SINGAPORE: Private property prices in Singapore rose 2.1 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2020 from the previous quarter, according to flash estimates by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Monday (Jan 4).
This compares with a 0.8 per cent increase in the previous quarter, said URA.
For the whole of 2020, private home prices rose by 2.2 per cent, compared with the 2.7 per cent increase in 2019.
Ms Christine Sun, head of research and consultancy at OrangeTee & Tie, said that the fourth-quarter increase was the steepest quarterly increase since the second quarter of 2018, when prices rose 3.4 per cent quarter-on-quarter.
Prices were driven by the Rest of Central Region, which rose 4.8 per cent in the fourth quarter, followed by the Core Central Region, where prices increased by 3.3 per cent. Prices in Outside Central Region increased 1.7 per cent in the quarter.
For the whole of 2020, prices in the Core Central Region fell by 0.2 per cent while prices in the Rest of Central Region and Outside Central Region rose by 5.1 per cent and 3.1 per cent respectively.
"There were a number of new projects launched in the fourth quarter of this year that could have driven prices higher in these regions," said Ms Sun.
"Prices have also increased at many launched projects," she said.
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Investors around the world are gearing up for a steadier recovery in 2021 and that the development and efficacy of the vaccines could be a "game-changer" that may bring the COVID-19 pandemic under control, said Ms Sun.
"Singapore’s housing market will continue to be boosted by ample liquidity still circulating in the financial system. Buyer sentiment may pick up further on the growing vaccine optimism and Phase 3 reopening," she added.
Property analyst Ong Kah Seng said with the start of Phase 3, it could make property buying sentiments more "upbeat" in 2021.
"Phase 3 could reflect potential economic stablisation and opportunities for longer term property price appreciation," said Mr Ong.
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A number of "blockbuster launches" could be released in the luxury and city fringe areas, which may uplift the overall price index, said Ms Sun.
"Overall private home prices may rise by 1 to 4 per cent while prices of new homes may grow at a faster pace of between 2 and 5 per cent in 2021."
There has also been renewed interest in resale properties over the past few months, she added.
"Luxury homes and big resale units have been in demand, while attractively priced private resale homes in the mass market and city fringe areas have been snapped up.
"We anticipate demand for resale homes to pick up further this year while resale prices may increase around 1 to 4 per cent for the full year," said Ms Sun.