Private home sales rise 47% on-month in March to 1,761 units

Private home sales kept up their momentum in March, with 1,761 units changing hands, according to figures from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).

This was up 47 per cent on-month and also the fourth highest monthly sales recorded since the start of URA’s monthly series in June 2007.

Analysts said demand for new homes remains strong, despite more government measures to cool the market in February.

The prime and outlying areas showed the highest level of market activities. New homes in the prime districts accounted for 720 units of total sales. Projects in the outlying areas accounted for 776 units transacted, while city fringe areas accounted for 265 units sold.

The top two best selling developments were both in the suburbs. The Vision saw 236 units sold, while The Estuary had 212 units transacted. The third and fourth best sellers were 76 Shenton in the downtown area, which saw 202 units sold, and The Laurels, which moved 115 units.

Of the top five best selling projects in March, only the Coralis was in the city fringe area.

According to Colliers International, 44 per cent of sales in March were to HDB flat owners, up from 34 per cent in January and 33 per cent in February.

Colliers said this may be due to HDB upgraders rushing to lock in their private property purchases for fear of being caught in a double whammy situation, where private property prices rise beyond their means and HDB resale flat prices fall after the government stepped in to curb speculative activity in the HDB resale flat market in early March.

Going ahead, analysts said the sales volume and prices in the residential market are expected to continue to expand, fuelled by the expected growth in the regional economies and investment confidence.

The expected gradual appreciation of the Singapore dollar may also result in higher demand for Singapore assets by foreign investors which would include real estate here.

Ngee Ann Polytechnic real estate lecturer Nicholas Mak said in the absence of any market shock such as the introduction of a property capital gains tax, the number of private homes sold by developers could reach 13,000 to 15,000 units in 2010.

He also expects the robust buying demand of private suburban homes to lead to more land sales by the government. He said that in the short term, such land sales would sustain the market activities and even contribute to the growth in property prices.

Colliers expects the improved economic environment to give property market sentiment and confidence a further boost.

It expects April’s launch and sales volume to stay robust at above the 1,000-unit level, but it said price-resistance – particularly at the mass-market level – may moderate sales from the strong performance in March.

Colliers also expects the strong buying momentum to continue at least into the second quarter.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 15 Apr 2010

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