2018 private home prices rise 7.9%: URA
Observer says prices could have been higher if not for cooling measures
Singapore's private home prices saw their first quarterly decline since the second quarter of 2017, as the July 6 cooling measures ended a price recovery that lasted only five quarters, the shortest on record, analysts say.
Private home prices fell by 0.1 per cent quarter on quarter in the final three months of last year, sliding back from a 0.5 per cent increase in the third quarter, showed flash estimates from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) released yesterday.
For the whole of last year, prices still rose 7.9 per cent, compared with a 1.1 per cent increase in 2017.
If not for the measures, property prices could have risen by more than 10 per cent last year, said Ms Christine Li, Cushman & Wakefield senior director and head of research.
Meanwhile, prices of resale flats fell 0.9 per cent last year compared to the year before, flash estimates by the Housing Board showed. Prices fell an estimated 0.2 per cent in the fourth quarter.
While some expect the HDB resale market to continue its gradual decline barring possible changes to the usage of the Central Provident Fund for older flats, analysts pointed out that private home prices are showing signs of stabilising five months after the cooling measures.
In fact, prices have already climbed back at least to where they stood when the cooling measures were introduced, said OrangeTee's head of research and consultancy Christine Sun.
The luxury landed property segment saw prices falling by 1.8 per cent in the fourth quarter.
"Being bigger ticket items, landed home prices have taken a greater beating as demand softened," explained JLL's senior director (research & consultancy) Ong Teck Hui.
The non-landed segment managed to eke out an increase of 0.3 per cent after staying unchanged in the previous quarter. That growth was driven by the city fringes or rest of central region, and the suburbs or outside central region segments, which rose by 1.8 per cent and 0.8 per cent quarter on quarter respectively.
For the whole of 2018, prices rose 6.2 per cent in the prime or core central region.
Prices climbed 7.4 per cent in the city fringes and 9.5 per cent in the suburbs, respectively.
The city fringes also saw the most new launches in the fourth quarter, including Arena Residences, Kent Ridge Hill Residences, Parc Esta and The Woodleigh Residences.
Ms Tricia Song, head of research for Singapore, Colliers International, expects the city fringes to see fewer launches this year than last year.
Prices in the suburbs were held up by large launches that have been put on the market in the fourth quarter and earlier. These include Whistler Grand, Affinity at Serangoon, Riverfront Residences, Le Quest and The Jovell.
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