Still weak, but home sales are out of coma

MARKET RECOVERING: The Sky Vue condominium project in Bishan, offered by Allamanda Residential Development, sold 433 of 505 units offered last month.


    Oct 17, 2013

    Still weak, but home sales are out of coma

    AFTER being put through the wringer by the loan curbs unveiled in June, Singapore's private-home sales are gradually climbing back. Developers sold 1,246 units last month, some 65 per cent more than the revised 756 units sold in August.

    This, however, is a far cry from the 2,621 units that were sold in September last year, according to data that the Urban Redevelopment Authority released yesterday.

    The property market had fallen into a funk in July, immediately after the loan curbs were announced, with only 482 units sold that month. Since then, a tentative recovery has set in.

    Developers have started marketing more projects as buyers come to terms with new rules that govern how financial institutions grant property loans to individuals. Previous curbs to tame a potential property bubble had included new taxes and higher down payments.

    A total of 1,806 new units were launched last month, much higher than the 979 units in August.

    The overall mood in the market remains cautious.

    "The total debt-servicing ratio measure is really biting... now," said Mr David Neubronner, national director of residential-project sales in Singapore at broker Jones Lang LaSalle. "I expect sales to be sub-1,000 units a month over the next three months."

    Home prices in Singapore rose at the slowest pace in six quarters in the three months ended Sept 30.

    The country's private-residential-property price index rose 0.4 per cent to a record 216.2 points in the three months ended Sept 30, after climbing 1 per cent in the second quarter, according to preliminary figures released by the authority on Oct 1.

    That was the smallest gain since the first quarter of last year, when the index dropped 0.1 per cent.

    Among the developers that began sales of their projects was United Venture Development (Thomson), which sold 264 units of 320 marketed at its Thomson Three project last month, the data showed.

    Sky Vue, offered by Allamanda Residential Development, sold 433 of 505 units offered.

    And developers building smaller units have helped achieve higher prices on a per-square-foot (psf) basis, Channel News Asia reported.

    Mr Ku Swee Yong, chief executive officer of real-estate agency Century 21, pointed out that Thomson Three and Sky Vue had been well received.

    "In fact, Sky Vue has probably set a new record price for the Bishan area, and that is at above $2,000 psf."