Private home sales slump in June

New private home sales slumped in June, falling by 25 per cent from the previous month to 1,182 units despite an increase in the number of new launches in the month.

Data released yesterday by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) showed that 1,614 units were launched last month, up from 1,215 in May.

Most analysts attribute the decline in sales to the seasonal effect of the June holidays as well as the Government’s moves to increase public housing supply. These factors, combined with the uncertainties in the external environment such as the euro zone and United States sovereign debt crises, appeared to have doused buying sentiment.

Of the private homes sold last month, 833 units were located in the suburban areas, compared with 227 units in the city fringe and 122 units in the central areas. Including Executive Condominiums (EC), the total sales volume would have been higher at 1,394.

Ms Chia Siew Chuin, director of research and advisory at Colliers International, noted that price increases had been moderating for seven consecutive quarters.

“So you can see that there is some resistance in buyers’ responses to continued price hikes. In view of the possible dampening effects on buying demand, we are likely to see prices moderate further or hold stable,” she added.

But while the number of transactions fell last month, some analyst expect full-year sales to be healthy.

Highlighting EC sales of about 200 units, Mr Liang Thow Ming, head of residential services at Credo Real Estate, said that by extrapolating the combined sales figure over a full year, “We’re still hitting in excess of 14,000 to 15,000 units this year”.

Chalking up the best sales last month was Woodhaven at Woodgrove Avenue, where 155 units were sold at a median price of S$981 per sq ft. The best selling EC was Belysa at Pasir Ris Drive 1, where 153 units were sold at a median price of S$700 psf.

Meanwhile, the most expensive property sold in June was at Le Nouvel Ardmore in Ardmore Park, where a unit was sold at S$4,362 psf.

Singapore’s private home prices rose 1.9 per cent in the second quarter, the smallest gain in two years, according to URA data on July 1.

“This is further evidence that the cooling measures are having an effect,” said property consultant SLP International executive director Nicholas Mak,. The fourth round of cooling measures – introduced in January – include seller stamp duties as high as 16 per cent and a loan-to-value limit of 60 per cent on second and subsequent mortgages.

“The cooling measures don’t take effect overnight, they take a couple of months to show effect,” he said.

Source : Today – 16 Jul 2011

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