BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – The median purchase price of residential homes dropped 11 percent year-on-year, according to a price index released by the Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam (AMBD) on Friday.

The central bank today published its first Residential Property Price Index (RPPI), which assesses real estate market conditions and tracks changes in the average price of residential properties across all four districts.

According to the RPPI, in Q1 of 2018, the median purchase price for all residential properties was $250,000.

Breaking it down, the report stated that the median price for detached houses was $299,000; $260,000 for semi-detached houses, $185,000 for terrace houses; $205,000 for apartments; and $82,000 for land purchases.

AMBD said the price index would measure the affordability of home ownership in Brunei, and may also serve as a macroeconomic indicator of economic growth and financial stability.

Based on mortgage data obtained from banks, there were 92 transactions for residential properties in Q1 2018.

The majority of these transactions were for detached houses (51%), followed by terrace houses (22%), semi-detached houses (16%), apartments (7%), and land (4%).

The overall median purchase price of residential properties in Q1 2018 decreased by 11% year-on-year compared to Q1 2017, said AMBD.

In Q1 2018, the Residential Property Price Index was at 87.3, a decrease of 2.7 percent year-on-year compared to Q1 2017, and a decrease of 7.7 percent compared to Q4 2017.

The Residential Property Price Index for Q1 2018, published on July 6, 2018. Source: AMBD

A study conducted by Universiti Brunei Darussalam in 2017 found that family relations and government housing policies significantly affected housing purchase patterns.

Brunei has a unique housing market due to the presence of a massive supply of public housing for citizens.

According to the research, of the 210 people surveyed, just 12 percent of Bruneian adults are homeowners, while the majority live in family-owned homes (usually with parents or in-laws). The remaining 35 percent rent privately, or if they are government employees, through a special scheme.

In developing Brunei’s first RPPI, AMBD used 2015 as the base year. The index will be published on a quarterly basis, in close with close cooperation of the Ministry of Development, in particular the Authority for Building Control and Construction Industry.

For more information on RPPI, members of the public can view technical notes on the methodology and statistics on the AMBD website.