New-home sales for Sept beat expectations

PHOTO: New-home sales for Sept beat expectations

Attractive pricing for some big launches lured buyers back and helped developers sell far more new private homes than expected last month.

But some market watchers say the surge does not mean a market revival but reflects more aggressive marketing by firms after a period in the doldrums. Take-up rates at most new launches, they noted, remain relatively low.

Developers will still take heart from the sales figures, however.

Last month, 1,246 new units were sold, 65 per cent up on the 756 moved in August and well ahead of industry forecasts of 700 to 800 units. The figures exclude executive condominiums (ECs).

The sales jump came as developers rolled out new projects last month after holding back in July and August in the wake of the total debt servicing ratio framework introduced in late June.

The September surge brought total sales of new units to 2,484 units for the third quarter.

That trumps the range of 2,200 to 2,400 consultants predicted last week but is still the lowest quarterly figure recorded since the final three months of 2009.

The city fringe accounted for 65 per cent of the new private homes sold last month.

CapitaLand's Sky Vue near Junction 8 in Bishan was the top seller, with 433 units out of the 505 launched snapped up at a median price of $1,401 per sq ft (psf). The 99-year leasehold project has 694 apartments.

UOL Group's 99-year leasehold Thomson Three was also popular, selling 264 of the 320 units launched last month at a median $1,362 psf. It has 445 units.

Marketing manager Cherlyn Loke, 28, who bought a 1,141 sq ft three-bedder at Thomson Three for around $1,400 psf, told The Straits Times she liked the unit layout and location.

Consultants said the sales lift was partly driven by more aggressive strategies. Developers put 1,806 new private homes on the market last month, nearly double the 979 units launched in August.

PropNex chief executive Mohamed Ismail also cited "reasonably attractive pricing".

But Jones Lang LaSalle Singapore research director Ong Teck Hui noted that of the seven launches last month - Alana, Belgravia Villas, Onze @ Tanjong Pagar, Sky Vue, The Glades, The Skywoods and Thomson Three - only Sky Vue and Thomson Three did well. The rest managed a take-up rate of 9 per cent to 45 per cent.

Consultants expect total new home sales to be between 14,000 and 16,000 units for this year.

If ECs are included, 1,658 new homes were sold last month, 12 per cent up on August's 1,482.

EC sales mainly came from the 495-unit Sea Horizon in Pasir Ris, which moved 317 homes at a median price of $818 psf.

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