Private property market getting hotter

The private property market here surged as 2,207 units were sold last month – the first time it broke the 2,000-unit mark in nine months since July last year. This was also 25.3 per cent higher than the 1,761 private homes sold in March, according to the latest data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).

Demand for such housing also far outstripped supply as only 2,084 units were launched last month, with most buyers snapping up mid-tier to mass market developments as the luxury market takes a back seat.

And despite anti-speculative measures introduced in February, market watchers said intervention to further cool the market is unnecessary.

Mr Nicholas Mak, real estate lecturer at Ngee Ann Polytechnic, said that “while there may be a slower buying momentum, developers are not cutting prices and yet there is demand, so the whole market is able to support the price increase”.

He said while the Greek debt crisis may worry buyers, others feel that China and India’s rapid growth will balance out market sentiment.

Dr Chua Yang Liang, head of research of South-east Asia at Jones Lang LaSalle, said market sentiment is bouncing back.

He added: “The positive growth in April can be seen as a sign of continued recovery for the residential market.”

The mass market and the mid-tier homes segments will likely lead the way going forward as affordability remains a main consideration for potential home buyers in this market, experts said.

“Based on these factors, the overall residential property price index is expected to expand at a moderate average rate of 1.5 per cent to 2 per cent per quarter going forward,” Dr Chua added.

The core central region, where most luxury properties are located, saw strong sales with 391 units sold, while only 252 units were launched.

The Orchard Residences, which adjoins ION Orchard, commanded a whopping $4,207 per square foot (psf) – the highest transacted price so far this year.

In the city outskirts, the sale of 1,044 units was lower than the 1,120 new homes launched.

UOL’s Waterbank@Dakota was the best-selling property for April, with 573 units sold at $1,178 psf while Tree House at Chestnut Avenue, outside the central zone, took second spot with 374 units sold at $835 psf.

Property analysts believe such high transactions volume is unlikely to be sustainable, as there are reportedly fewer visitors to showflats over the last two weeks.

Source : Today – 18 May 2010

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