Rebound in prime resale particularly strong

SINGAPORE — The Republic’s private housing market stirred in the second quarter, with transactions in both primary and secondary segments rising to their highest levels since the Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR) framework was implemented in June 2013.

Total transactions rose 59.8 per cent quarter-on-quarter to 4,550 units in the three months to June this year, showed data released on Friday (July 22) by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA). Among those, developers offloaded 2,256 private homes, while the secondary market saw 2,294 units changing hands. Upcoming executive condo include Treasure Crest and Northwave EC while existing ones include The Terrace EC, Brownstone, The Visionaire, Parc Life , Waterwoods EC, Signature at Yishun, Skypark Residences, Wandervale EC, The Vales EC, The Criterion EC, The Amore EC,  Bellewaters EC, Bellewoods EC.

 “There are more signs of life in the residential market in the second quarter of 2016 … The increase in transaction volume is also across all market segments, with the rebound in prime resale being particularly strong, supported by the creative marketing of OUE Twin Peaks and Ardmore Tree,” said Ms Christine Li, director of research at Cushman & Wakefield. Completed developments under the deferred payment plan are classified under the resale category.

A total of 767 prime residential properties were sold in the Core Central Region (CCR) in the second quarter, 31 per cent higher than in the previous three months. In the Rest of Central Region (RCR), or city fringes, transactions more than doubled to 1,671 homes from 720 units during the same period, while the Outside Central Region (OCR), or suburbs, registered a 36.9 per cent increase to 2,112 units.

The surge came as overall prices fell 0.4 per cent quarter-on-quarter in the April-to-June period, showed the URA data. Although this is a moderation from the first quarter’s 0.7 per cent fall, it confirmed the URA’s earlier estimate that marked the 11th consecutive quarter of price decline and the longest losing streak on record.

“As prices have been declining for a few years, buyers have been scouring the market for good buys and this has contributed to some form of price support for centrally located properties in the CCR and RCR. Buyers remain very price sensitive in today’s market and most of the transactions are concluded in the S$1 million to S$1.5 million range,” said Mr Eugene Lim, key executive officer of ERA Realty Network.

Prices of non-landed properties in the CCR increased by 0.3 per cent quarter-on-quarter in the three months to June, a similar jump to the previous quarter. Those in the RCR rose by 0.2 per cent after remaining unchanged in the previous quarter, while home prices in the OCR decreased by 0.5 per cent, compared with the 1.3 per cent decline previously. In the landed properties segment, prices fell by 1.5 per cent, accelerating from the 1.1 per cent slip in the previous quarter. Analysts said while property prices here look to be stabilising and drawing buyers back into the market, a rebound in prices is unlikely given the economic headwinds and continued cooling measures and loan curbs.

“While external events, such as Brexit and the volatile equity and currency markets may affect buying sentiment, we anticipate that the increase in demand through safe-haven purchases should more than compensate the loss in demand. Overall, prices are likely to ease further, albeit at a slower pace with seasonal upticks,” said Mr Lee Nai Jia, head of South-east Asia research at Edmund Tie.

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