Home prices fall again

PRIVATE home prices fell for a second consecutive quarter in October-December according to advance government estimates, hurt by a drop in investor sentiment amid the global economic downturn.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said on Friday its private residential property index declined 5.7 per cent in the fourth quarter from the previous three months, worse than the drop of 2.4 per cent in July-September.

Homes in prime areas registered the biggest price fall, with apartments in the core central region declining 6.3 per cent compared with a drop of 4.7 per cent in outlying areas.

Many analysts expect Singapore property prices to keep falling in 2009. RBS predicts a price drop of 30 per cent in prime areas and a decline of 10 per cent in outlying areas.

Singapore real estate is popular with foreign investors who accounted for about half of all residential property purchases in prime areas in 2007. -- THOMSON REUTERS


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