Property investment sales up at S$8.36b in Q1 but still off 2007 peak

Property investment sales rose nearly 3 percent to S$8.36 billion in the first quarter compared to the previous three months. But this was still 36.6 percent below the peak of S$13.2 billion worth of sales amassed in the third quarter last year.

This is according to latest figures from property consultants Colliers International.

Colliers said with the exception of the commercial and industrial sectors, all other key property sectors experienced a decline in sales volume in the first quarter of this year.

The commercial investment sales market gathered momentum in March, chalking up some S$3.2 billion worth of transactions, or 38.6 percent of total investment sales.

The industrial investment sales market registered S$731 million worth of sales, up 10 percent on quarter. The majority of industrial sales transactions came from REITs purchases.

Colliers’ Director for Research and Consultancy Tay Huey Ying said CapitaCommercial Trust’s acquisition of One George Street for S$1.165 billion was the most significant commercial transaction in the first quarter, in terms of absolute sale quantum.

By unit price, the most notable investment deal was the acquisition of the 999-year Hitachi Tower by Goldman Sachs at S$811 million.

Residential investment sales dropped about 36 percent in the first quarter to $2.3 billion, compared to the previous three months.

Colliers said sentiment in the collective sale market also weakened.

The private sector accounted for the bulk of the investment sales activity, raking in some S$5.6 billion, or 11 percent higher than the fourth quarter.

Colliers said the strong participation of developers at recent land tenders has demonstrated their continued confidence in the mid-term prospects of Singapore’s property market.

The consultancy expects the confidence to continue to underpin investment sales activities for the rest of this year. – CNA /ls

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 8 Apr 2008

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