Home»News»Private home prices post full-year increase for first time in 4 years _Today 02.01.2018
Private home prices post full-year increase for first time in 4 years _Today 02.01.2018
Private home prices post full-year increase for first time in 4 years
SINGAPORE — Singapore’s private home prices in 2017 posted the first annual increase in four years, as the property market recovery picks up pace.
Flash estimates released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Tuesday (Jan 2) showed that private home prices rose 0.7 per cent in the fourth quarter, and edged up 1 per cent for the whole of last year.
Prices had fallen 3.1 per cent in 2016, and latest data marked the first annual rise in private home prices since 2013, when prices increased 1.1 per cent.
Singapore’s private home prices had recorded their first quarterly rise in four years in the third quarter. Private residential property prices declined for 15 straight quarters from the fourth quarter of 2013 to the second quarter of 2017, the longest stretch of consecutive declines shown by URA data, which goes back to 1975.
Property analysts had earlier told TODAY that the property market recovery will be in full swing this year. The predicted market rebound will take place against a background of improved economic showing and jobs market for Singapore. On Sunday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said the Republic’s economy grew 3.5 per cent in 2017, more than double the initial forecast.
On the latest URA data, analysts said the upswing was driven by several factors including a pent-up demand for private homes, and the partial easing of property cooling measures in March last year.
The shortening of the holding period and lowering of rates for the Seller’s Stamp Duty (SSD) was “perceived as a positive signal that the market has bottomed out”, said Dr Lee Nai Jia, head of research at Edmund Tie & Company.
Dr Lee said the competitive land bids for government land sales sites and en bloc sales were also a factor. “While the land bids were high, they reflected the value of good sites that are rarely available on the market. Notwithstanding, the market perceived it as another positive signal that the market is turning. Towards the end of (2017), the stronger economic results and outlook further strengthened sentiments,” he added.
Analysts expect property prices in general to increase by up to 10 per cent this year, with those in selected areas such as estates near upcoming MRT stations on the Thomson East Coast Line going up by as much as 15 per cent.
Dr Lee projects prices to increase by 4 to 8 per cent, barring any external shocks. “Demand from collective sale owners will trigger a chain-effect, and will help support the improvement in prices. Notwithstanding, the caution of over-exuberance by the government may tamper the increase in price,” he said.
In November last year, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) urged developers, potential buyers and banks to “proceed cautiously”, with MAS deputy managing director Ong Chong Tee warning of the impact of rising interest rates, geopolitical developments, and excessive exuberance in the property market.