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    May 29, 2014

    Resale prices down amid property-launch price cuts

    RESALE prices fell last month as cheaper units at property launches tempted buyers to look for new homes.

    Prices overall fell 1 per cent last month from March, and followed a revised 1.4 per cent dip in March from February, according to Singapore Residential Price Index flash estimates yesterday.

    The suburban sector was the worst hit, posting a 2 per cent decline last month from March, and adding to the pain from the revised 1.1 per cent slide in March from February.

    Prices in the central region stayed flat from March till last month, while those for small units fell 0.6 per cent.

    Consultants said buyers are unlikely to offer high prices for resale properties given the discounts developers are dangling to move stocks at new launches.

    "The more attractive pricing for uncompleted units could have drawn away some demand from the secondary market, resulting in softer prices in the resale market," said Nicholas Mak, research head at property firm SLP International.

    He pointed to CapitaLand's Sky Habitat, where 130 units were sold last month at a median price of $1,377 per sq ft (psf), down 15 per cent from $1,583 psf when it was launched two years ago.

    A fresh supply of newly built homes could have placed pressure on sellers as well, he added.

    Projects such as the 196-unit Waterview in Tampines and the 473-unit Vacanza@East in Bedok were completed in the first quarter.

    "The rising supply may push some owners of completed homes to sell before prices soften further," Mr Mak said.

    R'ST Research director Ong Kah Seng noted that investors are also negotiating for lower resale prices as leasing demand has been weakening.

    "This is especially for many suburban condominiums, which have untested leasing demand...and there are many units in a typical suburban condominium development, upping leasing competition among landlords," he said.

    Mr Mak noted that the unchanged prices in the central region last month do not point to the start of a recovery in the segment, as the buying activity of prime properties is still being reined in by cooling measures.