Singapore private home prices fall to lowest level in more than 4 years

City-state’s third-quarter private residential price index fell 1.3 per cent from the previous quarter to its lowest level since the first quarter of 2011

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 27 October, 2015, 7:01pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 27 October, 2015, 7:01pm

Prices of Singapore's private homes fell for the eighth straight quarter to 4-1/2-year lows due to government-introduced cooling measures, indicating sluggish property markets will add to deflationary pressures in the city-state.

The third-quarter private residential price index fell 1.3 per cent from the previous quarter to 142.3, with prices dropping across all market segments, Urban Redevelopment Authority data showed on Friday. The index was at its lowest since the first quarter of 2011.

Singapore has introduced several rounds of cooling measures since 2009, including higher stamp duties and tougher mortgage conditions. These measures drove private homes price down 4 per cent in 2014, the first year of overall price decline since the global financial crisis.

Singapore's annual consumer prices are forecast to have contracted for the 11th consecutive month, a Reuters poll showed, partly due to persistently lower housing costs.

Core inflation, which excludes changes in the prices of car permits and accommodation, was running at an anaemic 0.2 per cent annual rate in August. The central bank last week eased monetary policy for the second time this year.

Analysts expect private home prices to continue to fall at a steady pace.

“Unless there are some drastic shocks, we shall not see any drastic movements in prices,” said Lee Nai Jia, head of southeast Asia research at consultancy DTZ. He expects private home prices to fall 0.8 per cent to 1.2 per cent in the fourth quarter.

Developers sold 2,410 private residential units in the third quarter, compared with 2,116 units sold in the previous quarter.

The last time home prices fell for such a long stretch was for eight quarters from the third quarter of 2000.