to be repeated. Moving forward, public housing will probably experience low growth of probably 3 to 4 per cent.

“The first quarter recorded the lowest volume of transactions in 15 years. We only recorded about 4,300 transactions whereas last year the average was in the tune of 6,500.”

Meanwhile, resale transaction volumes for non-landed private homes in April slowed to 572 units, compared to the 614 units sold in March.

Year on year, this represented a more than 50 per cent drop. There were 1,240 non-landed resale units in April 2012.

Donald Han, CEO of HSR Property Group, said: “This is directly impacted because of government measures on January 11. Investors who have properties are more reluctant to release these properties into the marketplace and because of that there has been a lack of supply for secondary markets that are available for transaction.

“A lot of investors are holding back the selling of secondary market property because if they sell it, it would be harder for them to buy back again because they would be imposed 10 per cent ABSD for the second property.”

Month on month, prices of resale private homes dipped 0.4 per cent in April.

Resale prices of suburban private homes climbed 1.0 per cent to end at S$1,022 per square foot. But this was more than offset by declines in the city area and city fringes.

Both CCR (core central region) and RCR (rest of central region) saw equivalent price drops of 1.9 per cent over the previous month to reach an average per square foot of S$1,772 and S$1,267 respectively.

This is the fourth consecutive monthly drop for CCR since its price peaked in December 2012.

Analysts say this is due to falling demand from foreign investors and permanent residents – who typically buy property in the core central region – as they have been affected by the additional buyer’s stamp duty, where they are charged between a 7 and 15 per cent tax.

Analysts say the resale private property market is likely to remain quiet as buyers continue to turn to new sales.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 10 May 2013

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