Slower decline in private home prices

Private home prices have slipped for the 13th straight quarter – with signs that the bottom of the market may be in sight.

Estimates out yesterday showed that overall prices fell by 0.4 per cent from the third to the fourth quarter last year.

slower decline in private home prices

This was a far cry from the stark drop of 1.5 per cent from the second to the third quarter, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) noted.

Private home prices fell 3 per cent last year – the lowest decline in three years, following a drop of 3.7 per cent in 2015 and 4 per cent in 2014. The downward trend is likely to continue this year, owing to a cloudy growth outlook and concerns over potential interest rate hikes.

Market watchers project prices could fall by about 2 per cent to 3 per cent this year, and expect prospective buyers to remain selective and price-sensitive.

The URA estimates showed that prices of non-landed homes fell by 0.7 per cent from the third to the fourth quarter, after posting a 1.2 per cent fall from the second to the third quarter.

The fourth quarter's price decline was led by units in the city fringe, where prices fell by 2 per cent. That was followed by a 0.3 per cent decline in the suburbs, while home prices in the core central region remained unchanged from the third to the fourth quarter, after falling 1.9 per cent from the second to the third quarter.