By Kalpana Rashiwala
AVERAGE cap values of landed homes in Singapore have risen at a faster clip than those of private apartments/condos in the fourth quarter as well as the whole of this year, show latest figures from DTZ.
DTZ's analysis referred only to resale landed and non-landed homes, that is, properties that had already obtained Certificate of Statutory Completion.
'The limited stock of landed homes has made them prized assets, especially those in the prime districts. Landed homes currently account for about 26 per cent of Singapore's total private housing stock (including executive condos), with very limited supply in the pipeline. In contrast, the supply of non-landed private homes is injected at a faster pace via the Government Land Sales programme and collective sales,' says DTZ's Southeast Asia research head Chua Chor Hoon.
The average capital value of prime resale freehold landed homes stood at $1,693 per square foot (psf) on land area in Q4 2010, up 5.1 per cent from the previous quarter, taking the full-year increase to 17 per cent. For suburban freehold landed houses, the average capital value increased 4.3 per cent quarter on quarter to $993 psf in Q4, resulting in a full-year appreciation of 15.5 per cent.
In the non-landed segment, the average cap value for 99-year suburban condos remained unchanged at $660 psf on strata area in Q4 2010, taking the appreciation for the whole of 2010 to 8 per cent. The average price of prime freehold condos increased 0.4 per cent quarter on quarter to $1,520 psf in Q4, also reflecting an 8 per cent full-year price gain.
DTZ said prices in these two segments are hitting resistance, having risen by about 18 per cent and 36 per cent since their respective Q1 2009 troughs following the global financial crisis. The latest cap values are also above the respective Q4 2007 peak levels, it noted.
'Greater prudence is also being exercised on buyers' part following the latest property cooling measures introduced on Aug 30. Buyers are more selective and prefer projects with good location attributes such as proximity to MRT stations, schools or the central business district,' DTZ said.
On the other hand, the Q4 2010 average cap value of freehold luxury condos (above 2,500 sq ft) in the prime districts was $2,630 psf, about 6 per cent shy of the Q4 2007 peak of $2,800 psf. The latest Q4 figure was unchanged from the preceding three months while the full-year 2010 increase was 9.6 per cent.
'With a limited pool of buyers being able to afford these luxurious units which require a large quantum sum, this segment has seen more subdued purchasing activity,' DTZ said.
The firm's executive director (residential) Margaret Thean said: 'Although there's less activity in the high-end segment, we're still seeing strong interest from Chinese and Indian nationals, and increasingly from institutional investors such as funds. They have confidence in future price growth due to Singapore's strong economic fundamentals. As for individual foreigners buying for owner occupation, completed developments near renowned schools particularly interest them.'
Ms Chua predicts that resale prices of 99-year suburban condos are likely to remain flattish next year while those of prime freehold condos could rise by up to 5 per cent if there is more buying from foreigners due to the clampdown on property purchases in their home countries.
She expects prices of landed homes to continue to outperform those of apartments and condos due to their relative scarcity appeal.
This article was first published in The Business Times.