Owners hit by tighter lending rules and higher interest rates, says report
MORTGAGEE sale listings shot up in the first quarter as tighter lending rules and higher interest rates put the squeeze on owners, said a new report by a property firm.
There were 54 homes put up for auction in the three months to March 31 as mortgagee sales.
This was a 22.7 per cent increase over the last quarter of last year and a 200 per cent increase compared with the same period last year when there were just 18 such listings, said the Knight Frank report.
Only one auction sale of a property by its owner took place in the quarter - a row of five refurbished shophouses in Teck Chye Terrace that went for $14.63 million. -- PHOTO: COLLIERS INTERNATIONAL
"Persistently weak" sentiment from cooling measures, including the Total Debt Servicing Ratio framework and the softening leasing market, contributed to the residential sector forming 70.3 per cent of total auction listings during the quarter, said Knight Frank yesterday.
"Owners face daunting challenges to service their mortgage loans with rising interest rates, and are increasingly susceptible to mortgage defaults," it added.
Total mortgagee sales amounted to about $21.2 million in the quarter, up 54.4 per cent on the last three months of last year.
"Buyers are evidently sourcing for 'good bargains' from mortgagee listings in the auction market," said Knight Frank.
Overall, more properties were put up for auction in the quarter - 175 properties were listed, a 35.7 per cent rise quarter on quarter.
While the bulk of these listings were from owners, the number of non-owner listings, including mortgagee, estate and trustee, rose 20.8 per cent quarter on quarter to 64 units.
Total sales value rose 161.2 per cent quarter on quarter to $35.8 million. This included nine homes - all mortgagee listings - that went for $20.4 million in all.
Only one auction sale of a property by its owner took place in the quarter - a row of five refurbished shophouses in Teck Chye Terrace that went for $14.63 million.
Knight Frank said given the uncertain global economic outlook, a higher number of properties will likely be put up for auction in the second half of this year "as owners may face difficulties to lease out their units or keep up with their mortgage loans".
As demand for residential properties in the secondary market has been weak over the past few quarters, there could also potentially be more mortgage defaults, the firm added.
Lenders will probably have a "more realistic mindset" in their price expectations in upcoming auctions, while trying to maximise the amount they can recover.
With cooling measures unlikely to be lifted in the near-term, and a rising supply of completed private residential properties last year and this year, property sellers face increasing competition to close sales, said Knight Frank.