Jun 18, 2013

    Private-home sales rise after April slump

    PRIVATE-HOME sales here rose 5.4 per cent last month as developers marketed new projects, according to the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).

    Home sales rose to 1,455 units last month from 1,380 units in April, the URA said. Sales dropped 51 per cent in April as developers marketed fewer projects while residential prices posted the smallest gain in three quarters. Corals At Keppel Bay, developed by Keppel Land, sold 132 units out of 160 marketed last month, while Stratum in the city's east sold 269 of 380 units marketed, according to the data.

    The country's private-residential-property price index rose 0.6 per cent in the three months ended March, according to separate data issued in April by URA.

    Government measures in January, the seventh round of curbs in about four years, included an increase in stamp duties for home buyers by 5 percentage points to 7 percentage points.

    The curbs in January also included higher taxes on permanent residents when they buy their first home, and on Singaporeans starting with their second purchase.

    On the May sales figures, Mr Mohamed Ismail, chief executive of PropNex Realty, said: "The steady transaction level could be due to robust demand from genuine first-time home buyers, as well as competitive pricing by developers to entice potential home buyers."

    Going forward, he said PropNex expected sales volume to be maintained at its current level.

    "Housing demand is likely to remain healthy as key support factors, such as the availability of cheap credit and a low unemployment rate, will continue to fuel housing demand," he said.