New private home sales down 57.3% in Dec with fewer launches

Sales of private homes last month fell 57.3 per cent from the previous month in the traditionally quiet year-end period, even as 2016 saw a continued uptick in sales, according to data released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Monday (Jan 16).

Excluding executive condominiums (ECs), developers sold 367 new units in December, down from the 860 units sold in November. Year-on-year, the number of new units excluding ECs sold last month was 4.4 per cent lower than the 384 units sold in December 2015.

Including ECs, 580 new units were sold last month, down from 1,110 units the previous month. However, this was 14.2 per cent higher than the 508 units sold the same month a year before.

The month-on-month decline in sales comes as developers scaled back new launches during the traditionally quiet year-end period. Excluding ECs, only 90 units were launched in December, compared to the 1,363 units launched in November.


However, yearly sales continued to climb steadily, with the total number of new homes sold in 2016 reaching its highest in three years.

A total of 12,408 new private homes – including executive condominiums (ECs) – were sold last year, a 21.7 per cent increase from the 10,199 units sold the previous year. In 2014, 9,026 units were sold.

ECs were the driving force behind sales in 2016, real estate company PropNex said. Excluding ECs, there were 8,364 new units sold last year – slightly higher than the 7,625 units sold in 2015 and 7,437 units sold in 2014.

Sales in the core central region also saw a spike of 67.2 per cent, from 431 units in 2015 to 721 last year. PropNex’s chief executive officer, Ismail Gafoor, said current price points of units in the region were 20 to 25 per cent cheaper compared to previous peaks for some developments.

He added that this was due to aggressive marketing by developers to avoid paying the extension fee if they fail to sell all their units within two years of obtaining a temporary occupation permit after completing a project.

Mr Ismail predicted that new private home sales would remain similar this year. “Unfortunately due to the global uncertainty, political situation as well as the impending interest rate hikes, I think 2017 will witness a similar volume of transactions in the tune of 12,000 to 13,000. Therefore, I’m not expecting a repeat of another 20 per cent increment come 2017.”

CBRE Singapore gave a similar outlook, but added that favourable prices and good quality projects would continue to drive demand in 2017, as they have over the past two years.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 16 Jan 2017

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