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Worst over in Singapore residential market, but too early to call rebound?

PRELIMINARY data suggests that the worst may be over for Singapore's residential property market, but more data might be needed to forecast a rebound.

The private residential property index increased 0.5 per cent in Q3 - its first uptick after 15 periods of straight decline - flash estimate figures showed on Monday.

The quarter-on-quarter increase is the best indicator that the correction period of the market has passed, according to Desmond Sim, head, CBRE Research, Singapore and South-east Asia.

In a note on Monday, he said: "...a near-definite increase in this index in the next six months can be expected, driven particularly by higher land prices than by a demand-supply mismatch."

He cautioned, however, that it was still too early to call it a rebound as more than one data point is needed.

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"The Singapore government will now be monitoring the price performance closely, but the impending rise in interest rates will be a major factor to consider when buyers decide on a purchase," he added.

Ismail Gafoor, CEO of PropNex Realty, reckoned that overall prices in 2017 "might possibly increase to one per cent as compared to a decline (of) 3.1 per cent in 2016".

"With the lowest price decline experienced in the previous quarter, this positive growth of 0.5 per cent in the third quarter did not come as a surprise for many. We believe that the strong broad-based demand from all segments is set to continue," Mr Ismail said.

According to the Urban Redevelopment Authority's (URA) flash estimate, the prices of private condominiums and apartments increased by 0.2 per cent in Core Central Region (or city area), compared to the 0.5 per cent fall in the previous quarter.

Mr Ismail said that with rising prices in CCR, home investors and foreign buyers would look to enter the market to "take advantage of the attractive pricing for luxury properties in CCR today".

Prices in the Rest of Central Region (or city fringe) were unchanged, after registering an increase of 0.6 per cent in the previous quarter.

Prices in Outside Central Region (or the suburbs) increased by 0.7 per cent, after registering a 0.3 per cent decline in the previous quarter.

The flash estimates are compiled based on transaction prices given in contracts submitted for stamp duty payment and data on units sold by developers up till mid-September.

The statistics will be updated on Oct 27, when the URA releases its full set of real estate statistics for the third quarter.

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