New private home sales in Jan lowest in over a year; analysts say momentum not lost

Sales of new private homes last month posted their worst showing in over a year.
Sales of new private homes last month posted their worst showing in over a year.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Sales of new private homes last month posted their worst showing in over a year, marking a slow start to 2016.

Developers sold 322 new private homes in January, 16.1 per cent less than in December and 14.4 per cent lower than a year back.

It was the lowest new home sales tally since 230 new homes were sold in December 2014.

This took place as no new projects were launched, and developers released just 146 units from earlier launches for sale.

But some analysts noted that there is still home buying momentum in the market.

"Buyers are steadily picking up previously launched projects - both private homes and executive condominiums (ECs)," said Mr Desmond Sim, CBRE head of research for Singapore and Southeast Asia.

Although there were no new ECs launched in the past three months, developers sold an average of 155 EC units a month over this period, Mr Sim said.

January has also typically been a slow month for property sales, said Mr Eugene Lim, ERA Realty key executive officer.

"A better gauge would be the months following Chinese New Year, where a few projects are gearing up for launch," Mr Lim said.

These include condominium projects The Wisteria and Sturdee Residences, while upcoming ECs include Wandervale and The Visionaire.

Overall, including ECs, developers sold 478 new homes in January, a 5.9 per cent decrease from December.

Across regions, they sold 26 units in the core central region, 80 in the city fringes and 216 in the suburbs.

wrennie@sph.com.sg