New norm brewing in private home sales

New norm brewing in private home sales

Elevated sales figures for private homes may become the new norm given the sector's sustained record performance over the past few months, say industry watchers.
It was already no surprise when the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) announced a pick-up in April's private home sales volume following a temporary respite in March.

URA reported a total of 2,487 private homes - excluding executive condominiums (ECs) - being sold in the month of April, a 4 per cent jump from March, and slightly higher than the 2,417 units achieved back in record-making February. Sales volume for the month was also a generous 38 per cent higher than the same period a year ago.

Things continued to be quiet in the EC launch scene with no new projects released for two consecutive months. In the absence of fresh stock, the segment's sales suffered, falling to 173 units, as compared to 639 units in March, bringing the total tally of new private homes (including ECs) to 2,660 for the month, 12 per cent lower month-on-month.

April also seemed to be a popular month among developers to launch their new projects, with names such as Barker 9, Eon Shenton, Hillsta, Katong Regency, Seahill, Sky Habitat, The Promenade @ Pelikat and Twentyone Angullia Park hitting the market.

Uptake for many of these new developments was also healthy with Katong Regency (244 units sold at a median price of $1,709 psf) topping the table for the most number of units sold in the month, among both new and older launches.

Notably, the UOL development which was sold out within a week was said to have been popular with buyers due to rising popularity of homes with a commercial component due to the added convenience it brings.

On the EC front, developments such as Twin Waterfalls and The Tampines Trilliant continued to sell well with both projects transacting 60 and 39 units respectively in April. For those with much deeper pockets, the most exorbitant unit sold for the month was an apartment at Hilltops (located at Cairnhill Circle) which transacted at $4,398 psf. However, the bulk of properties sold in April continued to hover in the $1,000 to $1,500 psf range.

Regionally, the core central region (CCR) reflected the sharpest pick-up in demand, with 106 units being sold in the area, up almost two-fold from March.

Based on caveats lodged, the median prices of new sales in the OCR have been rising more than in the CCR resulting in the gap between OCR and CCR closing from 2.5 in June 2007 to 1.8 times in April 2012. This has motivated more Singaporean buyers to enter the CCR market as evidenced by the recent developer sales result and this trend of a bottom-up support of the high end segment can be expected to continue.

Homes in the rest of central region (RCR) also seemed to have gained favour with buyers, with the number of units sold rising 70 per cent month-on- month to 867 units. But mass market homes in the outside central region (OCR) bucked the positive trend, with sales declining 17 per cent to 1,514 after reaching 1,825 in March - though demand was still deemed to be healthy.

Source: Business Times – 16 May 2012