New private home sales jump by 43% in January

Sales of new private homes in Singapore jumped by about 43 per cent on-month in January 2013, despite the latest round of cooling measures introduced last month.

According to the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), 2,013 units of new private homes – excluding executive condominiums – were sold in January, compared to 1,410 units sold in December 2012.

A URA spokesperson said about 60 per cent of the 2,013 units were sold before January 12 – before the latest cooling measures took effect.

The remaining 40 per cent of the units were transacted from January 12 onwards.

The rush to beat the January 12 deadline partly caused the spike in new private home sales during what is traditionally a lull period.

Extending sales hours way into the night before the new measures kicked in helped pushed sales at La Fiesta in Sengkang.

The development saw a total of 404 units sold in January – making it the best-selling project for the month.

Out of the total sales, only 44 units were moved at La Fiesta post cooling measures.

Thomas Tan, executive director at RE/MAX Singapore, said: “After the cooling measures were announced, I think the effect will be seen probably after one quarter.

“You will probably see a truer picture – what is really happening in the market – from March or even April onwards, so that the cooling measures can take its course, then buyers can make informed decisions.”

Experts said sales discounts in the form of furniture rebates and renovation vouchers also helped move sales after the new measures were implemented.

But they added that sales momentum may run out of steam in the coming months.

Getty Goh, director at Ascendant Assets, said: “In February, we may expect to see good volume but it may not translate to significant price increases. This is because of all the discounts given.

“Right now, although we do not have clear visibility. Going forward, when the Parliament passes new regulations to the developers’ act, the Housing Developers’ Act, which requires them to start publishing what sort of discounts they are giving, then after that, we will be able to get a better sense of the kind of actual figures that we are talking about here.”

Meanwhile, data released by URA on Friday showed that 350 units of new private homes located in the core central region were sold in January.

Developers moved 376 new units in the city fringe and 1,287 units in the suburban areas.

Looking ahead for the full year, experts do not expect total sales in 2013 to surpass the record sales of 22,684 new private homes in 2012.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 15 Feb 2013

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