Analysts forecast property rebound in mid-2016

Amidst the mostly bearish views on Singapore’s housing market, some experts believe that transaction levels could start to recover in the second half of 2016, reported The Business Times.

Next year could be a tale of two halves for the property sector. A tepid first-half followed by a rebound in transaction levels over the next six months, especially in the luxury housing market, said Knight Frank’s Head of Research & Consultancy, Alice Tan.

She thinks that interest from both local and foreign buyers may rise due to the likelihood of some economic stimulus from the government, coupled with the unfavourable situation in some mature overseas property markets like Australia and London.

A number of buyers could also return to the market, particularly in 2H 2016, when they feel that the hefty price corrections they were anticipating are unlikely to happen, noted Alan Cheong, Research Head at Savills.

As for transaction levels, he forecasts that primary sales of private non-landed homes, excluding executive condominiums, could hover around 7,500 units next year.

Such optimistic views are also shared by OrangeTee’s Senior Manager for Research and Consultancy, Wong Xian Yang, who believes home prices in the Core Central Region (CCR) and Rest of Central Region (RCR) could start to stabilise in late 2016 or 2017, as long as the economy remains positive.

“Demand may start gravitating towards the central regions (CCR and RCR) as prices become more attractive and affordable,” he said.

However, property experts believe that the looming supply glut could worsen vacancy rates.

“With the impending new completion of around 22,300 private home units next year, (the) vacancy rate may creep up to 10 percent or higher especially for non-landed homes,” noted Tan.

Cheong thinks “it may take about 18 months till mid-2017 for the rental market and vacancy levels to improve.” In particular, the vacancy level for non-landed homes could surpass 10 percent next year.

Meanwhile, SLP International’s Executive Director Nicholas Mak reckons that non-landed home prices could dip by 2.5 to five percent in 2016. In the worst-case scenario, prices may fall by more than five percent next year.

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