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Private property prices down 3.7% in 2015: URA

Prices fell 0.5 per cent in the fourth quarter, compared with the 1.3 per cent decline in the previous quarter.

SINGAPORE: Prices of private homes fell 3.7 per cent for the whole of 2015, easing from a 4 per cent decline in 2014, according to data released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Friday (Jan 22).

Prices fell 0.5 per cent in the fourth quarter, compared with the 1.3 per cent decline in the previous quarter.

For the whole of 2015, prices of non-landed properties in the Core Central Region (CCR), Rest of Central Region (RCR) and Outside Central Region (OCR) fell by 2.5 per cent, 4.3 per cent and 3.7 per cent, respectively. Prices of landed properties declined by 4.1 per cent, URA said.

Rentals of private residential properties fell by 4.6 per cent for the year, URA added. Rentals of non-landed properties in CCR, RCR and OCR declined by 3.8 per cent, 4.9 per cent and 5.6 per cent, respectively. Rentals of landed properties declined by 4.5 per cent.

Looking ahead, property consultants said uncertainty in the macroeconomic environment is expected to weigh on demand.

"The picture is one of risk on the horizon. So I would imagine on the demand side, buyers would be cautious. If they're looking for housing for their own occupation purposes, it becomes less important to them. But if they're investors, I think they would probably not want to go in at a time where they expect further downside.” Said Knight Frank’s executive director and head of Residential Services Tay Kah Poh.

“URA numbers show future supply is going to drop, they've been pulling back land sales, releasing fewer sites, developers also more cautious about what they sell, how quickly they do so. But on the whole, there's still a lot of unsold stock and I think most buyers, they do have choices out there. So I think you put the two together, it means there isn't a whole lot of positivity about where the market is heading. So Q1 2016, we'll see resumption of service where prices could dip further."

For the year ahead, property consultants said they expect the HDB resale market to stabilise sooner, with a price drop of about 1.5 to 3.5 per cent. In comparison, private home prices are expected to continue to fall at around 4 per cent in 2016, similar to last year.

"That would take the drop (of private residential property prices) from the point of time the TDSR measures were introduced in mid-2013 to about 12 to 13 per cent. So I think that would be healthy,” said Mr Tay. “It's painful for home owners and developers. But I think from the macro perspective it would help to normalise prices which has escalated a great deal because of the liquidity that has flown into financial and capital markets around the world.”