Private homes affected by new Executive Condos

But overall sales rebound amid rosy economic outlook

Sales of new private homes in the suburban area plunged 25 per cent last month from the previous month, likely hit by the return of executive condominiums (ECs), according to analysts.

However, growth from other areas lifted overall October home sales to 1,058 units, up 16 per cent from the 911 in the previous month, according to Urban Redevelopment Authority data released yesterday.

ECs – which are a hybrid between private and public housing – made a return last month after nearly five years. These are mass-market projects built by private developers but sold with public housing restrictions.

And they have been hugely popular, going by the 425 units sold at the Esparina in Buangkok and the 104 units sold at the Canopy in Yishun.

Property market observers believe this may have diverted interest away from private home sales in the suburban area, which dipped to 452 units from 601.

However, this drop was offset by growth in the prime and city-fringe segments.

Prime area sales grew to 335 units from 84 in September. City-fringe sales increased to 271 units from 226.

Excluding ECs, the Glyndebourne at Dunearn Road was the most popular project. Some 112 units in the prime-area project have been snapped up at a median price of $2,149 per sq ft (psf).

Meanwhile, the most expensive new home – sold at $4,800 psf – was a unit in Boulevard Vue.

“Underpinned by the still rosy economic outlook, buying interest has returned – plus the fact that interest rates remain attractive and the stock market remains buoyant. I think this in a way has supported sales volumes for October,” said Colliers International’s research director Tay Huey Ying.

Most analysts expect monthly volumes and prices to remain at current levels until the rest of the year. Some are a bit more bullish.

“There is still some upside in the market that has yet to be capitalised,” said Mr Chua Yang Liang, head of research for South-east Asia at Jones Lang LaSalle.

Prices for the high-end segments are generally still 5 per cent below peak levels, while mass market segments are 10 per cent above the previous highs, according to Jones Lang LaSalle.

Source : Today – 16 Nov 2010

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