Home sales volume down, but not the prices

Home sales volume down, but not the prices

SINGAPORE - It's official - the private home sales volume is down.

And this decline has been happening since March, according to Singapore Real Estate Exchange (SRX).

But many sellers still refuse to budge, said Mr Cheah Kian Choong, property director at I-Realty.

"In January, they were still optimistic (about prices). They didn't think that prices would go down, but they are slowly becoming receptive to cut their losses."

While the June figures show that resale prices have risen by 1.8 per cent for non-landed residential properties compared to last year, things are not as rosy as they seem.

Last month, there was a 21 per cent drop in transactions of non-landed properties from May.

Compared to a year ago, it is a 38 per cent decline.

For HDB, in June, there was a 9 per cent drop in transactions from the month before. Compared to a year ago, it is a 32 per cent decline.

Now, listings stay longer on the market.

Property agent Charlotte Tan said : "In general, the average wait for a sale is about four to six months compared to a maximum of two months a year ago.

"We hardly get any calls nowadays."

The reason?

"The buyers are waiting for the price to fall, but the sellers are refusing to lower their price," she said.

So why is the price index still up?

It's the flood of new launches, especially in the suburbs, say market watchers.

There were about 17 new launches with 3,773 units in the Outside Centre Region (OCR) in the second quarter, said Mr Nicholas Mak, head of research and consultancy at SLP International.

Real estate consultancy CBRE notes that the higher price points of some projects have led to an increase in the price index.

"This is largely a function of the number of projects with good connectivity that were released by developers in recent months," CBRE said in an e-mail to The New Paper.

"These include Jade Residences, Midtown Residences and Jewel @ Buangkok," said CBRE.

These projects are at Upper Serangoon, Hougang and Buangkok respectively.

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