October 2, 2017 / 1:17 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Singapore Q3 private home prices rise for first time in 4 years

(Adds details, analyst comment)

SINGAPORE, Oct 2 (Reuters) - Singapore’s private home prices rose in the third quarter for the first time in four years, ending a stretch of 15 consecutive quarters of declines, the government’s preliminary estimates showed on Monday.

The private residential property index rose 0.5 percent to 137.3 in the third quarter, after easing 0.1 percent in the second quarter, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said.

The rise in private home prices marked the first quarter-on-quarter increase since the third quarter of 2013. That was when the private home price index rose to 154.6, a record high on URA data going back to 1975.

Analysts said a recent pick-up in private home sale transactions suggested that the market was on the mend after four years in the doldrums.

“It’s expected because sentiments have been buoyant and prices and volumes have already picked up for both new sales and re-sales over the last couple of months. This is particularly the case in new home sales,” said Christine Li, research director at Cushman and Wakefield in Singapore.

For the whole of 2017, private home prices will probably come in around flat, Li said, adding that her estimate was for prices to rise by up to 5 percent in 2018.

Since hitting the record peak in the third quarter of 2013, private residential home prices fell for 15 consecutive quarters until the second quarter of this year.

Private home prices fell 11.6 percent over that span, with the market dampened by a series of property cooling measures implemented by the government.

That drop came after private home prices rose more than 60 percent from levels seen in the second quarter of 2009 to the record high set in the third quarter of 2013. (Reporting by Masayuki Kitano and Aradhana Aravindan; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

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