Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Singapore home sales surge to 3-year high

A record 2,621 new private homes in Singapore, excluding executive condominiums (ECs), were sold by developers in September, pushing the nine-month total this year to 17,927 units, which is 12.7 percent more than the 2011 full-year total of 15,904 units, according to data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).

Last month’s sales were a whopping 83.7 percent more than the 1,427 units sold in August and the highest since July 2009 (2,772 homes).

The nine-month total this year has also exceeded the previous full-year record in 2010, when 16,292 units were sold.

According to market watchers, the robust sales volume could be attributed to high liquidity / low interest rates and the ramping up of new launches, reported The Business Times.

Compared to the 1,118 units launched in August, close to double or 2,224 homes were launched in the market last month, as some developers had previously held back in view of the Hungry Ghost Festival.

Taking September’s sales volume into account, Q3’s preliminary total now stands at 5,999 units.

However, most property consultants expect a slowdown in Q4, closing the year with about 21,000 to 22,000 units.

Still, Ong Choon Fah, Chief Operating Officer at DTZ South-east Asia, reckons that property will remain attractive, “because of a lack of investment alternatives”.

“No 1, land is scarce in Singapore, although there will still be cycles. No 2, investors believe that if they put their money in real estate, they're unlikely to lose a significant part of it. There are so many ways you can consume property - besides living in it, you could rent it out, use it as a weekend home, let a nephew who has just married live in it for the time being.”

Meanwhile, the Outside Central Region (OCR) recorded the most sales with 2,062 units sold, a significant 146 percent rise from 837 in August, marking a new monthly benchmark sales record for the area, said Chia Siew Chuin, Director at Colliers International. 

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