SINGAPORE: For the first time in three years, the price of homes in Singapore saw a drop. In the second quarter of the year, private property values have gone down, suggesting that the cooling measures imposed in the past few months are beginning to take effect.

Flash estimates released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Monday (July 3) show that while home prices had gone up by 3.3 per cent in the first quarter of the year, they’ve gone down by 0.4 per cent.

This is the first time a decline has occurred since the first quarter of 2020.

National Development Minister Desmond Lee wrote in a Facebook post that the “signs of moderation in the property market” come after a number of measures have been imposed beginning from December 2021.

Mr Lee noted that growth has also slowed on public housing prices.

“The 2Q2023 flash estimate for resale prices showed an increase of 1.4 per cent, down from the 2.5 per cent quarterly average last year.

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We have also continued to increase housing supply to meet the demand. HDB is on track to launch 100,000 flats between 2021 and 2025. The Confirmed List supply for private housing, at around 9,250 units for 2023, stands at the highest level in a decade. We will continue to keep a close watch on the property market, and adjust our policies as necessary.”

In April, in an effort to cool the sizzling-hot property market, the government announced that stamp duties were to be doubled to 60 per cent for foreigners, a rate that is among the highest in the world.

Second-home buyers also saw an increase in levies.

Industry experts are saying, however, that the lower prices may not last.

Bloomberg quotes Wilson Ng and Derek Chang, analysts at  Morgan Stanley, saying, “We believe the recent moderation in prices was driven by the latest round of property cooling measures in April, and we expect prices to edge up for the rest of the year.”

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Morgan Stanley has projected a 5 per cent price increase for 2023, Bloomberg added. /TISG

‘Little urgency’ for sellers to lower HDB flats resale prices—PropertyGuru