Singapore’s August home sales down 39%

Singapore’s private home sales in August fell 39 per cent short of July’s – when a record 2,772 units were sold.

According to data by the Urban Redevelopment Authority, just 1699 homes were sold in August.

According to analysts, while these numbers may be relatively low, they’re still better than expected as the Chinese Hungry Ghost Festival typically depresses sales even more.

A dip in the number of developer launches in August saw home sales fall on-month.

“But at current levels, based on sales volume, we are still transacting at above market average of 1,400 units over the last 8 months this year. There were quite a few projects which sold very well in the month of August, for example Trevista, and Viva,” said Eugene Lim, Associate Director, ERA Asia Pacific. Trevista is in Toa Payoh, while Viva is in the Thomson area.

Analysts said that the demand is driven mainly by the usual HDB upgraders and investors, who are tempted by relatively low prices and interest rates.

The sales, however, are not expected to return to earlier highs, partly because the last quarter of the year is a traditionally low season for the market.

Furthermore, government measures to prevent a bubble in the property market, announced on Monday, are likely to dampen sentiment.

“Looking at the average take-up per annum in Singapore, it’s about 6,500 to 7,500 depending on the period. If you exclude the run-up in 2007, the demand per year is about 6,500, 6,800 – that’s about 550 to 600 housing units per month. So, you can expect the next few months’ numbers to be around that,” Chua Yang Liang, Head of Research, Southeast Asia, Jones Lang LaSalle.

According to analysts, prices are likely to hover around the same levels or go even higher because barring major shocks, there are limited or no downward pressures on prices.

The improving economy and the opening of the two integrated resorts next year are likely to support prices.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 15 Sep 2009

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