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Market sentiment remains bullish

Market sentiment remains bullish

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Prices fell across the private residential, commercial and resale public housing segments in the first quarter, with the losing streak for private homes extending to 14 quarters - the longest slump in 13 years.

But analysts said the slower pace of decline and brisk sales in the first quarter suggest the market could bottom out this year.

Overall private home values dipped by 0.4 per cent from the fourth quarter to the first, led by the landed property segment, data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority showed yesterday. Upcoming executive condo launches include Hundred Palms Residences EC, Anchorvale Lane EC,  while existing ones include Parc Life  EC, Signature at Yishun,  Brownstone EC, Visionaire EC, Inz Residence EC, The Criterion EC  and Northwave EC, The Terrace EC,  The Vales EC, , Sol Acres EC and The  Bellewoods EC. Hundred Palms EC details and Hundred Palms EC show flat will be available shortly.

The price drop was slightly smaller than the 0.5 per cent fall from the third quarter to the fourth.

Said Mr Desmond Sim, head of CBRE Research for Singapore and South-east Asia: "This indicates the trough of the market is at hand."

Private home values had fallen by 11.6 per cent as of March 31 since a peak in the third quarter of 2013, as cooling measures tamed demand.

Sentiment has turned more positive in recent months - owing to the easing of cooling measures last month and an improvement in the economy - drawing buyers back.

Lawyer Ng Wymin, 53, told The Straits Times he is considering buying another apartment, after the purchase of a three-bedder in OUE Twin Peaks last year. The Malaysian said: "I am certain it is the right time now. The market has been down for the last three to four years. There is value in residential properties in Singapore, especially in the city area."

The first quarter saw the highest private home sales in 15 quarters at 5,202 units - including 2,962 new sales but not counting executive condos (ECs), and 2,170 resale transactions. Healthy sales led to unsold inventory of uncompleted private homes hitting a record low of 15,930 units, excluding ECs, as of March 31.

"Barring any sudden deterioration in economic conditions, (sales) volumes are expected to continue to grow as market sentiment remains bullish," said Mr Wong Xian Yang, head of research and consultancy at OrangeTee.

Despite the overall dip in private home prices, there are pockets of recovering segments. Condo prices stayed flat from the fourth quarter to the first - the first time in 14 quarters that the non-landed price index was stable, consultancy JLL said.

In the non-landed private home segment, values rose 0.3 per cent in the city fringe and 0.1 per cent in the suburbs, amid strong demand for new launches. But prices of homes in the core central region fell by 0.4 per cent. New suburban projects included The Clement Canopy in Clementi and Grandeur Park Residences in Tanah Merah. Park Place Residences At PLQ in Paya Lebar helped prop up city-fringe prices.

Landed home prices fell by 1.8 per cent in the first quarter from the last three months of last year, reversing a 0.8 per cent rise from the third quarter to the fourth last year.

"The demand for landed housing is curtailed by the property market curbs and the restrictions on foreigners purchasing this type of real estate," said SLP International Property Consultants executive director Nicholas Mak.

The leasing market stayed weak in the first quarter, as rents of private homes fell by 0.9 per cent, following a 1 per cent dip in the previous quarter. Vacancies improved slightly, falling by 0.3 percentage point from the fourth quarter to 8.1 per cent as of March 31.

In public housing, resale prices fell by 0.5 per cent in the first quarter, the Housing Board said. It was steeper than the 0.1 per cent slide from the third to fourth quarter.

Consultancy Edmund Tie & Company said the decline is "likely a blip", and expects the optimism in the private home market to possibly spill over to the HDB market.

HDB resale transactions also fell by 9.6 per cent from the fourth quarter to 4,530 in the first quarter, due largely to the Chinese New Year lull.

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