Private home sales down 6.8% in February

Sales of private homes last month fell 6.8 per cent from the previous month despite more new launches during the Chinese New Year holiday period.

Excluding executive condominiums (ECs), developers sold 301 new units in February, down from the 323 units sold the previous month, data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority showed on Tuesday (Mar 15). Including ECs, 430 new units were sold last month, down from 479 units the previous month.

The decline in sales was despite slightly more new units being launched in February, with 209 units launched that month compared to 159 units in the previous month.

Commenting on the numbers, Eugene Lim, key executive officer at ERA Real Estate, said buying activity was down due to the quiet market and Chinese New Year holiday period. He added that there will be a “much improved” market in March, as several recently-launched projects did very well.

“The market is cautious but buyers are always ready to move when the price is right,” he said. “Many astute buyers recognise that prices are very stable now and they are likely to be having to pay more if not for the cooling measures. So the name of the game is now value for money.”

OrangeTee’s manager for research and consultancy, Wong Xian Yang, added: “In February, we had Chinese New Year celebrations. So this is why sales volume has fallen. Demand tends to be lower at the start of the year. Developers would also time their projects to launch in March or later, so as to maximise the total catchment of buyers.”

Overall, despite an expected bounce in March, the private residential market is expected to remain soft this year, with sales volume for the year estimated to come in around 8,000 units, compared to around 7,500 units sold in 2015.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 15 Mar 2016

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