Private home sales in November down 44%

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Developers here sold 44.2 per cent fewer private homes in November compared with the month before, as they held back launches during the holiday season.
Data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) showed that 1,087 private homes, excluding executive condominiums (ECs), were sold last month, compared with 1,948 in October.
November’s sales figures were the lowest since December 2011. Compared with the same period last year, transactions fell 36.1 per cent. The slump was largely due to a lack of major launches, market watchers said.
Analysts said developers were holding back until after the festive season, noting that the end of the year is traditionally a low season.
The latest round of property cooling measures may have played a part, too.
A total of 773 units were launched last month, down 53 per cent from the 1,633 units in October.
No new ECs were launched in November, but 179 such homes were sold from earlier launches. Including these hybrid units, 1,266 homes changed hands, down from 2,624 the month before.
Still, demand showed resilience, with homes sold exceeding those launched, analysts said.
The top-selling development last month was the Eco Sanctuary in Upper Bukit Timah. It sold 140 units for a median price of $1,050 per square feet (psf); d’Leedon in Farrer Road sold 133 units at a median of $1,431 psf, while Riversails in Upper Serangoon transacted 81 units at a median of $858 psf. Bartley Residences also sold well, as did the Waterbay EC at Punggol.
The highest psf price in November was for a unit in Scotts Square, which sold for $4,244 psf.
Eugene Lim, ERA Realty’s key executive officer, noted that new home sales continued to be “dominated by the mass market”. Units from Outside Central Region made up 65 per cent of sales, excluding ECs, last month.
For the first 11 months of 2012, developers moved 20,879 private homes (excluding ECs), adding to a record year. The previous mark for full-year sales was 16,292 units, set in 2010.
Analysts expect 21,000-24,000 homes to be sold for the entire 2012.
For ECs, 3,672 units were sold up to November, and some consultants expect full-year sales to cross the 4,000 mark.
In December, sales figures could be supported by new launches. Analysts predict transaction volumes of 1,000-1,300 units.
Besides the Echelon, Sennett Residence and Spottiswoode Suites, the likes of the Kingsford@Hillview Peak, Village@Pasir Panjang and the Whitley Residences could be launched. Three EC launches are also expected: City Life@Tampines, Forestville and The Topiary.
There remains potential drag from an uncertain economic outlook and cautious employment prospects. Some analysts are expecting transactions to slow to 16,000-18,000 units next year.
Source: Business Times –18 December

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