Private home resale prices down for 2nd month

PHOTO: Private home resale prices down for 2nd month

Resale prices of private homes fell again last month after declines in August, underlining the view that the market is weakening.

Overall prices dipped 0.7 per cent in September from August, according to the Singapore Residential Price Index on Monday.

This followed a revised 0.4 per cent dip in August from July, a stark turnaround from the flash estimate, which had tipped a rise of 0.1 per cent.

The trend "could point towards a turning point in the price trend of private residential properties," said SLP International research head Nicholas Mak.

The last time overall resale prices fell for two consecutive months was in May and June this year but those were smaller dips of 0.2 per cent and 0.1 per cent respectively.

Overall resale prices have fallen 0.7 per cent from June 30 to Sept 30.

It is not just prices that are feeling the chill from buyers. The number of private home resales recorded in the third quarter - 1,478 units - was 57 per cent lower than in the corresponding period last year, the Singapore Real Estate Exchange said earlier this month.

Consultants said private home buyers were likely lured away from older completed units to new projects where some developers cut prices last month.

This trend could continue this quarter if developers continue to lower new-launch prices to move units, they added.

Popular new launches last month included CapitaLand's Sky Vue in Bishan, which sold for a median price of $1,401 per sq ft (psf), and UOL's Thomson Three at Bright Hill Drive, where units were on sale for a median $1,362 psf.

Besides offering newer designs, developer sales allow payment to be made in instalments and do not require immediate financing, unlike resale deals, said R'ST Research director Ong Kah Seng.

Last month's price declines hit the central region hardest due to a large supply of unsold units and dampened investor demand on the back of a softening rental market, Mr Ong said.

Private home resale prices there tumbled 1.7 per cent in September from August to follow a revised 0.8 per cent decline from July.

But resale prices in the suburbs eked out a marginal 0.1 per cent rise from August to September after dipping 0.1 per cent from July to August.

The price-index figures for the central and suburban regions exclude shoebox units.

Shoebox unit resale prices sank 1.9 per cent last month from August, reversing a 0.7 per cent increase from July to August.

The index is compiled every month by the National University of Singapore, which monitors a basket of completed non-landed projects excluding executive condominiums.

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