Private home sales in August jump by 165%

In another bullish sign for the local property market, the number of new private homes sold last month soared by 165 per cent from a year earlier.

Just one major project was launched over the month – Le Quest in Bukit Batok.

Analysts say buying momentum continues to pick up in the face of more aggressive bids by developers for land sites and as the level of unsold stock from earlier launches falls.

Developers sold 1,241 units last month, up from 468 a year earlier, according to Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) data released yesterday.

No executive condominiums (ECs) were launched last month, but developers moved 340 EC units, compared with 331 last year. Still, it was well down from the 980 EC units sold in July, given red-hot sales at Hundred Palms Residences EC in Yio Chu Kang Road, which sold all of its 531 units at its launch.

In total, 1,581 private homes and ECs were sold last month, up 98 per cent year on year, but down 24 per cent from 2,091 snapped up in July.

Analysts say sales of private homes may cross the 12,000 mark by the year-end at the current pace – the most since 2014, after mortgage rules were tightened.

Already, the total number of private homes sold in the first eight months is 8,391 units, surpassing the 7,972 units sold all of last year.

The improvement of primary sales in August will further reinforce sentiments that the property market is bottoming out.

Developers are selling inventory of unsold units from previous launches at a much faster pace. Last month, there were 4,294 unsold units, compared with 9,000 a year ago.

Buyers fear prices may increase by more than 10 per cent next year, given the recent aggressive land bids from recent land sales.

August private home sales jumped 11.7 per cent from the 1,111 homes sold in July – the second straight month when transactions exceeded 1,000.

Developers launched 774 homes, excluding ECs, in August, up 31 per cent year on year, and up 29 per cent from July.

The top-selling private residential project last month was Chinese developer Qingjian Realty’s Le Quest. It sold 286 units at a median $1,309 per sq ft.

Le Quest, launched prior to the start on Aug 22 of the seventh lunar month, when some buyers typically refrain from buying homes, made up close to a quarter of the sales last month.

According to the caveats, 85.3 per cent of units went to Singaporeans.

Adapted from: The Straits Times, 16 September 2017