Private home sales hit new high

March 17th, 2012 at 7:29 pm

Despite the gloomy economic outlook and recent cooling measures, private home sales in February remained strong and set a new record with transactions hitting 3,138 units including executive condominiums (ECs).

Data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) revealed that excluding ECs, the figures mark a 118 percent increase year-on-year to 2,413 units, as opposed to the 1,105 units recorded in the same period last year.

Top selling projects during the month were Parc Rosewood at Woodlands, which sold 380 units at a median price of S$994 psf, and Guillemard Edge at Geylang, which sold 275 units at a median price of S$1,215 psf.

As for ECs, Twin Waterfalls saw 257 units sold at a median price of S$727 psf while The Tampines Trilliant sold 187 units.

Most sales took place in the OCR (Outside Central Region) with a record of 1,830 transactions. ECs accounted for 23 percent of the total private home sales volume, as 725 units were snapped up in February backed by the higher income ceiling for acquiring ECs.

“Property developers had held back the launches in December 2011, especially after the ABSD. However, encouraged by the strong take-up rate of properties in January 2012, developers’ timely release of new launches in February had gained momentum and many had pushed ahead with their launches in the OCR while activity remained muted within the Core Central Region (CCR),” noted Mohammed Ismail, Chief Executive Officer of PropNex Realty.

The numbers are still robust “even after a seemingly draconian round of ABSD measure and after five rounds of property cooling measures that began in 2009,” said Alan Cheong, Director, Research & Consultancy at Savills (Singapore) Pte Ltd.

“It could be that Singaporeans have an innate desire to own properties. This desire, built up over a generation of public housing policy is evidenced by the fact that 87 percent of Singaporeans own their homes.”

Cheong added that the run up in the stock market could also be instrumental in boosting buyers’ sentiment.

“However, the main demand driver has been low mortgage rates which is generally below 1.5 percent,” he noted.