1,544 private residential units sold in July; 82.3% higher than units sold in June

Sales of private homes defied expectations to bounce back strongly in July.

According to latest data by the Urban Redevelopment Authority, 1,544 private homes were sold last month.

That’s 82.3 per cent higher than the 847 units sold in the previous month.

Some analysts say this is due to the rush before the Hungry Ghost festival and the launch of popular projects.

Analysts had expected between 900 and 1000 units to be sold in July.

According to Colliers International, these included the Scala in Serangoon, followed by the 172-unit Terrene at Bukit Timah, and 368 Thomson.

Together, the three projects contributed to 59.7 percent and 46.6 percent of the total units launched and sold in July, respectively.

This year’s Hungry Ghost festival started last week but even before that the event had fired up home buyers’ appetite for property.

This reversed the decline in transactions that started from May.

Dr Chua Yang Liang, Head of Research, Southeast Asia, Jones Lang LaSalle, said: “Usually if you look at the last three years, just prior to the Hungry Ghost festival there’s always an increase in the number of buyers.

That seems to be trend going by the numbers that most buyers and developers tend to want to launch the projects just before the Hungry Ghost Festival which happens to fall on August 10th.

We’ve seen that happening again this month in July, and the increase is higher that what we expected. I think it’s driven largely by the three key projects.It comes from a cultural belief that you do not make purchases during the Hungry Ghost festival, as most Chinese believe that it’s bad omen to buy.”

Developers also came in with several major launches in July to capitalise on the improved sentiment.

The hottest property for July was the Scala condominium at Serangoon Avenue 3.

400 units were sold at a median price of S$1,173 per square foot.

The project boosted sales in the suburban areas, which led the overall sales volume for a third straight month.

The most expensive unit sold was Boulevard Vue at Cuscaden Walk, where a unit was sold for S$4,600 per square foot.

According to CBRE Research, the suburban regions made up about 43 percent of sales.

The next highest volume of 606 units (39.2 percent) were located in the city fringes and were mainly contributed by 368 Thomson Road (157 units at S$1,403 psf).

The prime districts registered 277 units sold (17.9 percent).

Private home sales are expected to moderate in August with a slowdown in launches, but pick up towards the end of the year.

Donald Han, Regional MD, Cushman and Wakefield, said: “Probably there’ll be pick up in terms of new home sales figures towards the fourth quarter nearer to the 1500, 1800 units per month.

With a lot activities happening in Singapore, tourist arrivals will continue to be very strong as well, and this will bring in potential investors into Singapore and I think that will…prop up the market, all sectors of the market.

The current market – the mass market, the mid-end – is dominated by the locals and the Singapore residents, the PRs. I think the foreign element will start to come back towards the later part of this year.”

Some analysts believe that overall prices will increase by 5 to 10 percent till the end of the year.

For the first seven months of the year, 9,957 units were sold.

For the whole of 2010, observers expect sales figures to be around 13,000 to 15,000 units.

In 2009, over 14,700 homes were sold.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 16 Aug 2010

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