Published October 8, 2008

Prime non-landed home prices fall 4.2% in Q3


PRICES of non-landed private residential properties fell in Q3 2008 with those in prime districts taking the largest hit, said real estate adviser DTZ yesterday.

Prime freehold non-landed resale residential units saw a 4.2 per cent quarter-on- quarter drop in prices. This marks the second consecutive quarter of price fall for the segment.

Outside the prime districts, freehold non-landed resale residential units reflected the first correction of 1.3 per cent.

DTZ highlighted that landed housing was the only segment that held firm since prices stabilised in Q2 2008, due to demand from owner occupiers and reduced supply. The Urban Redevelopment Authority's (URA) flash estimates for Q3 2008 also registered a fall in overall private residential prices.

URA's numbers, however, reflected smaller declines. Prices of non-landed private housing in the Core Central and Rest of Central regions slid 2 per cent and 2.1 per cent respectively, while those in the Outside Central Region actually edged up 0.1 per cent.

According to URA, its estimates are based on transaction prices in caveats lodged during the first 10 weeks of the quarter, supplemented by information on the number of new units sold.

The fall in the private residential market will accelerate as the US financial crisis deepens, said DTZ. It also pointed out: 'Like in 1998 and 2002, there will be a higher proportion of buyers with HDB addresses as the price gap between HDB resale flats and private residential properties narrows.'

Besides prices, launches also fell in the private residential market, said DTZ. New launches in Q3 2008 generally involved small boutique projects and developers sold only 320 units in August, about a third of the 901 in July.