Singapore private home prices rise in 2Q, as total supply climbed: URA

Singapore public housing blocks in 1968; unknown location.Singapore public housing blocks in 1968; unknown location. Taken by Leonard Shaffer.

Singapore’s private home-price index for the second quarter rose 3.4 percent from the previous quarter, in line with preliminary data, even as the supply pipeline showed a jump, according to data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority on Friday.

In the first quarter, prices rose 3.9 percent on-quarter, the release said.

The price increases, as well as an increase in sales volumes, were a likely driver behind the Singapore government’s move in early July to announce a fresh round of cooling measures for the property market, targeting the additional buyer’s stamp duty (ABSD) and loan-to-value limits. The surprise measures set off a selloff in property stocks and banks.

In the second quarter, developers launched 2,437 uncompleted private residential units, excluding executive condominiums, a hybrid property class, compared with 921 units in the previous quarter, the URA said.

Developers sold 2,366 private residential units, excluding ECs, in the quarter, compared with the 1,581 units sold in the first quarter, it said.

The third quarter may also see a sales boost as homebuyers rushed to buy more than 1,000 units in early July to beat the clock on the beginning of the cooling measures.

There were 4,700 resale transactions in the second quarter, up from 3,666 units transacted in the previous quarter, the URA said.

HDB prices and resale volume rise

Separately, the Housing and Development Board, or HDB, released data showing the resale price index for public housing flats rose 0.1 percent on-quarter in the second quarter, in line with preliminary data released in early July. That was the first rise in at least four quarters.

The number of resale transactions in HDBs climbed 33.3 percent on-quarter in the second quarter to 5,941, HDB said.

Singapore’s property market also showed other signs of health in the most-recent data.

The vacancy rate for completed private residential units, excluding ECs, fell to 7.1 percent at the end of second quarter, down from 7.4 percent in the first quarter, the URA said. Geographically, vacancy rates in the core central region (CCR), rest of central region (RCR) and outside of the central region (OCR) were 10.9 percent, 7.7 percent and 5.0 percent respectively, compared with the first quarter’s 11.6 percent, 8.3 percent and 4.9 percent, it said.

The rental price index continued to recover after a long downtrend, rising 1.0 percent on-quarter in the second quarter, compared with the first quarter’s 0.3 percent increase, it said.

Supply in the pipeline rises

At the end of the second quarter, the total supply of uncompleted private residential units, excluding ECs, in the pipeline with planning approvals rose to 45,003, up from 40,330 in the previous quarter, the URA said. Of those units, 26,943 were unsold at the end of the quarter, up from 23,514 at the end of the first quarter, it said.

“The redevelopment of the large number of private residential developments sold en-bloc since 2016 will add a significant number of new housing units to the supply pipeline,” the URA said.

It added that there was a potential supply of 19,500 units, including ECs, from Government Land Sales (GLS) sites and awarded en-bloc sale sites that have not been granted planning approval yet. That figure included around 8,400 units from awarded GLS sites and confirmed list sites that haven’t been awarded yet, as well as around 11,100 units from awarded en-bloc sale sites, it said.

“A large part of this new supply of 19,500 units could be made available for sale later this year or next year, and will be completed from 2021 onwards,” URA said.

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