Private residential property prices in Singapore - one of the world's most expensive property markets - slipped in the final quarter of 2013, the Urban Redevelopment Authority said on Friday, a further sign that the nation's red hot property market is cooling.
Prices decreased by 0.9 percent on quarter, the first time overall prices have dropped since the first quarter of 2012. For the entire year, prices rose 1.1 percent, a marked slowdown on 2012's 2.8 percent increase.
"By now, we can be quite certain that the private residential market has turned the corner and is entering into a consolidation phase with reduced transactional activity and prices under pressure," said Ong Teck Hui, national director for research & consultancy at Jones Lang LaSalle.
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According to Desmond Sim, associate head at CBRE Research, the reduction in prices is a clear consequence of the government's recent cooling measure taking effect.
The Total Debt Service Ratio (TDSR) - introduced in June - involves rules to ensure a buyer's monthly payments do not exceed 60 percent of their income, a move designed to make sure buyers aren't caught out by a spike in interest rates.
"The price falls are a result of a lot of the new developments launched last quarter being priced quite competitively. Definitely it's an effect of the latest cooling measure, and it's a reaction from both the buyers and sellers, more so the developers who knew that in order to move the units they needed to price it competitively," said Sim.
Singapore's red hot property market has seen prices spike over 60 percent since 2009, as low interest rates and high demand have pushed house and apartment prices to staggering highs. In an effort to cool the market, the Singaporean government has unleashed seven rounds of cooling measures, which now appear to be paying off, as developers invest in fewer projects and buyers are subject to more restrictions.
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