New private home sales up 8.8% in Sept

Lake Grande in Jurong accounted for 44 per cent of the new private homes launched for sale last month. It was among the top-selling projects, with 29 units going for a median price of $1,312 per sq ft.
Lake Grande in Jurong accounted for 44 per cent of the new private homes launched for sale last month. It was among the top-selling projects, with 29 units going for a median price of $1,312 per sq ft.PHOTO: MCL LAND

More buyers expected as interest rates low and hopes for easing of cooling measures dim

Sales of new private homes climbed to 509 units last month despite a dearth of fresh project launches by developers.

The monthly total was a jump of 8.8 per cent from the 468 units in August, which traditionally sees slower market activity owing to the Hungry Ghost Festival.

Year on year, new home sales were up 49.3 per cent from the 341 new homes sold in September last year, Urban Redevelopment Authority data showed yesterday.

Still September's volume was the fourth-lowest monthly figure this year, and markedly lower than the bumper 1,092 new units sold in July.

Market watchers expect sales to pick up this month and the next as more buyers return to the market.

They said fence-sitters had been nudged towards buying a home by factors such as a strong belief that property cooling measures are unlikely to be eased any time soon.

"Buyers have also been encouraged by the low interest-rate environment... The expectation that rates will likely increase should nudge more buyers to action," said Mr Desmond Sim, head of CBRE Research for Singapore and South- east Asia.

Sales last month were led by 297 units sold on the city fringe, followed by 144 units in the suburbs and 68 units in the core central region.

The top-selling private residential projects last month included Lake Grande in Jurong, which sold 29 units at a median price of $1,312 per sq ft; The Trilinq in Clementi, which sold 28 units at a median $1,405 psf; and 23 units at Kingsford Waterbay in Upper Serangoon, with a median $1,202 psf.

Last month, developers launched 479 new private homes for sale, with about 44 per cent of the units from MCL Land's Lake Grande.

Consultancy JLL said the release of new units in existing projects may be due to an expected pick-up in sales in the coming months.

Recent launches Forest Woods and The Alps Residences, whose sales will be captured only in October's data, have attracted positive response from buyers when they were put on the market.

With two more new projects, Parc Riviera and Queens Peak, set to be offered for sale next month, PropNex Realty said new private home sales could cross 1,000 units per month in October and next month.

A total of 5,883 new private homes have been sold in the first nine months of the year.

"It is estimated 7,500 to 8,200 private residential units would be sold by developers in 2016, exceeding the 7,440 units sold last year," said JLL national director of research and consultancy Ong Teck Hui.

Mr Nicholas Mak, executive director at SLP International Property Consultants, said: "The demand for private housing is reaching the stage of stabilisation after reeling from the 'regulatory shock' experienced in 2013 to 2015."

URA said 260 new executive condominium (EC) units were sold last month, down about 21.5 per cent from August. No new EC units were launched in September.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 18, 2016, with the headline 'New private home sales up 8.8% in Sept'. Print Edition | Subscribe