Private resale home prices tumble 2%
A FRESH sign of the fast-slowing property market emerged yesterday, with private resale homes selling for lower prices last month.
Also, the number of non-landed private resale transactions slumped to its lowest level in more than five years.
Market watchers said the latest data reflects the anaemic wider property market, which is cooling rapidly as a result of loan curbs.
Softening prices in the public housing market also turned buyers' attention away from private homes, they added.
Prices of private resale homes fell 2 per cent last month from the preceding month, according to estimates released by the Singapore Real Estate Exchange (SRX) yesterday. This reversed a 1.9 per cent gain recorded in January.
Just 242 non-landed private resale homes were sold last month - falling 18.5 per cent from January. This was also the lowest level since December 2008 just after the global financial crisis erupted, when only 234 units were sold, SRX said.
Mr Nicholas Mak, research head at property firm SLP International, noted that falling prices of resale Housing Board flats also drew buying demand away from the private market.
Flash figures from SRX released last week showed that HDB resale prices slid 1.8 per cent.
Mr Ong Kah Seng, director of R'ST Research, said that buyers mindful of weak leasing demand, caused by tighter manpower policies, will be discerning when buying a resale property for investment now.
Prices in the city centre led the decline, dropping 3.9 per cent. Suburban home prices registered a 1.8 per cent slide.
However, city fringe units bucked the trend, with a 0.4 per cent climb in prices in the month.
Overall rental prices of non-landed private homes fell 1 per cent last month, reversing a rebound of 1.2 per cent in January.
Experts said that the rental market will continue to weaken when more completed private homes flood the market over the next two years.
Mr Mak said he expects rents this year to drop 4 to 8 per cent from last year.
THE STRAITS TIMES