37% jump in new private home sales last month

Last month's transactions provided for the best January sales figure since 2014. Analysts generally termed the sales as "healthy", especially given that no new private housing or executive condominium projects were launched last month among projects
Last month's transactions provided for the best January sales figure since 2014. Analysts generally termed the sales as "healthy", especially given that no new private housing or executive condominium projects were launched last month among projects that were still licensed.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

522 units sold by developers, as analysts say fear of rising prices pushed some to buy

Some 522 private homes were sold by developers last month, up 37 per cent from the 382 units sold a year ago and 21 per cent more than the 431 units moved in December.

In addition, developers sold 100 executive condominium (EC) units last month, just like in the previous month, but a drop from 184 units in January last year.

The figures were released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) yesterday based on its surveys of licensed housing developers.

Analysts generally termed the January sales as "healthy", especially given that no new private housing or EC projects were launched last month among projects that were still licensed.

The transactions last month provided for the best January sales figure since January 2014, when 572 units were sold.

Mr Desmond Sim, CBRE Research's head of Singapore and South-east Asia, said: "With the market swamped with reports on a recovery, in terms of prices as well as a buoyant collective sale market nudging land costs up, the fear of missing out or falling on the wrong side of the price recovery has possibly nudged the undecided to make a decision.

"In addition, the market is about to enter a different interest rate environment, which may be a catalyst to this decision-making process."

Cushman & Wakefield research director Christine Li said the year-on-year fall in EC units sold last month was "due not to faltering demand but a dwindling unsold EC inventory".

As of the end of last month, there were only 296 EC units that had been launched but remained unsold. The next EC project launch will be the 628-unit Rivercove Residences in Sengkang, likely in April.

In the absence of new launches - for both private residential and EC projects - last month, home buyers continued to dip into previously launched projects.

JLL's analysis of URA figures showed that EL Development's Symphony Suites in Yishun was the best-selling private housing development in the primary market last month, with 65 units transacted at a median price of $1,085 per square foot (psf). Keppel Land moved 42 units at Highline Residences in Kim Tian Road at $1,962 psf median price.

In the EC segment, last month's bestseller was Parc Life in Sembawang Crescent, with 25 units sold at $824 psf median price, followed by iNz Residence in Choa Chu Kang, with 20 units sold at a median price of $839 psf.

Developers' sales figures can be expected to rise in the coming months as new projects are launched after Chinese New Year.

Most property consultants are forecasting primary-market private home sales in the range of 11,000 to 14,000 units for the whole of this year - up from 10,566 units last year.

"The firm economic outlook for Singapore this year should continue to drive positive sentiment and confidence in the property market," said Ms Tricia Song, head of research for Singapore at Colliers International.

On the supply side, ZACD Group executive director Nicholas Mak said there are potentially slightly more than 20 private housing projects with 12,500 units in total that could be launched this year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 15, 2018, with the headline '37% jump in new private home sales last month'. Print Edition | Subscribe