Singapore News

Time is GMT + 8 hours
Posted: 28 June 2006 2108 hrs

High-end, mid-tier private properties to see price rise of up to 15% this year
By Chua Chin Chye, Channel NewsAsia

SINGAPORE: Singapore's high-end private property market could see further price appreciation of between 10 and 15 percent this year, and consultants say the price increase is starting to trickle down to the mid-tier segment.

Overall, for the mass market, they say the growth will be flat to lacklustre, of up to 5 percent this year.

Industry watchers say Singapore's high-end private property market can expect to see further price appreciation, in the months ahead, and they believe the high-end magic is starting to rub off, on the mid-tier segment.

"The residential market has been sub-divided into the mass market, the mid-end, and the high-end. The high-end has been moving quite fast. Now it has trickled down to the mid-end. We have marketed some properties, in the range of $800 per square foot, right up to $1,200 per square foot. For that range of property, we are beginning to see more transactions," said Peter Ow, Executive Director, Residential, Knight Frank.

Consultants say the mid-tier segment could enjoy price appreciation, of between 10 and 12 percent this year.

Such mid-tier properties, include projects such as UOL's Southbank, a 99-year-old leasehold project, which boasts of a waterfront lifestyle.

The mass market will not do as well however, as the increase will be more modest.

"If you talk about prices in the mass market, movement has been averaging three percent in the first half of the year. If we look at the full year, it will be averaging 5 percent for the mass market," said Mr Ow.

That is better than the one percent rise seen in this sector last year.

Analysts say property prices this year are being boosted by a resilient economy, reduced unemployment and a steady decline in the number of unsold units.

"Private property unsold units are in the region of 10,000 to 11,000. If you look at it historically, the figure for unsold units was over 15,000 to 16,000," added Mr Ow.

Private home prices rose 1.5 percent in the first three months of this year - the fastest acceleration since the residential recovery in the second quarter of 2004. - CNA /dt