Singapore private home sales down 40% in Q1

Sentiments in the Singapore residential property market continued to weaken in the first quarter on the back of a possible recession in the United States.

Private home sales dropped by 40 percent in the first quarter of this year compared with the last quarter of 2007, according to a report by DTZ Research.

Transactions of private condominium units, based on caveats lodged, fell 41 percent to 2,500, while sales of landed homes declined 38 percent to 566.

Analysts said the poor sales were due to a stand-off between buyers and sellers’ price expectations.

“A lot of these sellers are still looking for prices at the peak of the market, which is probably in the middle of last year. They are still confident that the market would trend up in the mid term, and that the current slowdown is likely to be temporary,” said Tay Huey Ying, Director of Research & Advisory at Colliers International.

But the slowdown looks set to stay for a while. Developers are launching fewer units. Only 487 private condominium units were released for sale in the first quarter of this year, down 49 percent compared with the previous quarter. This is the lowest since the SARS period in the first three months of 2003.

The number of new properties resold before completion continued to decline, by 40 percent in the first quarter, the lowest in one and a half years.

“I think sub-sales will continue to remain at a very low volume in the coming quarters…..Speculators are likely to continue to stay away from the market at this point because the road ahead is still very uncertain – the uncertainty in the US economy, as well as the global financial market turmoil,” said Tan.

Going forward, analysts expect overall prices in the private residential property market to increase by between 0.5 and 1.5 percent in the second quarter of this year. – CNA /ls

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 12 Jun 2008

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