Private home sales down 27% in August

Private home sales down 27% in August

A dearth of major new project launches in August as developers avoided the Hungry Ghost month led sales of private residential homes, excluding executive condominiums (ECs), to fall 27 per cent from a month ago.

URA's monthly developers' sales statistics for August showed that 1,421 units were snapped up last month, lower than the 1,946 in July. Property consultants say that the drop in sales was expected because the Hungry Ghost month typically sees slower transactions, and that sales figures this year are still expected to smash last year's record./span>

What is noteworthy, they say, is that the lack of fresh launches sparked an interest in homes of projects that were first launched before August. Just one in three of the 1,118 homes launched in August were from new projects - which in turn made up just 14.5 per cent of the 1,421 units sold.

Eugene Lim, key executive officer of ERA Realty Network noted that the drop in sales is unlikely to steer the market away from its path of recording the highest number of sales in a year.

"Due to the sales volumes exceeding 2,000 units for February to April, the overall average so far this year is 1,950 units, still well above the long run average of 1,500 units sold per month."

He added that September's sales figures are likely to shoot up again as a slew of launches typically hits the market immediately after the Chinese seventh month.

Notably, a unit at SC Global Developments' The Marq on Paterson Hill was sold for $4,921 psf, the highest median price achieved for a private residential apartment this year.

Sales in Outside Central Region (OCR), where mass market projects are located, fell by 45 per cent to 835 units as there were no new mega mass-market projects launched in August, but take-up in the Rest of Central Region (RCR) bucked the trend by seeing a higher number of units sold in August compared with July.

One Dusun Residences was the top-selling project in August by volume. The smallish, mixed-use freehold development is a joint venture by the Nobel Design Holdings, 2E Capital and Lian Huat Group.
In the CBD, 65 units of UIC's 510-unit V on Shenton were sold at $2,927 psf, bringing its total sales to 206 units since its launch in July.

In total, 15,295 homes have been sold this year, compared with 15,904 for the whole of last year.
In the EC market, 118 units were sold in August, all of which were from existing projects as there were no new launches during the month. This is slightly fewer than the 124 ECs sold in July.
Some 2,668 ECs have been sold in the year, 7 per cent lower than the 2,883 ECs sold in 2011.

Source: Business Times – 18 September 2012