Good location, pricing push up sales of new private homes

Potential buyers at the launch of Poiz Residences on Meyappa Chettiar Road on Nov 28, 2015.
Potential buyers at the launch of Poiz Residences on Meyappa Chettiar Road on Nov 28, 2015. PHOTO: MCC LAND

The rise in new home sales last month shows the market's resilience, but buyers still need to be lured by well-located developments at attractive prices, said analysts.

There were 759 private homes sold in November, up 39 per cent from the 546 moved in October, according to the Urban Redevelopment Authority yesterday.

A total of 734 units were launched, a sharp increase from 434 in October.

Without any new launches this month, most analysts expect new private home sales to remain muted until after Chinese New Year.

PropNex chief executive Ismail Gafoor said: "Buying interest will remain selective. Bargain hunting is likely to be the main focus of buyers. There is a definite pick-up in market momentum, but whether it can be sustained largely depends on the project's location and its pricing level."

ERA Realty key executive officer Eugene Lim said: "Going into 2016, we would probably see similar instances whereby developer sales will spike whenever developers launch attractive projects that are reasonably priced."

The top performer last month was MCC Land's The Poiz Residences, with 277 units sold. The estate next to Potong Pasir MRT station was the only new launch with 350 units released at a median price of $1,440 per sq ft (psf).

CapitaLand's Sky Vue in Bishan was next with 59 units sold at a median price of $1,522 psf after the developer purportedly slashed prices by up to 10 per cent. Sky Vue, which was launched in 2013, had a median price of $1,401 psf.

Last month's sales were about 79 per cent up on the 423 units moved in November last year.

There were 22 new homes sold in the central region compared with 25 in October. The city fringes racked up 504 transactions, up from 280, and 233 units were sold in the suburbs, down from 241.

SLP International executive director Nicholas Mak noted how "launch and sales volumes of private residential properties and executive condominiums (EC) typically jumped in November 2013 and November 2014, followed by a drop in volume the following month".

Developers released 1,440 private homes in November 2013 and 863 in the same month last year, both ahead of the 734 units released last month, said Mr Mak. Including ECs, 945 units were sold in November, up from 822 in October.

R'ST Research director Ong Kah Seng noted: "While it (the EC figure) may seem a mediocre sales number, this is certainly an encouraging sales level because there wasn't any new launch of an EC project in November. And yet, about 186 units managed to be sold by developers, largely on the back of attractive pricing and on continued relevance of ECs, albeit very realistic buying."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 16, 2015, with the headline 'Good location, pricing push up sales of new private homes'. Print Edition | Subscribe