Oct 29, 2012

Private home and resale HDB flat prices are still rising but at a slower pace, according to official data for Q3 2012 released by the government this morning.

Figures from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) showed that private home prices inched up 0.6 percent during the period, compared to a 0.4 percent uptick in Q2. Location-wise, non-landed property values in the Core Central Region (CCR) grew by 0.1 percent; the Rest of Central Region (RCR) moved up 0.8 percent; while the Outside Central Region (OCR) grew 1.0 percent.

However, market watchers remain optimistic about a moderation in prices. Mohamed Ismail, CEO of PropNex Realty, said: “The rise in Q3 2012 reflected a stabilisation of the market as prices were much flatter—rising only by a tame 0.9 percent for the first three quarters of 2012. Comparatively, the price index was increasing at a much sharper rate of 13.8 percent in Q3 2010, and 5.5 percent in Q3 2011.”

Ismail added that improved home buying sentiment could be attributed to a number of factors, including the strong economy, low unemployment rate, rock bottom interest rates and several quality projects going at affordable prices.

The URA noted that private property rentals grew by 0.9 percent, up from 0.3 percent previously.

Excluding executive condominiums (ECs), a total of 5,052 uncompleted homes were launched for sale in Q3 compared to the previous quarter’s 6,115 units. On the other hand, developers sold 5,916 completed and uncompleted units, up from 5,402 units in Q2.

Approximately 74 percent of developer sales came from the OCR; while shoebox homes comprised 16 percent, or 922 units of new home sales. Lower-priced homes below S$750,000 made up 18 percent or 1,049 of new units sold.

No new ECs were launched last quarter and developers only sold 391 of such units compared to 869 in Q2.

The resale segment also saw a decline as only 3,370 units were sold last quarter from 3,830 in Q2. As a result, resale transactions accounted for 34 percent of all sales in Q3, lower than the previous 39 percent. At the same time, sub-sales accounted for five percent of all deals, down from seven percent in Q2.

Meanwhile, the Housing and Development Board’s (HDB) Resale Price Index (RPI) rose to 197.9 in Q3, up 2.0 percent from 194.0 in Q2. This is in line with HDB’s flash estimates released on 1 October. For the first three quarters of this year, the RPI grew 3.9 percent, lower than the recorded 14.1 percent in 2010 and 10.7 percent last year.

“The two percent increase in the resale price index came as a bit of a surprise, in the wake of a greater oncoming supply of BTO flats since last year and the moderation of HDB resale prices in the first two quarters of this year,” said Ismail.

He noted that the growth was likely because of continued demand for public housing and the idea that “supply of BTO flats takes a few years to be ready for move-in”.

HDB also said that resale transactions fell to 6,560 deals in Q3, a six percent slide from 7,011 in the previous quarter.

On the other hand, subletting improved some four percent to 7,142 cases in Q3 from 6,891 in Q2.

In other news, the housing board has launched a new e-service that will help property hunters search for the market rentals of entire HDB flats rented out by owners in a bid to enhance transparency in the subletting market.

Info courtesy -