Singapore home prices fall for a second quarter
SINGAPORE'S first-quarter home prices slid for a second consecutive quarter as tighter mortgage rules cooled demand.
The private residential property index fell 1.3 per cent to 211.6 points in the three months ended March 31, following a 0.9 per cent decline in the previous quarter, according to flash estimates released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) yesterday.
Prices of homes in the city-fringe areas experienced the sharpest fall of 2.8 per cent, after rising 0.4 per cent in the fourth quarter of last year.
Those in the suburbs slid 0.3 per cent, compared with a 1 per cent decline in the previous quarter, according to the data.
The latest price drop "will set the tone for 2014", said Mr Donald Han, managing director of Chesterton Singapore.
"Prices in prime areas could fall more than in suburban areas as prime districts are primarily resale apartments... the suburbs have new projects where prices can be controlled by developers."
Prices of Housing Board resale flats also fell 1.5 per cent in the first quarter, matching the preceding quarter's 1.5 per cent fall.
HDB said it will be offering about 3,060 BTO flats in Bukit Batok and Woodlands next month.
An additional 3,000 flats will be offered in a concurrent Sale of Balance Flats exercise.
Mr Mohamed Ismail, CEO of PropNex Realty, said: "The potent combination of the measures has been effective at slowing down the growth of HDB resale prices.
"I am not surprised that the downward trend (is expected) to continue, with prices dropping by between 6 and 8 per cent in 2014 and beyond."
Sales of new private homes could drop to between 11,000 and 13,000 units this year, from 14,948 last year, according to Mr Nicholas Mak, executive director and head of research at SLP International Property Consultants.
THE BUSINESS TIMES, BLOOMBERG