It’s been a roller-coaster third quarter of the year (Q3 2018). Spurred by buyers rushing to secure their condo units before the latest round of cooling measures took effect on 6 July 2018, the total number of property transactions for July 2018 attained a high (5,478 transactions) not reached since January 2013 (5,678 transactions). Condo transactions, in particular, was the highest since March 2017, with 2,723 units sold.
(In the rental market, July 2018 recorded 11,715 transactions. In terms of rental volume, this is the second highest month in five years. The good news is that the trend of falling rent for the past five years seems to have bottomed, with average condo rental psf price, in particular, rising marginally (0.66%) from the start of this year to the end of the third quarter.)
In August 2018, the volume of property transactions expectedly fell — to a level not seen since December 2016 and January 2017 — as the effects of the cooling measures and the Hungry Ghost festival took hold. Just 1,142 transactions (both resale and new launches) were recorded. The average psf price of these transactions also fell by 2.9%. The lacklustre property market was not helped by a bearish tone in the world economy, with US-China trade war fears, poor equity market performance and a slump in emerging markets adding to the gloom.
An immediate rebound was always due to occur in September 2018. We’ve previously wrote that much of the reaction to the cooling measures were of a “knee-jerk” nature, even where foreign property investors are concerned. Sure enough, transaction volume for non-landed private properties in jumped 29% from August 2018, as did their average psf price (up 3.8%).
Nevertheless, our opinion is that the property market in Q3 2018 has definitely swung from a sellers’ market to a buyers’ market. Before the July cooling measures, buyers were eager to buy before prices shot up further.
Now, although we perceive that buyers still have cash on hand and the intention to purchase, they are far more selective and are willing to ‘wait and see’. In the Q3 2018 Property Report, we first dive into 99.co’s data and into the minds of buyers and renters to get a better idea of what they are looking for:
Surprised at some of our users’ search behaviour on our property portal? Stay tuned and subscribe to the 99.co blog for upcoming articles on Q3 2018 data and trends — part of our Q3 2018 Property Report Series.
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