Even as the private residential property index hit another record high, URA’s 4Q11 price index flash estimates saw only a marginal 0.2% increase Q-on-Q to 206.2. All three regions also registered tame price growths—with both the Core Central Region (CCR) and Outside Central Region (OCR) chalking up increases of 0.5% and 0.6% respectively. The Rest of Central Region (RCR) maintained status quo with prices remaining constant.
The marginal increase of 0.2% Q-on-Q, compared to the 1.3% increase in the 3Q11 reflects the cautious market sentiments due to the recent economic outlook. The moderating prices with the main contributor of growth in the Outside Central Regions (OCR), is due to the recent mass market condominium launches in these areas. It was projected that the mass market demand will still remain strong as most home buyers will now purchase or invest with mid to long term perspectives, especially with the onset of the 7 December 2011 cooling measure.
“The latest round of cooling measure is rather prohibitive for potential foreign investors as they will now have to fork out another 10% due to the Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD). As such, we can expect lesser demand in the Core Central Regions and to further dip in the coming quarters,” says Mr Mohamed Ismail, CEO of PropNex Realty.
Factoring in the worsening economic situation, homebuyers and investors may be taking a more cautious approach when considering buying a private property, and signs of lower land bid prices may indicate that prices will be adjusting to the market demands in the private residential market in the coming months of the year.
However, the demand for mass market condominiums will remain firm while the high-end properties will likely expect a wait-and-see attitude from many foreign investors. Given the uncertainty in stock markets and with interest rates remaining low, private property in Singapore will continue to attract investors, both local and foreign.
With increased supply anticipated, Mr Ismail expects prices to further soften, resulting in an overall price correction of approximately 3% dip in the private property price index for 2012.
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