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Property News16 May 2018

Private home sales down 53.5% year-on-year

ST 20180516 BIZKRNEW 3987635

Developers sold 729 private homes last month, up slightly from the 716 units in March but down 53.5 per cent from the 1,567 units moved in April last year.

The figures exclude executive condominiums (ECs).

As for EC units, 596 were sold last month, well up on the 72 in March and the 371 sold in April last year, according to Urban Redevelopment Authority data yesterday.

The strong EC sales were on the back of the launch of Rivercove Residences in Sengkang.

"This is the only EC launch for this year, soaking up pent-up demand after the sell-out launch of Hundred Palms Residences EC last year," said Colliers International research head for Singapore Tricia Song.

ZACD Group executive director Nicholas Mak noted that the total number of unsold EC units dropped to just 193 last month, with no more on sale until the EC development in Sumang Walk in Punggol is launched next year.

JLL national director of research and consultancy Ong Teck Hui said the upward pressure on EC prices will continue.

Huttons Asia research head Lee Sze Teck, who expects the 193 unsold EC units to be gone within three to six months, said: "More EC sites need to be launched."

The top-selling project last month was Rivercove Residences. The developer, a Hoi Hup Realty-Sunway Developments joint venture, moved 512 units at a median price of $970 per sq ft.

Meanwhile, a joint venture between Lendlease and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority sold 166 units at Park Place Residences at PLQ, a private development in Paya Lebar Road, at a median price of $2,060 psf in the second-phase launch of the 429-unit development.

The median price is about 14 per cent higher than the $1,805 psf median price for the 217 units sold during the first phase of the project's launch in March last year.

Oxley Holdings sold 141 units at The Verandah Residences in Pasir Panjang Road at a median price of $1,846 psf. Roxy-Pacific Holdings moved 52 units at Harbour View Gardens, also in Pasir Panjang Road, at $1,763 psf median price. City Developments sold 51 units last month at The Tapestry in Tampines at $1,391 psf median price.

JLL noted that only 654 new private homes were launched last month, just 40 per cent of the 1,616 units launched in April last year.

About 1,575 private homes were released from January to April - down 56 per cent from the 3,565 launched in the same period last year. And the number of private homes sold in the first four months of 2018 - about 2,310 units - was only about half of the 4,529 units moved in the same period last year.

Ms Song noted that the sales momentum for new private homes last month "was perhaps not as pacey as the market had expected".

"We think the relatively small project sizes of the new launches in April - coupled with raised prices in the limited unsold stock - could have resulted in the slower pace of sales growth in April," she added.

Analysts expect developer sales of private homes to rise this month, given that a few projects have already been released and sold well - including Twin VEW in West Coast Vale, and Amber45.

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