In quiet Nov, sales of new private homes rise

The number of new private homes sold in Singapore rose unexpectedly last month in a traditionally-quiet period, amid volatile market conditions.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said yesterday that 611 new units were sold last month, up from 590 in October.

Developers launched 598 units last month – which is slightly lower than the 629 in October.

“The market thought that November would be quieter than October, but it turned out to be a little bit better. So, that was unexpected,” said Savills Singapore director of marketing and business development Ku Swee Yong.

“The buyers who were in for short-term gains have disappeared and the serious investors or owner-occupiers were the ones buying homes.”

The United States sub-prime problems are escalating global financial market volatility, resulting in fewer new property launches and more cautious buyers, said Mr Li Hiaw Ho, executive director of CBRE Research.

Still, two bulk purchases were made by investors last month, said Mr Li. These are the 20 units at 8 Napier – at about $3,550 per square feet (psf) – and 44 units at Cliveden at Grange – at nearly $3,700psf.

Mr Li said that the main performers last month were Amber Residences, which sold 85 units, and Casa Fortuna, which sold 103 units.

“It is likely that the total number of new units sold in the fourth quarter will be around 1,700 to 1,800 units. Overall, prices are firming,” said Mr Li. “Sales volume and prices in December should remain at the same levels as October and November.”

Savills’ Mr Ku added: “We didn’t see many deals struck where sellers were willing to give a discount.”

Mr Ku expects this month to be quiet in terms of new sales, but the property market should pick up momentum early next year.

Source : Today – 18 Dec 2007

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