Condo resale prices up 0.8% in December; volume down for 3rd straight month

SINGAPORE – Prices of resale condominium units rose for the 29th straight month in December, while the number of units sold dropped for the third consecutive month following the introduction of property cooling measures.

In December, condo resale prices edged up by 0.8 per cent compared with November’s 0.5 per cent, according to flash figures from real estate portals and SRX released on Monday.

Meanwhile, fewer units changed hands in December. Data showed an estimated 661 units changing hands in December, compared with 769 units in November.

Property analysts attributed the steady decline in transaction volume in the last three months to the property cooling measures, coupled with the year-end seasonal lull during which sales activities slow down.

One Global Group senior analyst Mohan Sandrasegeran said some private property owners who had initially thought of selling their property may have decided to hold on for longer in light of the curbs and increasing interest and inflation rates.

One of the cooling measures currently in place is a 15-month wait-out period for private home owners under 55 years who want to buy Housing Board resale flats after selling their private properties.

Mr Sandrasegeran said the strong rental market might have also prompted some to rent their units out instead of selling, leading to fewer properties ending up on the market.

OrangeTee & Tie senior vice-president of research and analytics Christine Sun said buyers were expecting prices to moderate after the September cooling measures, while sellers were holding firm to their asking prices.

“As a result, the price expectation gap between buyers and sellers widened, resulting in fewer deals being sealed or deals taking longer to negotiate,” she said.

Condo resale volume was down 49 per cent compared to December 2021 and was 25.1 per cent lower than the five-year average volumes for the month of December. Data showed that an estimated 11,949 units were sold in 2022, down 26.1 per cent from 2021.

PropNex Realty head of research and content Wong Siew Ying said she expects condo resale volume to remain lacklustre in January due to the Chinese New Year festivities. 

Despite the fall in transaction volume, overall resale condo prices in December were up by 9.7 per cent compared with the year before.

On a year-on-year basis, prices of units in the suburbs rose the most, 11.2 per cent, followed by those in the city fringe at 8.4 per cent and central Singapore at 5.8 per cent.

Ms Wong noted that while resale condo prices have crept up in 2022 from the year before, the pace of increase paled in comparison to that of new condo launches.

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