Q3 home sales up 1%, strong resales offset primary home figures

HOME sales rose by one per cent quarter-on-quarter to 4,596 units in the three months to September, led by a stronger showing in the resale market, according to a report by Edmund Tie & Company Research.

The resale market saw a 15.7 per cent increase in sales in the third quarter, while primary home sales fell 13.2 per cent due to slower sales in August.

Despite this upward trend in transaction volume, home prices continued to remain soft in the third quarter. This is due to the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s (URA) private residential property price index falling for the 12th consecutive quarter.

According to the URA, private home prices fell by 1.5 per cent quarter-on-quarter to almost the same level as the third quarter of 2010.
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The number of unsold homes also increased this quarter as developers continued to actively replenish their land bank through en bloc sales and the Government Land Sales Programme.

Home prices are likely to ease further as Singapore’s economy continues to face headwinds, the report said.

Notwithstanding, prices for properties close to amenities and transport facilities such as MRT stations are expected to be strong. The property consulting firm expects most of the projects in 2017 to do well, given their choice locations.

For newly launched projects this year, smaller units with one and two bedrooms did better because their lower outlay meant reduced additional buyers’ stamp duties for prospective buyers.

The unit prices of these smaller non-landed properties have returned to the levels in 2012 and 2013, before the total debt service ratio (TDSR) was enforced. Home sales in the prime districts of 9, 10 and 11 dipped to 136 units in Q3 from 148 units in Q2.

The top selling project in Q3 is Lake Grande, located in Jurong. It sold 514 units, due mainly to the timing of its launch which coincided with the government’s call for masterplan proposals for the Jurong Lake District.

Prices for landed properties continued to ease in Q3 while the number sold went up to 398, from 343 in Q2, with detached homes seeing the biggest jump to 63 homes – the highest since Q4 2012.

About 22.6 per cent of non-landed homes exchanged hands for over S$2 million. The last peak of 21.1 per cent was registered in Q2 last year.

There were also 554 homes below S$1 million that exchanged hands in Q3 this year, the highest since Q4 2012.

Singaporean buyers continued to account for the bulk of activity in the property market in Q3.

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