Surprised by the quarterly uptick in landed home prices, Realstar Premier Group managing director William Wong said: “Quite a number of units were transacted at prices lower than expected in Central and the East. At most, I would say prices have flattened out.”

The landed property specialist is expecting more landed transactions this year while prices will ease further by no more than 5 per cent. This is because a price equilibrium is being reached between buyers and sellers, “coupled with the fact that there will unlikely be any more negative property measures being introduced”, he said.

SLP International executive director Nicholas Mak reckons that the quarterly rise in the landed price index was a technical rebound caused by the significant 2.7 per cent quarter-on-quarter drop in the third quarter, having fallen an average 1.2 per cent over each quarter from Q4 2013 to Q2 2016. “Hence, the rise in the price index could be a temporary statistical blip and it is still a bit early to conclude that the landed residential market is recovering,” he said.

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Non-landed home prices in the prime or Core Central Region (CCR) were flat in the fourth quarter, after falling 1.9 per cent in the third quarter, URA flash estimates show.

Based on SRX Property data collated from property agencies, about 80 per cent of the over 600 transactions in the CCR in the fourth quarter were resale transactions which – under URA’s terminology for resale – also include units in delicensed projects sold by developers.

PropNex Realty’s branch district director Dominic Lee, who specialises in prime non-landed properties, said that he had expected the price index for the CCR region to perform even better as the high-end projects that he was involved in such as OUE Twin Peaks have seen fairly good sales, with prices surpassing that of the previous quarter.