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    Jun 16, 2016

    New home sales hit 10-month high in May

    SALES of new private homes surged to a 10-month high last month, partly driven by healthy demand at two new launches.

    Developers sold 1,056 new homes last month, up by 41.2 per cent from the 748 units transacted in April, said the Urban Redevelopment Authority yesterday.

    This is the strongest monthly sales performance since 1,655 units were sold last July.

    Analysts said yesterday that it could indicate that the property market - which has endured a lengthy period of slow sales due to cooling measures introduced - is stabilising and in a "tentative recovery mode".

    "The green shoots (of recovery) could potentially persist if interest rates remain low. Another consideration is whether there would be a general improvement in economic growth in the second half," said Alice Tan, Knight Frank Singapore's research head.

    Last month's sales, which were a big step up from the 643 units sold during the same month a year ago, were spurred by two top-selling new launches.

    Gem Residences at Toa Pa-yoh sold 312 units at a median price of $1,431 psf while Stars of Kovan at Upper Serangoon Road moved 76 units at a median price of $1,414 psf.

    Units at the two projects were among the 1,345 new homes launched by developers last month.

    Apart from new launches, existing projects also booked brisk sales, a sign that reasonably priced projects near MRT stations continued to be favoured by home buyers.

    The Poiz Residences sold 47 units, 36 units went at Sturdee Residences and 36 homes were bought at Botanique at Bartley.

    ERA Realty Network key executive officer Eugene Lim said: "This shows that there is sustained demand for existing projects and buyers are discerning, going for projects which offer them the best value for their money."

    New homes on the city fringe accounted for more than half of May's sales at 582 units while 414 new homes in the suburbs were sold, followed by 60 units in the core central region.

    However, analysts believe buying interest will remain selective, driven by project attributes and pricing, and sales could taper in the next two months.

    "This monthly sales figure is expected to moderate as there are no foreseeable new major launches. This is a result of the noticeable cutback on residential sites in the GLS (Government Land Sales) programme," noted CBRE Research head for Singapore and South-east Asia Desmond Sim.

    All in, 3,274 new units, excluding executive condominiums (ECs), were sold in the first five months of the year, higher than the 3,189 units transacted from January to May last year.

    "Barring unforeseen circumstances derailing the improvement in market sentiment seen in the last three months, developers' sales for 2016 look poised to exceed that of 2015," consultancy JLL added.