New private home sales hit one-year high in July

Despite the strong sales figures last month, they were still down 34 per cent on July last year, which saw sales beefed up by the 1,169 units moved at High Park Residences (above) in Fernvale. Analysts said yesterday that the latest private home sale
Despite the strong sales figures last month, they were still down 34 per cent on July last year, which saw sales beefed up by the 1,169 units moved at High Park Residences (above) in Fernvale. Analysts said yesterday that the latest private home sales figures could indicate that the primary market "has bottomed".ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

New Jurong project helps boost numbers to more than double that of June

Sales of new private homes hit a one-year high last month and more than doubled June's sales, boosted in part by a new project in Jurong.

Developers sold 1,091 new units - excluding those in executive condominiums (ECs) - in July, up 103.5 per cent from the 536 moved in June, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said yesterday.

This was the highest number of new homes sales since the 1,655 units shifted in July last year.

Despite the strong sales numbers last month, they were still down 34 per cent on July last year, which saw sales bolstered by the 1,169 units moved at High Park Residences.

Mr Ong Teck Hui, national director of research and consultancy at JLL, noted: "The market outlook which turned positive in the earlier part of the year seems to be carrying through past mid-year."

Analysts said yesterday that the latest figures could indicate that the primary market "has bottomed".

Demand for new homes has been lacklustre in recent years owing to a slew of property cooling measures.

"The rise in sales can be attributed to improving sentiments as buyers consider putting their capital to use in view of a potentially prolonged low-interest-rate environment," OrangeTee's head of research and consultancy Wong Xian Yang told The Straits Times.

Mr Wong added that there had been no substantial drop in prices across projects last month based on transaction data.

July's sales were driven mainly by the red-hot demand for MCL Land's Lake Grande in Jurong West, which accounted for 42.5 per cent of sales. It was the star performer last month, selling 464 units - out of the 500 units placed for sale - at a median price of $1,368 psf.

Suburban areas led sales with 825 new private homes sold in July, followed by the city fringe with 213 homes sold, while 53 units were moved in the core central region.

URA's figures showed that 624 new private residential units were launched last month, well up on the 234 apartments placed for sale in June.

CBRE Research said July's sales indicated "continued traction" for unsold units from existing project launches, as the cut-back in supply of land sites helped to clear the inventory.

"Should this current momentum continue, (we) will not be surprised to see some reserve sites being triggered before the end of the year," added Mr Desmond Sim, head of CBRE Research for Singapore and South-east Asia.

Sales of new EC units last month also rose sharply, tripling to 830 units from the 232 units sold in June. It was also the highest monthly sale of EC units since November 2014, JLL said.

Including EC units, a total of 1,921 new homes were transacted in July.

Two new EC projects hit the market last month offering a total of 862 units, after an absence of new launches in May and June.

One of the new launches - Treasure Crest in Anchorvale Crescent - came up top in the EC segment, with 398 units sold at a median price of $751 psf.

Despite the July sales surge, analysts do not expect the feat to be repeated this month in view of the slower sales during the traditional Chinese Hungry Ghost Festival and the weaker economic outlook.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 16, 2016, with the headline 'New private home sales hit one-year high in July'. Print Edition | Subscribe