New leasehold home prices in Q3 up 11% on-quarter

Prices of 99-year non-landed homes sold in the third quarter of this year have increased across the board – across new, resale and sub-sale markets.

CB Richard Ellis, the world’s largest commercial real estate services firm, said its analysis of caveats lodged showed an 11.0 per cent in median prices of new leasehold homes – from S$825,000 (S$660 psf) in the second quarter to S$916,000 (S$769 psf) in the current quarter.

Prices of new freehold projects also saw the same upward trend, but CBRE said price swings were skewed by the launch of high-priced projects in the prime district areas.

In the last eight months of this year, HDB upgraders made up 51 per cent of new home buyers, compared to 44 per cent for the whole of 2008.

HDB upgraders were also active in the secondary market, making up 40 per cent of buyers this year to date, up from 33 per cent for the whole of last year.

The top five foreigners in the new home market this year came from Malaysia, Indonesia, China, India and Britain.

CBRE said demand for new homes may hit a quarterly high of 5,200 units in the third quarter, although the Singapore economy has not fully recovered yet. In the nine months from January to September, an estimated 12,450 units would have been sold, nearly three times the 4,264 new homes sold in 2008.

CBRE attributed the buying spree to a stable stock market and slight improvement in economic fundamentals, as well as fear that home prices could never return to current levels again. It said the release of some long-awaited projects also boosted the numbers.

There were key performers in the various segments of the market in the third quarter.

In the low-end market segment, which catered mainly to HDB upgraders, 294 out of 297 units of Optima @ Tanah Merah were sold at an average price of S$830 psf. The Gale in Upper Changi sold 293 units (89.1%) at an average price of S$720 psf, while 461 units (78.1%) of Trevista in Toa Payoh fetched an average price of S$943 psf.

In the mid-tier segment, all 70 units of Airstream in St Michael’s Road and 75 out of 78 units of Luxus Hills were sold. Airstream was priced at an average price of S$1,085 psf, while the terrace houses of Luxus Hills were sold between S$1.6 million and S$1.9 million each.

In the prime districts, 82 units (96.5%) of Volari in Balmoral Road were sold at S$2,059 psf on average, while 203 units (86.4%) of Viva in Thomson and 210 units (77.2%) of Sophia Residence were sold at average prices of S$1,537 psf and S$1,590 psf respectively.

For resale leasehold properties, the median price in the third quarter rose 9.1 per cent to S$796,500 (S$668 psf), from the S$730,000 (S$593 psf) three months ago.

For sub-sales, the median price at S$992,500 (S$1,032 psf) in the third quarter was 9.7 per cent higher than S$905,000 (S$869 psf) in the previous quarter.

Looking ahead, CBRE said the residential sales momentum is likely to moderate in the fourth quarter because of the latest government measures to stabilise the market and fewer large-scale new launches.

It also said further price increases will be checked as they had climbed substantially in the last six months and some resistance can be expected.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 16 Sep 2009

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