Residential property prices in Singapore expected to fall later this year

Singapore growth slows down in 2010

The pace of growth in residential property prices in Singapore has slowed in the second quarter of 2010 with the exception of the mass market segment, according to a new research report.

The prices though are still rising with the resale prices of leasehold homes in suburban up by 4% to $648 per square foot, according to consultants DTZ. But looking ahead, DTZ expects prices of mass market homes to be kept in check as the government releases more state land to meet demand.

Developers are also likely to tone down their land bids in view of the unprecedented high number of suburban sites available for tender in the second half of the year, said DTZ.

DTZ also predicts that the total sales of new homes for the whole of this year would come in between 13,000 and 15,000 units.

The residential property market in Singapore is too hot and set for a correction in coming months, according to other analysts.

Industry experts say prices are already reaching a plateau and transaction volumes are slowing. Some districts have seen transactions drop by up to 88%.

Figures from the Singapore Institute of Surveyors and Valuers (SISV) show that there were only 899 caveats lodged for condominiums in the first three weeks of May compared with 3,060 in April.

And although new condominium projects are still doing well, property agents said homes sales in the secondary or resale market have dropped by up to 20% recently.

According to the Dennis Wee Group buyers are becoming more cautious. ‘Instead of seeing a 30% increase in transactions as in the month before, I only saw a marginal 3.5% increase,’ said Chris Koh, director at Dennis Wee Properties.

‘A lot of buyers are pulling their handbrakes. What they feel today is that the seller is asking for too high a price and they are adopting a sit and wait attitude,’ he added.

Figures from SISV showed sales falling across various districts as of the middle of last month. The prime districts of 9, 10 and 11 saw a massive 76% drop, while the downtown city area saw the sharpest decline of 88%.

It is also taking longer to close a transaction, according to ECG Property. A deal that used to take about 45 days is now up to 80 days.

Analysts expect the market correction to last between three and six months and some said home prices could fall by an average of 3 to 5%. Some banks may simply not lend at current asking prices, according to Eric Cheng, chief executive officer of ECG Property.

‘That also shows that these prices could be a speculation price instead of a true reflection price. I think the market is going through a slight correction,’ he said.

Analysts said prices may also be capped by more land supply due to be released by the Government. Other risk factors include volatile stock markets and the European debt crisis.

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