Sales of uncompleted private homes fall 36.6% in Sept

Sales of uncompleted private homes took another dip in September, the second month of decline, after hitting a record high in July where 2,772 units were sold.

A total of 1,143 units were sold last month, a 36.6 percent fall from August.

Market watchers said this level of activity is more sustainable going forward.

5,719 units were sold in the third quarter alone, more than the whole of last year.

But activity has tapered since, and observers said it is unlikely to test the record sales of 2,772 units in July going forward.

Analysts said that is partly due to the government’s anti-speculative measures that have kept speculators away.

At the same time, some developers have also delayed new launches during the Lunar Seventh Month period, which is a traditionally low season for the property market.

Market watchers said the pent-up demand seen in the last two quarters has fizzled out.

And for the last three months of the year, they expect private home sales to range between 800 and 1,000 units a month.

The development that sold the highest number of units was Hundred Trees at West Coast.

327 out of the 350 units launched in the project were sold last month at a median price of S$941 per square foot.

The Interlace at Alexandra Road also saw strong sales, with 243 units sold at a median price of S$1,047 per square foot.

Only 99 high-end homes, priced above S$1,500 per square foot, were sold in September. This is a sharp drop from the 421 that were sold in August.

Analysts said properties selling at S$1,000 per square foot and under may do better for now, but next year could see more upmarket launches.

“We are going to see us being placed as a cheaper alternative for some (investors) to put their investment dollar into Singapore. With the opening of the integrated resort, with more high net worth investors coming to Singapore, we think the higher-mid end, right up to the luxury segment of the residential market would probably see better reception,” said Donald Han, managing director of Cushman & Wakefield.

Observers expect home prices to rise about 5 per cent in the fourth quarter, after a strong run up in the last three months. Home prices in third quarter rose sharply by 15.9 per cent.

“Now with the brightening economic outlook, buying momentum could still be sustained as buyers are now more confident of their ability to service their housing loan in light of greater job security,” said Grace Ng, deputy MD of Agency & Business Services, Colliers International

Nearly 13,000 new homes were sold in the past 9 months. And experts project total sales volume for the year to exceed the record 14,811 transacted in 2007.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 15 Oct 2009

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