SINGAPORE: Private home prices in Singapore rose by 2.9 per cent in the first quarter of 2021, according to official flash estimates released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Thursday (Apr 1).
The Q1 private residential property index increased to 161.6 points, up 4.6 points from the previous quarter.
"This is probably due to ample liquidity chasing after limited supply in the market," said Huttons Asia research director Lee Sze Teck.
He pointed out that some new developments, such as Normanton Park and The Reef at King's Dock, saw "superb" sale results on their first day of launch, and noted that resale transactions also rose in January and February.
The increase was driven by prices in the Rest of Central Region (RCR), which rose by 6.1 per cent over a 4.4 per cent increase in the last quarter of 2020.
In contrast, prices in the Core Central Region (CCR) fell 0.3 per cent, compared to a 3.2 per cent increase in the previous quarter.
Prices in the Outside Central Region (OCR) edged up 0.9 per cent, compared to a 1.8 per cent increase last quarter.
Prices of landed homes rose by 5.6 per cent, reversing a 1.6 per cent decrease in the previous quarter, while that of non-landed homes rose by 2.1 per cent, slowing slightly from 3 per cent last quarter.
Rising private home prices in Singapore are in tandem with the uptrend observed globally, said OrangeTee & Tie senior vice president of research and analytics Christine Sun.
"Pent-up demand bolstered by massive fiscal stimulus and still-low mortgage rates is propping up home prices worldwide," she said.
Low interest rates may help to mitigate the impact of price increases, while an expected strong rebound in Singapore's economy will help to lift buyer sentiment, she added.
Chances of the Government introducing cooling measures to keep prices in check have been raised "a notch", said Mr Lee of Huttons Asia.
However, first-time home buyers are likely to be unaffected as past measures have targeted investors and foreign buyers, he said.
Additional buyer's stamp duty and a tightening of the total debt servicing ratio for investors and foreign buyers are possible cooling measures, he added.
The flash estimates are compiled based on transactions data up to mid-March.
The URA will release the full set of Q1 statistics on Apr 23.