Prices of non-landed properties rose 1.3 per cent, a slower pace of increase compared with the 2.0 per cent rise in the previous quarter.
SINGAPORE'S benchmark private residential property price index rose 1.3 per cent in the third quarter of 2019 over the second quarter, faster than the 0.9 per cent increase shown in the flash estimate released on Oct 1, according to the latest data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Friday.
In Q2 this year, the index rose 1.5 per cent quarter on quarter. Year on year, the index is up 2.1 per cent. URA said that prices of landed properties increased by 1.0 per cent quarter on quarter in Q3 2019, after dipping 0.1 per cent in the previous quarter.
Prices of non-landed properties rose 1.3 per cent, a slower pace of increase compared with the 2.0 per cent rise in the previous quarter. Giving a breakdown by region, URA said that prices of non-landed homes in the prime areas or core central region (CCR) went up 2.0 per cent after rising 2.3 per cent in the previous quarter.
The pace of increase also slowed in the city fringe or rest of central region (RCR), where the prices of non-landed homes increased by 1.3 per cent, compared with the 3.5 per cent gain in the previous quarter.
However, in the suburbs or outside central region (OCR), prices of non-landed homes appreciated 0.8 per cent, after increasing 0.4 per cent in the previous quarter.
URA's rental index for private homes inched up 0.1 per cent, compared with the 1.3 per cent increase in the previous quarter. The vacancy rate of completed private homes (excluding executive condominiums or ECs) shrank to 6.1 per cent as at end-Q3 2019, from 6.4 per cent as at end-Q2 2019.
Rentals of landed properties retreated 2.3 per cent in Q3 2019, contrasting with the increase of 0.3 per cent in the previous quarter. Rentals of non-landed properties rose 0.4 per cent after rising 1.4 per cent in the previous quarter.
Giving a breakdown of non-landed residential rents by region, URA said that in the CCR, rents fell 0.7 per cent after rising 1.5 per cent in the previous quarter. Rentals in RCR expanded 1.6 per cent, after rising 1.4 per cent in the previous quarter. Rentals in OCR rose 0.8 per cent, after increasing 1.2 per cent in the previous quarter.
Developers launched 3,628 uncompleted private residential units (excluding executive condominium or EC units) for sale in Q3 2019 - up from 2,502 units in the previous quarter. They sold 3,281 private homes (excluding ECs) in Q3 2019 - higher than the 2,350 units sold in the previous quarter. The latest figure is also the highest since the 4,538 units sold in Q2 2013.
Developers also launched 820 EC units for sale in Q3 2019; they sold 426 EC units in the quarter. In comparison, developers did not launch any EC units and sold 10 EC units in the previous quarter. URA also provided secondary market sales figures for private homes, excluding ECs. It said that 2,378 units were sold through the resale market in Q3 2019, slightly ahead of the 2,371 units transacted in the previous quarter.
There were 104 subsale transactions in Q3 2019, more than twice the 45 units in the previous quarter. As at the end of Q3 2019, there was a total supply of 50,964 uncompleted private housing units (excluding ECs) in the pipeline with planning approvals, slightly more than the 50,674 units as at end-Q2 2019.
Out of these figures, 31,948 units remained unsold as at end-Q3 2019, lower than the 33,673 units as at the end of the previous quarter. After adding the supply of 3,722 EC units in the pipeline, there were 54,686 units in the pipeline with planning approvals. Of the EC units in the pipeline, 2,141 units remained unsold.
In total, 34,089 units with planning approvals (including EC units) remained unsold, down from 35,538 units in the previous quarter.
PropNex Realty chief executive, Ismail Gafoor, commented: “The consistent performance of the new sales segment has provided the added boost for the private residential property market. This has been achieved due to an increase in the number of new project launches in the first nine months, with rightly-priced projects garnering the interest of owner-occupiers and investors."
Christine Sun, head of research and consultancy at OrangeTee & Tie, said: "With more than 7,000 new private homes being sold in the first three quarters of this year, the full-year figure is likely to fall within our earlier projection of between 9,000 and 10,000 units."
"While prices have continued to rise for a second consecutive quarter, the slowing economic growth and rising supply of new homes may continue to keep a lid on any drastic price hikes," she added.
Giving his take on the market, Wong Xian Yang, senior manager for research at Cushman & Wakefield, said: "Demand is diluted across multiple launches and competition for buyers remains keen; buyers can cherry-pick across multiple launches all over the island. Developers have to be strategic about pricing... Nonetheless, we are unlikely to see any fire sales in the market soon as most developers still have healthy balance sheets."
Adapted From The Straits Times, Oct 27 2019