Updated: 01/25/2014 02:11

Drop in private property prices a trend to continue



Drop in private property prices a trend to continue

Prices of private residential properties fell by 0.9 per cent in the last quarter of 2013. 

And property analysts 938LIVE spoke to say this is a trend that'll continue. 

Overall, analysts like Propnex CEO Mohamed Ismail think prices in the private property market will drop by about 2 to 3 per cent this quarter (Jan to March 2014). 

Mr Ismail says there's cooling interest in the private property market across the board, mostly due to government measures like the Total Debt Servicing Ratio. 

But he says the single biggest disincentive for private property buyers is the Additional Buyer's Stamp Duty. 

This ranges from 5 per cent for Permanent Residents looking at their first property, to 15 per cent for foreigners. 

"These additional stamp duties are seen in the market as being hefty at entry-level to pay. And that has somehow poured cold water on many people's decision-making process."

Mr Ismail added the additional stamp duties have led to a declining foreign interest in the prime Core Central Region, resulting in a dip in prices that he thinks will continue. 

ERA's Key Executive Officer Eugene Lim agrees. 

But he also brought up another reason: investors or people looking to upgrade their homes preferring the lower-priced city fringe areas instead. 

"It's a very practical viewpoint. So instead of buying a very prime property in the Core Central Region, if I want to upgrade my location to be within the city, I will just move to the city-fringe. So we expect those who are looking at upgrading to look at the city-fringe areas."

But both analysts agree that prices of private properties in the suburban areas will still lead the market, albeit with a slower growth than the 6.5 per cent charted in the last quarter of 2013. 

Meanwhile in terms of rental yields, ERA's Mr Lim says the trend of lower rentals is likely to continue into this quarter. 

"We are seeing more projects being completed, and the competition for tenants will bring rents down. So basically we will see a tenant's market evolving."

By Lianne Chia

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