Non-landed private home prices in Singapore’s Central region, which comprises districts 1 to 4 and 9 to 11, have risen 7.9 percent in the first 11 months of the year from the end of 2009, based on the latest flash estimates for November from the National University of Singapore (NUS).

The Singapore Residential Price Index (SRPI) sub-index for the Non-Central region grew at a faster pace at 12.9 percent, resulting in a 10.7 percent increase in the overall SRPI year to date.

Compiled by the NUS Institute of Real Estate Studies, the SRPI covers only completed properties.

The Central region sub-index for last month is 3.7 percent lower than the pre-crisis peak in November 2007, while the Non-Central region sub-index has exceeded its 2008 pre-crisis peak by 15 percent. Thus, the overall index for November was around 7.6 percent above its pre-crisis high in November 2007.

The latest NUS indices are in line with reports from property agents that prices of mass-market condos have scaled new records this year, while prime and luxury condo prices have yet to reach their 2007 records.

Ong Choon Fah, executive director (consulting) at DTZ, said entry-level suburban condos have seen strong demand in 2010, riding on upgrader demand amid a buoyant HDB resale market.

“In addition, the trend of developing a higher proportion of smaller units in private residential projects has spread from the prime districts (where rental demand is stronger) to the suburbs – and this has also helped to boost sales of mass-market projects by making the lump sum investment more palatable to buyers,” she said.

Mrs Ong highlighted that developers are now offering some features like sky gardens, which were previously available in prime district projects.

Tan Tiong Cheng, chairman of Knight Frank, said the increase in prices of high-end condos had not been so sparkling this year because of the more subdued foreign buying than in 2007.

“The foreign buying back then was from a wider spectrum. These days, buyers from the West, Middle East and Russia seem to be out of the equation. Also Western bankers were a significant buying contingent in 2007 but post-crisis, banks are less generous with remuneration,” said Mr. Tan.

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