A LOOK back at private home prices this year reveals a market that is mostly higher but with notable falls in some areas.
Just how prices fared depends very much on where you live, underscoring the varied nature of the local real estate market.
District 13 - MacPherson, Potong Pasir and Braddell - and District 21 - Upper Bukit Timah, Clementi Park and Ulu Pandan - were red-hot.
But others areas, closer to the city, were decidedly cool.
Average resale prices for non-landed homes in District 13 topped the table this year - surging 25 per cent to $1,270 per sq ft (psf) in the three months to December from that a year earlier, data from the Singapore Real Estate Exchange (SRX) found.
District 21 came a close second, with a 24 per cent hike in average resale prices to $1,197 psf from $967 psf before.
But the city centre and city fringe areas seem to have performed the worst, with the three districts that experienced lower prices in those areas.
District 7, covering the Middle Road, Golden Mile and Bugis and Rochor areas, saw the largest dip of 4 per cent. Prices fell to $1,333 psf in the fourth quarter.
Private home prices in District 4, which includes Sentosa, Telok Blangah and HarbourFront, fell 3 per cent to $1,780 psf, while prices for prime District 10, which includes the Bukit Timah, Holland Road and Tanglin areas, eased 0.4 per cent to $1,752 psf.
All in all, however, prices in most districts posted gains.
Fourteen of the 26 districts with sufficient transactions to be analysed by SRX enjoyed growth of up to 10 per cent over the year. Another seven saw prices rise by 10 per cent to 20 per cent, while the two sizzling districts lodged increases of more than 20 per cent.
Experts say that some districts have enjoyed sharp price gains as buyers see value in these estates due to upcoming amenities and rejuvenation projects.
New launches in some of these areas that have attracted keen buyer interest and set new price benchmarks have also pulled up resale prices, they add.
R'ST Research director Ong Kah Seng said that strong buyer interest in District 13 is due to its central locality.
"(Some) freehold developments there are still attractively priced at about $1,100 to $1,200 psf. Such pricing is similar to, or at most slightly higher than that of developer sales in the north-eastern estates like Hougang or Sengkang," he noted.
The upcoming completion of the MRT Downtown Line 2 in District 21 and successful new launches in the Hillview area, such as Far East Organization's The Hillier, have also added buzz to the Upper Bukit Timah area, Mr Ong added.
For instance, home buyers bought 75 units at The Cascadia at a median price of $1,650 psf this year, while another 53 units were moved at Signature Park at $980 psf. Both are in District 21.
Ms Chua Chor Hoon, DTZ's head of Asia-Pacific research, agreed that new launches in some of the top five districts could also be a factor in higher resale prices.
For example, Eight Riversuites in District 12, which covers areas like Balestier, Novena and Toa Payoh, was launched at an average price of between $1,300 and $1,400 psf. This saw resale prices at older developments such as St Francis Lodge and Euro-Asia Apartments climbing.
But the prime and mid-prime areas saw more subdued interest with the general economic uncertainty, the additional buyer's stamp duty and weaker leasing interest weighing on prices.
The falls are, however, marginal, with the largest fall a 4 per cent dip in District 7.
"There are many attractive launches overseas, especially in global cities like London, Melbourne and New York, siphoning buyers' interest for high-end properties from Singapore," R'ST's Mr Ong added.
He said that the "fairly old" District 7 might have suffered the largest drop in home prices as there are no upcoming new infrastructure projects or visible rejuvenation plans there to offer potential capital gains to excite buyers.
DTZ's Ms Chua pointed out that the luxury market has suffered falling prices this year. This explains why District 10 has also shown a slight decline.