Prices of completed private apartments and condominium units here generally eased in August over July, with the Non-Central Region faring worst.

This is according to the National University of Singapore‘s (NUS) August 2016 flash estimate for its Singapore Residential Price Index (SRPI) series released on Wednesday.

NUS’ data showed that the sub-index for Non-Central Region (excluding small units of up to 506 sq ft) fell 0.9 per cent month on month in August 2016, after dipping 0.1 per cent in July 2016 based on the revised index value for that month.

In Central Region (again excluding small units), the price index was flat last month after climbing 0.6 per cent month on month in July.

The Central Region is defined as Districts 1-4 (including the financial district and Sentosa Cove) and the traditional prime residential districts of 9, 10 and 11 by the university’s Institute of Real Estate Studies, which minted the SRPI series tracking the prices of completed non-landed private homes.

NUS’ sub-index for small units islandwide dipped 0.1 per cent in August after remaining unchanged in July.

The Overall SRPI shrank 0.6 per cent last month, contrasting with a 0.3 per cent gain in July.

On a year-on-year basis, the small unit sub-index remains the worst price performer, posting a 4.5 per cent decline. This is followed by a 2..2 per cent drop in the sub-index for Non-Central Region.

Over the same period, prices in Central Region have gone down 0..9 per cent, while the Overall SRPI has slipped 1.6 per cent.

ERA Realty Network’s key executive officer, Eugene Lim, commented that “prices of centrally-located properties have been inching upwards in recent months, possibly indicating that the market for prime properties may have found its footing”.

Buyers are mainly those who are taking a longer-term perspective on the property market in Singapore, as well as those who have taken advantage of stabilising prices to pick up value buys in prime locations, he added.

“However, any upside in prices on the whole is expected to be very limited as loan caps remain in place, and uncertainties surface in the economy and employment market,” Mr Lim said.

Adapted from: The Business Times, 29 September 2016

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