Resale suburban condo prices rise

Resale suburban condo prices rise

Average resale prices for suburban condominiums exceeded $1,000 psf last month, the first time they have passed what for many buyers is a daunting level.

Prices rose 5.1 per cent to a record $1,046 psf in February compared with January, said the Singapore Real Estate Exchange (SRX) yesterday.

Average condo resale prices in the city fringe were also up last month, adding 3.1 per cent from January to a record $1,272 psf.

OrangeTee research and consultancy head Christine Li said prices in these areas probably rose because buyers were going for smaller homes with lower total quantums, likely in response to lower borrowing limits and higher cash down payments imposed in January's cooling measures.

"As small units typically have higher per square foot prices than larger units, we expect resale prices in psf compiled by SRX to go up in the coming months," she added.

In contrast, average resale prices in the city centre declined 4.7 per cent month-on-month to $1,788 psf in February.

R'ST Research director Ong Kah Seng said the dip reflected significant unsold new homes and weaker leasing demand due to firms cutting expatriate allowances amid global economic uncertainty.

The SRX also reported that the Chinese New Year break resulted in February resales dropping by more than half from January.

Only 325 resales were carried out last month, according to flash figures, but that was still higher than the 309 transactions reported in January last year, the month in which Chinese New Year fell.

The continued growth in property values combined with softer rents also squeezed rental yields.

Yields dipped 0.2 per cent in the city fringe and suburban regions last month from January, although they inched up 0.1 per cent in the city centre.

Rents fell islandwide, with the sharpest decline in the city fringe, down 1.9 per cent in February from January.

Suburban home rents fell 1.6 per cent and city centre rents decreased 0.4 per cent.

However, rents for shoebox units - flats up to 500 sq feet - went the other way, rising 1.8 per cent in psf terms overall.

Shoebox apartments rented for $6.17 psf per month on average in suburban areas last month, twice the $3.07 psf for larger units in the same region, according to SRX flash figures.

That was almost as high as city-fringe shoebox rentals, which were $6.34 psf per month on average. Their larger counterparts had monthly average rentals of $3.80 psf.

Rentals for city centre shoebox units were $7.40 psf per month on average, 63 per cent higher than the $4.54 psf for larger units in that area.

melissat@sph.com.sg

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