Sterzel says property owners should not necessarily rely on quarterly figures to indicate the growth of individual properties and should wait for yearly statistics.The number of properties sold during one quarter really isn’t large enough to give a good indication of growth in the area and suburb data is made up of varied property types that grow at different rates, so it’s best to rely on yearly figures,” she says.

In an effort to boost demand for new flats, HDB recently announced to implement a one-time selection exercise allowing those in the existing HDB queue for new flats to select from the 17,500 unsold flats in new towns with the remaining to be offered for sale subsequently to walk-in buyers. Prices of these new flats released for sale in March 2002 were about 4% to 11% lower compared to the previous quarter.

According to recent flash estimates by HDB, the HDB resale price index which entered into its 8th consecutive quarterly decline since 2Q2000 the multifaceted outline of the application in association with documentations and distinctive essentials and the period required by The Valuer To Finish The Valuation Process. fell marginally by 0.9% in 1Q2002 compared to the fall of 1.4% in the previous quarter. Resale prices have fallen close to the trough level in 1Q1999 and are 29% lower than that achieved at the peak in 4Q1996.

Average valuations of HDB resale flats which have largely lagged transaction prices, dipped by about 0.7% to 1.3% in 4Q2001. The slide was more pronounced for 5-room (-1.2%) and executive flats (-1.3%). 3-room (-0.7%) and 4- room flats (-0.9%) posted lower declines. Resale prices of executive flats in Bishan and Queenstown area continued to hold firm due to their superior location.

While the HDB resale market continues to soften, the EC market remained active as evidenced by the strong average take-up rate of 92% for the projects launched in 2001. Projects situated in good locations and reasonably priced were well received. Priced at an average of $389 psf, Nouvo, located near the Yio Chu Kang MRT station was fully taken-up within a few days’ after its launch. Lilydale which is situated at Yishun Avenue 11 and a distance from the MRT station achieved less impressive sales take up of 83% as at end March 2002. Potential supply of ECs is expected to be relatively limited. In the pipeline is the site at Pasir Ris Drive 4 owned by City Developments Limited. The site which received a higher than expected bid of $135 psf per plot ratio in October 2001, will yield about 230 units. Another site at Pasir Ris Street 72 has recently been put up for tender and is expected to yield some 360 units.

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