SINGAPORE: Private home prices in Singapore rose unexpectedly in the second quarter to hit their highest level in at least five years, with apartments around the central region and suburbs proving most popular with buyers.

The private residential property index increased 1.5 per cent to 150.8 points in the second quarter, beating an initial estimate and reversing two consecutive quarters of decline, data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) showed on Friday (Jul 26).

READ: HDB resale transactions up nearly 30% in Q2 as prices dip slightly

Private home prices had fallen 0.7 per cent in the first quarter and 0.1 per cent in the October to December period following cooling measures implemented by the Government in the middle of last year.

Rentals increased by 1.3 per cent, nudging up slightly from the 1 per cent increase in the previous quarter.

Property price index of private residential properties.

Property price index of private residential properties. (Graph: URA)

LANDED HOMES VS APARTMENTS
In the landed property segment, prices fell by 0.1 per cent in the second quarter, compared with the 1.1 per cent increase in the previous quarter.

Prices for private homes in the non-landed segment surged 2 per cent, compared with the 1.1 per cent decline in the previous quarter. Those in the Rest of Central Region (RCR) rose the most at 3.5 per cent, followed by apartments in the Core Central Region (CCR) at 2.3 per cent and those in the Outside Central Region (OCR) at 0.4 per cent.

Number of private housing units launched and sold by developers, excluding Executive Condominiums

Number of private housing units launched and sold by developers, excluding Executive Condominiums. (Graph: URA)

LAUNCHES AND SALES

Between April and June, developers launched 2,502 uncompleted private residential units – excluding Executive Condominiums (ECs) – for sale, compared with 2,989 units in the previous quarter. The bulk of the new launches were in the RCR region.

They sold 2,350 apartments, up from the 1,838 units they moved in the previous quarter.

Apartments around the central region and the suburbs proved most popular with buyers, who purchased 1,156 units in RCR and 1,008 in OCR.

READ: As another mega condo launches, will there be enough demand in Singapore’s property market?

In the secondary market, there were 2,371 resale transactions in the second quarter, compared with the 1,858 units transacted in the previous quarter.

Resale transactions accounted for 49.7 per cent of all sales between April and June, compared with 49.6 per cent in the previous quarter.

As of end-June, there were 50,674 uncompleted private homes and 3,022 ECs in the pipeline with planning approvals. Of these, 35,538 units remained unsold.

Based on the expected completion dates reported by developers, 4,398 units (including ECs) will be completed in the second half of the year. Another 5,265 units (including ECs) will be completed in 2020.