Private property prices in Singapore slowed down in the last quarter of 2007, compared to the previous three months, according to the latest data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).
Analysts attributed this to the uncertainty in the financial markets and measures taken by the government to curb speculation in the private property sector.
Nevertheless, for the entire year, private property prices increases by 31% – barely 6% shy of the all-time highest in 1996.
HDB resale flats see a jump of 17.5% last year, while the price of industrial properties climbed 22.7% and retails shops cost 13.2% more on average.
The supply of brand-new private residential properties in the fourth quarter was down by 45% compared to the previous quarter. The number of units sold dipped to just 1,397 – the lowest 4th quarter sales since 2003.
In total, 1,397 uncompleted residential units were sold in the fourth quarter, lesser than the 3,367 units sold in the third quarter, as new launches slowed to 1,686 units from 3,709 units.
Property consultants said worries that the financial market upheaval might spill over to the real economy made buyers more cautious.
"There are still genuine buyers out there and they have the deep pockets… and they are maintaining the prices. What is missing is the volume. The speculative demand has been narrowed because of the removal of deferred payment," said Dr Chua Yang Liang, head of Research & Consultancy, Jones Lang LaSalle.
Rental hikes has likewise slowed down to 6.8% in the last 3 months, with rentals in the fringe of prime districts and the suburban areas growing faster than those in the central area.
In general, rentals went up by almost 42% for the whole of 2007.
Here is a look at rentals for homes in private estates as well as four room HDB flats
Office rentals increased by 56% in 2007, going up by 8% in both the 3rd and 4th quarters. It seems there are still some genuine demand for office space, for as long as the economy is growing at a healthy rate.