Private home prices and the HDB resale transactions edge lower in Q1 2019.
Private home prices in Singapore fell 0.7 percent in the first quarter of 2019, notably larger than the 0.1 percent decrease registered during the previous quarter, showed the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) data on Friday (26 April).
It is also a notch higher than the 0.6 percent drop estimated by URA earlier in the month.
Prices of landed properties, on the other hand, climbed 1.1 percent in Q1 2019, a reversal from the two percent drop registered in the previous quarter. Non-landed property prices decreased 1.1 percent, compared with the 0.5 percent increase in Q4 2018.
The Core Central Region (CCR) and the Rest of Central Region (RCR) saw non-landed property prices decline three percent and 0.7 percent, respectively. Prices in the Outside Central Region (OCR), on the other hand, rose 0.2 percent.
Rents of private homes increased one percent in Q1 2019, after dropping one percent previously.
The URA data also revealed that developers launched 2,989 uncompleted private housing units, excluding executive condominiums (ECs), in Q1 2019, up from the 1,657 units in Q4 2018.
As at end-Q1 2019, the total supply of uncompleted private residential units (excluding ECs) in the pipeline with planning approvals stood at 53,284, compared with the 51,498 units in the previous quarter. Of this, 36,839 units remained unsold, up from 34,824 units previously.
Meanwhile, HDB resale prices dropped at a marginally faster pace at 0.3 percent – in line with earlier estimates – in Q1 2019.
“Although prices have dipped for a third consecutive quarter, the cumulative decrease over the last nine months is 0.5 percent (index 131.7 in Q2 2018 versus 131.0 in Q1 2019), lower than the 0.8 percent decline that was recorded in Q1 2018 alone,” noted Christine Sun, head of research and consultancy at OrangeTee and Tie.
“This may indicate that HDB resale prices have largely stabilised and buying sentiment has remained resilient,” said Sun. The Housing Board also revealed that resale deals fell 14.2 percent from 5,637 cases in Q4 2018 to 4,835 cases in Q1 2019.
Despite the drop in transactions, Sun expects the number of flats sold at a higher price quantum to increase “as around 3,500 flats built under the Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) and almost 4,000 flats in mature estates like Bukit Merah, Queenstown and Ang Mo Kio will be reaching their five-year Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) this year”.
She believes the higher price tags will have an uplifting effect on the overall price index.
“Further, upcoming policy changes in May which may allow buyers to use more Central Provident Fund for older flat purchases may also increase the attractiveness and spur demand for some older flats,” said Sun.
“However, the positive impact may be countered by more flats being placed on the resale market this year, which may exert some downward pressure on prices of some flats. The net effect could result in further price stabilisation, where the overall price index may flatline this year.”
HDB announced that it will offer around 3,400 Build-To-Order (BTO) flats in Kallang Whampoa, Tengah and Woodlands next month. It will also hold a concurrent Sale of Balance Flats exercise.
Fiona Ho, Digital Content Manager at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact her about this or other stories, email email@example.com