QUARTERLY statistics released by the Singapore government on Friday morning showed that the decline in prices of private homes has moderated in the second quarter, where the fall was a smaller 0.4 per cent compared to the 0.7 per cent a quarter ago.
Housing & Development Board (HDB) resale prices were unchanged in the second quarter, compared to a quarter ago, while resale transactions increased by 31.2 per cent from the first quarter to 5,838 cases in the second quarter.
Here are some comments from market watchers:
On private residential market
ERA Realty key executive officer Eugene Lim: Buyers remain very price-sensitive in today's market and most of the transactions are concluded in the S$1 million-S$1.5 million range.
With economic headwinds and cooling measures still present, we do not expect a sudden rebound in prices anytime soon. With prices being more stable, we expect an overall price decrease for 2016 to be 2 to 2.5 per cent, improving from the 3.7 per cent price decline in 2015.
PropNex CEO Ismail Gafoor: We expect prices to remain relatively stable with a bit of downward pressure in 2016. Developers will continue to adjust launch prices to match the current inertia in the market, but will not drop prices too much due to the high price in which they have secured the land. Similarly, resale prices will take cue from the primary market in a bid to attract buyers.
In view of these downside pressures, prices of private residential properties are projected to remain on a path of moderation. Furthermore, developers' land bid strategies are expected to remain measured in the highly regulated residential property market, allowing them more flexibility in adjusting prices to encourage home purchases.
On HDB resale market
SLP International executive director Nicholas Mak: The stability in the HDB resale price index can be deemed as an indication that the market cooling measures are bearing fruits. Hence, the government does not appear to feel the urgency to remove any of the property curbs in the short term.
For the whole of 2016, the HDB resale price index is expected to remain stable, varying between minus 1 and plus 1 per cent year-on-year change. The HDB resale transactions for the whole of 2016 could range between 18,600 and 19,800 flats. In 2015, a total of 19,306 HDB resale flats exchanged hands.
PropNex CEO Ismail Gafoor: With prices consolidating, transactions will pick up. Buyers who have remained on the sidelines should have, by now, understood that prices will not fall very much more below this level. The prolonged price expectation mismatch between re-sellers and buyers has reached a stage whereby the stakeholders realised that this is the new norm. They have played a wait-and-see strategy for some time now and will be making their moves soon.