Owner-Occupiers Increasingly Turning to the Resale Market

Resale prices of private apartments slipped again last month, according to flash estimates by SRX Property out yesterday.

“This illustrates the current state of the private residential property market in Singapore, which is still suffering from weak demand and market sentiments that are chiefly caused by the Government (cooling measures),” he added. Of these measures, the mortgage servicing ratio is applicable to executive condo such as The Terrace EC and Brownstone EC.

It noted that values were down 0.6 per cent last month from September and also revised September’s price change from a 0.1 per cent fall to a 0.3 per cent decrease.

Experts attributed this faster rate of decline to monthly fluctuations.

executive condo and land site pic 1

Resale prices overall have fallen just 2.6 per cent compared with October last year, an indication that sellers are not under immense pressure to take any offer, said Mr Eugene Lim, ERA Realty key executive officer.

But Mr Nicholas Mak, SLP International executive director, noted that while the resale price indexes have edged up and down over the past 12 months, none of the increases has lasted beyond two straight months.

Overall resale non-landed prices have fallen about 7.6 per cent from January last year, SRX Property data shows, with far steeper declines when compared with 2013, when values were at their recent highs.

Those in the core central region are down 10.6 per cent from October 2013, while suburban resale prices are down 9.3 per cent from June 2013.

City-fringe resale prices have fared better, falling 5 per cent from August 2013.

This relative strength could be because city-fringe properties are in demand from both investors and owner-occupiers, said Mr Mak. Few new launches in the region have also encouraged people to buy resale.

But the city fringe is still only performing marginally better than other areas while the number of resale transactions is still lower than the period before the Total Debt Servicing Ratio came in, he added, noting: “In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.”

There were an estimated 505 private non-landed resale transactions last month, up 9.8 per cent from September and similar to the same month last year.

Owner-occupiers are increasingly turning to the resale market due to lower prices, higher bargaining power and the comparatively larger sizes, noted ERA Realty’s Mr Lim.

Marginal resale price declines are expected to continue but there could be a drastic price fall – of at least 5 per cent in a quarter – sometime next year, said R’ST Research director Ong Kah Seng.

By early next year, there should be more property owners who have finished the four-year holding period imposed by the Seller’s Stamp Duty, especially those who rushed in to buy new condos from 2010 to 2012.

“Investors who bought suburban condos and (are now faced with) weak leasing demand may be more willing to cut prices,” said Mr Ong.