SINGAPORE: Prices of private residential properties in Singapore continued to climb in the third quarter of 2019, after hitting their highest levels in at least five years in the previous quarter.
The private residential property index increased 1.3 per cent to 152.8 points in the third quarter, the latest data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority showed on Friday (Oct 25).
In Q2, the index had risen 1.5 per cent to 150.8 points, reversing two consecutive quarters of decline.
In Q3, prices of landed properties went up by 1 per cent after a decrease of 0.1 per cent in the previous quarter.
Meanwhile, prices in the non-landed segment rose 1.3 per cent, compared with the 2 per cent increase in the previous quarter. Those in the Core Central Region (CCR) increased the most at 2 per cent, followed by the Rest of Central Region (RCR) at 1.3 per cent and the Outside Central Region (OCR) at 0.8 per cent.
Tricia Song, Colliers' International head of research for Singapore, said the increase in prices for non-landed properties in the CCR in the third quarter could be due to new launches and an uptick in sales for some projects, like Marina One and Martin Modern.
High price points in new launches in the RCR area contributed to the increase in prices there, she added. These include units in Avenue South Residence, One Pearl Bank, Meyer Mansion, The Antares and Uptown@Farrer.
In the third quarter, rentals of private residential properties inched up slightly, by 0.1 per cent, compared to the 1.3 per cent increase it saw in the previous quarter.
Rentals of landed properties decreased by 2.3 per cent, compared with the 0.3 per cent increase in the previous quarter. Rentals of non-landed properties saw a small increase of 0.4 per cent compared to the 1.4 per cent jump in Q2.
Among non-landed properties, there was a 0.7 per cent drop in rentals in the CCR, though rentals in RCR and OCR went up by 1.6 per cent and 0.8 per cent respectively.
Colliers said it expects rents to continue to improve in the next quarter.
"Singapore reported higher population growth of 1.2 per cent in 2019, driven by a 2 per cent growth in foreigners. This could have supported the private property rental market," Ms Song said.
LAUNCHES AND SALES
Between July and September, developers launched 3,628 uncompleted private residential units – excluding executive condominiums (ECs) – for sale, compared with 2,502 units in the previous quarter.
They sold 3,281 units, an increase from the 2,350 in the previous quarter.
Developers also launched 820 EC units and sold 426 in the third quarter, a steep increase from the previous quarter, where they did not launch any units and sold only 10.
In the resale market, there were 2,378 transactions in the third quarter, compared to the 2,371 units transacted in the previous quarter.
Resale transactions accounted for 41.3 per cent of all sale transactions between July and September, lower than the 49.7 per cent in the previous quarter.
As of the end of the third quarter, there were 50,964 uncompleted private residential homes and 3,722 ECs in the pipeline with planning approvals. Of these, 34,089 remained unsold.
Based on the expected completed dates reported by developers, 3,235 units (including ECs) will be completed by the end of the year and another 5,750 units scheduled to complete in 2020.
The growth in private home prices could be attributed to pent-up demand from increasing household wealth and income, availability of attractive launches and less punitive measures on end-buyers, Ms Song said.
She also noted that more foreigners are buying luxury properties in recent quarters, possibly attracted by the stability and safety of Singapore properties.
"Nonetheless, the pace of price increase has slowed, and coupled with a slower economic growth outlook, we do not expect the government to impose more cooling measures at this stage.
"Going by the recent launches, we expect prices to be flat or see a marginal improvement in the fourth quarter of 2019, which could bring the full year 2019 price increase to 2.5 per cent," she said.