Singapore's home prices which have been declining for fourteen straight quarters, have resumed their upward trend. Home prices have rebounded by 5.46% off the low of 166.15 as of the first quarter of 2018. However, home prices are still 75.22% above their year-end 2004 levels. Overall prices levels, as measured by inflation have just increased by 31.45% since year end 2004. In other words, for the past ten years, Singaporean home prices have outpaced inflation by almost than 40 percentage points.
Neighboring Malaysia's House Price Index now stands at 270.70 as of the fourth quarter 2017, 170.70% higher than year-end 1998 levels. General price levels as of the fourth quarter 2017 are only around 54.89% higher than their year-end 1998 levels.
In Thailand, which has been experiencing political turmoil for some time, home prices have remained essentially flat since the end of 2004. Home Prices ended 2013 with the index at 100.54, just 0.54% higher than the end of 2004, but showing a substantial recovery since the recent low of 74.08 posted in the third quarter of 2009. In the first quarter of 2018, home prices have rebounded to 122.61, or 22.61% higher than its year-end 2004 levels, way below its expected inflation adjusted levels. General Price levels are 35.20% above their year-end 2004 levels. In other words, Thailand Home Prices have lagged inflation by as much as 12.59% since their year-end 2004 levels.
Meanwhile in Indonesia, home prices have showed no signs of slowing down their upward trajectory. In fact, prices seem to have gone parabolic, climbing 4.63% in the last quarter of 2013, from a base of 121.49 as of the third quarter of 2013 to 127.11 as of year end 2013. In the first quarter of 2018, home prices have climbed an additional 25.47% to reach 152.58. Since the first quarter of 2007, home prices have risen 52.58%, while inflation has raised general prices by 84.21% during the same period. Indonesian Home Prices, like Thailand, have lagged inflation since 2007.
Hong Kong real estate prices have reached a staggering 446.68 as of the first quarter of 2018 from a base of 100 since year-end 2004. General inflation levels have just climbed 47.18% during this same period. In other words, Hong Kong home prices have outpaced inflation by an astounding 29.50% during this period, the highest rate of appreciation in the countries covered in this post.
However, it is important to note that Hong Kong Home Prices have also entered into a minor correction phase, declining by 9.83% from its recent peak of 365.95 as of the third quarter of 2015 to just 329.38 as of the first quarter of 2016. Although there was a distinct possibility that Hong Kong Home Prices entered a bear market just as it did in the aftermath of the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, that possibility has now disappeared and the index is at an all-time high. See previous post: How low can Hong Kong Property Prices Go? Some Clues from the Not Too Distant Past
Philippine house price index stands at 248.31 at the end of the first quarter 2018 or over 148.31% above their year-end 2004 levels. Philippine home prices, with the exception of Hong Kong, have posted the largest 10-year gains among all the countries considered in this blog post. Like Singapore and Malaysia, Philippine home prices have outstripped inflation by around seventy-eight percentage points. Like Indonesia and Hong Kong, Philippine home prices have so far no signs of slowing down their upward trajectory for the foreseeable future. The question is, is this momentum sustainable? Or will the Philippines and Indonesia follow its ASEAN neighbors, Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand, in exhibiting plateauing or declining house prices? That remains to be seen.