THE 3.1 per cent quarter-on-quarter increase in the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s private home price index based on its first quarter flash estimate has shocked most property consultants, who were expecting a rise of 1 to 2 per cent.

The rise is the steepest quarter-on-quarter hike since Q2 2010, when the index rose 5.3 per cent.

A check by The Business Times among seven property consultants on Monday found that they have raised their forecasts for the whole of this year; where they had previously predicted a rise of between 3 and 8 per cent in the benchmark property price index, they now peg their forecasts for a rise of between 7 and 15 per cent.

A JOINT venture between Singapore-listed construction and engineering firm Tiong Seng Holdings and civil engineering company Ocean Sky International has agreed to acquire Cairnhill Heights condominium for S$72.6 million, less than the sellers’ initial asking …