Singapore economy: Residential property prices continue to rise


Property prices continued to rise in the first quarter of 2013 despite the latest round of cooling measures implemented by the government in January.


Owing to the large weighting given to accommodation costs, the increase in property prices in the first quarter will continue to exert upward pressure on overall consumer prices. The price index for private homes, compiled by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), rose by 0.6% quarter on quarter in January–March. This was slightly higher than the 0.5% increase registered in the URA’s flash estimate released on April 1st. The URA noted that the 0.6% gain in the first quarter reflected a “significant” moderation from the 1.8% rise seen in the fourth quarter of 2012.

This came on the back of data released by the URA that indicated developers sold 2,793 new units (excluding executive condominiums) in March. This is believed to be the highest monthly sales volume since July 2009, when 2,772 units were sold. Sales were fuelled by developers rolling out more promotions, including offering discounts to help potential buyers to pay for the Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty, rates of which were revised in January. In February sales had fallen to 712 units as the markets adjusted to the government’s new measures – which imposed more stringent restrictions on market participants and was accompanied by plans to increase the housing stock significantly – and the lack of buyers during the Chinese New Year holidays.

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