New private homes sales jumps 84% in September

Demand for new private homes jumped by 84 percent in September from August, led mainly by a strong rebound in the mass market segment.

According to the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), 2,621 new private homes, excluding executive condominiums, were sold in September.

The 2,621 new units sold in September is the second highest amount since 2,772 units were sold in July 2009.

Analysts see this as a strong rebound, particularly when sales in August was 27 per cent lower than in July.

The rebound in September is in sharp contrast to the slow month in August. This, as some home buyers stayed away during the Hungry Ghost Festival, which typically sees fewer property project launches.

Analysts said that such stellar performance may not be repeated in the last quarter of 2012.

Christina Sim, Director (Residential) at Singapore Cushman & Wakefield, said: “October should not see so many units. I believe it should return back to the normal, maybe to 1,500, to 1,800. November should be even less, and December would be extremely quiet.”

Analysts said the latest cooling measure on home loans introduced early this month may also dampen sales figures. The other cooling measures include Additional Buyer Stamp Duty and the Seller’s Stamp duty.

Some analysts have said that another round of cooling measures may also be on the cards.

Eric Tan, CEO of GSK Global, said: “Basically, I think the government is looking at liquidity – how the US is going to affect us. Also the increase in prices. So long as prices increase by one to two per cent in the next three-quarters, I believe the government is going to step in and cool the market again with more measures.

“This time round, if the market is going to fall, it is going to be a few times harder than in 1997. It is going to fall very, very hard, because the prices have gone up too much.”

In the meantime, the supply of new homes has been increased to curb prices.

Two sites in Tampines were launched for tender under the government land sales programme. Besides these two sites that can yield up to an estimated 1,240 private units, another three sites — for private homes and executive condos — were also put up for tender. In all, these five sites can yield some 2,880 units.

Out of the five sites, only one site next to Sky Habitat is located in the city fringes or Rest of Central Region.

This, as figures showed that 2,062 new units sold in September were located in the suburbs or outside central region. This was more than double of the 835 units moved in August.

The number of units located in the core central region climbed 15 per cent from 218 units in August to 251 units in September.

Demand for new homes in the city fringe however, bucked the trend – 208 units changed hands in September compared to 368 units in August.