New home sales soar, despite global uncertainty

New home sales in Singapore surged last month despite global macroeconomic uncertainties and stock market volatility, driven by strong demand in mass market condominiums from HDB upgraders.

Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) data released yesterday showed developers sold 1,631 private homes last month, up 20.7 per cent from the 1,351 units in August. A total of 1,321 units were sold in the outlying areas, 260 in the city fringes and only 50 in the prime districts.

Including Executive Condominiums (ECs), September sales hit 2,064 units. This is the highest monthly volume this year and a strong 26 per cent jump from August’s 1,638 units, according to PropNex Realty.

Mr Mohamed Ismail, its chief executive, said: “September’s results were remarkable and largely contributed by the sale of A Treasure Trove closing 683 units, making up 42 per cent of the total transactions. These homebuyers are mainly HDB upgraders and the purchase rationale was the attractive pricing, with median price of S$915psf in this development, and its proximity to the Punggol MRT.”

Ms Chia Siew Chuin, director of research and advisory at Colliers International, said: “Encouraged by the strong unrelenting underlying demand for mass-market homes, developers rode on the buying momentum and upped their launches of such housing projects in the Outside Core Region (OCR) in September, ahead of any dampening of home buyers’ sentiment.”

The number of private homes, excluding ECs, launched last month rose 39.1 per cent from the previous month to 1,919 units – and 1,504 of these, or 78.4 per cent, were in the OCR.

A total of 433 EC units were sold last month, up from 290 in August. Mr Li Hiaw Ho, executive director at CBRE Research, said it was likely that the latest Government move to raise the household income ceiling for EC buyers from S$10,000 to S$12,000 per month had given a boost to sales.

For the rest of the year, Mr Li said that developers would be monitoring the impact of the euro zone crisis on the Singapore economy to time their project launches.

“Looking at launch-ready projects in Q4 and with prices remaining stable, it is unlikely that we will see the same level of take-up as in Q2 and Q3. We expect the total new home sales volume in 2011 to exceed the 14,688 units sold in 2009, but it remains to be seen whether it can outdo the record 16,292 units sold in 2010,” he added.

Source : Today – 18 Oct 2011

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