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Thread: New home sales slump to 9-month low in Feb

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    Default New home sales slump to 9-month low in Feb

    Published March 18, 2008

    New home sales slump to 9-month low in Feb

    URA sees slowest sale of 170 units since start of its data releases in June '07

    By ARTHUR SIM


    (SINGAPORE) The number of new homes sold by developers dropped to just 170 units in February - the lowest since the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) began releasing monthly sales data in June 2007.

    And CB Richard Ellis executive director Li Hiaw Ho estimates that new home sales could be just 700-800 units for the first quarter of 2008 - even lower than the 894 units sold in the fourth quarter during the Asian financial crisis in 1997.

    In an analysis of the data released yesterday, Jones Lang aaLaSalle (JLL) said, however, that prices were comparatively stable.

    The firm's head of research (South-east Asia) Chua Yang Liang said that using the 'lowest median prices' category of the URA data, median prices declined 0.7 per cent for units sold in the Core Central Region (CCR) and 5 per cent in the Outside Central Region (OCR) on a month-on-month basis.

    For units sold in the Rest of Central Region (RCR), the lowest median price increased 14.2 per cent from $765 psf in January to $874 psf in February.

    Colliers International said 107 units were launched in the RCR and 64 were taken up. In the CCR, 31 units were launched and 35 were sold, while in the OCR, 205 were launched and 71 were sold.

    Colliers International director of research and consultancy Tay Huey Ying pointed out that although the units launched in the RCR accounted for 60 per cent of all new units launched in February, the number of units sold in the OCR accounted for a much smaller 42 per cent of all purchases.

    On the other hand, while the number of new units launched in the CCR accounted for only 9 per cent of all units, sales accounted for a much larger 21 per cent of all units sold.

    'On a deeper analysis, it is estimated that the sales take-up of new units launched in the month of February was strongest for CCR and weakest for OCR,' Ms Tay said.

    She also noted that sales of new units launched in the CCR improved from an estimated 53 per cent in January to 58 per cent in February, while sales in the OCR are estimated to have declined significantly from 49 per cent in January to just 22 per cent in February.

    'This could indicate the resilience of demand for high-end and luxury properties even in the wake of global economic and financial sector uncertainty,' she said.

    Another concern could be the increasing number of new homes ready for sale that have not been launched. At end-December 2007 there were 4,000 such units. But the number has since swelled to more than 6,500 units from 92 unlaunched projects.

    Ms Tay said that assuming the US recession is 'mild and short-lived', market activity could pick up towards the end of 2008 or early 2009. 'Based on this scenario, developers may launch a total of some 6,500 to 7,500 units in 2008,' she said.

    However, if the US falls into a prolonged recession, she reckons 5,000 to 5,500 units could be launched, with the mass-market likely to continue to dominate new launches.

    With developer sales falling, the secondary market appears to be taking up some of the slack.

    According to a DTZ Debenham Tie Leung report, the volume of developer sales of non-landed freehold and leasehold homes fell a sharp 60 and 74 per cent respectively in Q4 2007 quarter-on-quarter. However, secondary market freehold and leasehold transactions fell 47 and 43 per cent respectively for the same period.

    Foreigners bolstered sales figures. URA said that they accounted for 31 per cent of all non-landed secondary market transactions in 2007.

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    Default Re: New home sales slump to 9-month low in Feb

    March 18, 2008

    New home sales nosedive in Feb

    Only 185 out of 343 units sold, down from 328 in January, but prices are holding steady

    By Fiona Chan, Property Reporter


    SALES of new homes slowed almost to a standstill last month, delivering another blow to the already-weak housing market here.

    Property developers yesterday said they sold only 185 new units in February, about half of the 343 they launched in the month and well down from the 328 sold in January.

    This anaemic performance, coupled with the continuing quietness of the market this month, prompted some experts to predict that new home sales this quarter could hit one of the lowest levels ever seen here.

    'The current weak market sentiment is likely to stay, which means that the total number of new homes sold in the quarter may be 700 to 800 units,' said Mr Li Hiaw Ho, executive director of CB Richard Ellis Research.

    He said this could be worse than during the Asian financial crisis, when just 894 new units were sold in 1997's last quarter. Only Sars in 2003 saw fewer new homes sold: 427.

    In contrast, developers sold 14,811 new homes in the exuberant boom last year, or an average of 3,700 homes each quarter.

    Property consultants say they were not surprised by last month's feeble numbers, given the Chinese New Year holiday and the snowballing global financial crisis originating from the United States.

    But even as some admitted the contraction was 'worse than expected', they stressed the silver lining: home prices are still holding steady.

    At Hong Leong Holdings' Aalto in Jalan Kechil, two units were sold for a median price of $2,619 per sq ft (psf), up from the median $2,078 psf fetched by three units in January.

    'There are strong fundamentals to support home prices,' said Mr Chua Yang Liang, Jones Lang LaSalle's head of South-east Asia research.

    'En bloc sellers have to look for housing and they are cash-rich. We still believe in the 'remaking Singapore' story and with more foreigners coming in, property prices are likely to hold in the coming months.'

    But market confidence will 'remain shaky' until the extent of the US recession can be measured, said Ms Tay Huey Ying, director of research and consultancy at Colliers International. She expects market activity to remain lacklustre until June.

    At some projects, prices have started to dip slightly. At Ritz-Carlton Residences in Cairnhill, only one unit was sold last month at $4,140 psf. None was sold in January, but five were taken up in December for between $5,053 and $5,146 psf.

    The best performer last month was the Cosmo condominium in Guillemard Crescent, where 41 out of 45 units were sold, mostly within the first week of its launch, for between $1,048 psf and $1,152 psf.

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    Default Re: New home sales slump to 9-month low in Feb

    For units sold in the Rest of Central Region (RCR), the lowest median price increased 14.2 per cent from $765 psf in January to $874 psf in February.




    not bad, price still up in Feb.

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    Default Re: New home sales slump to 9-month low in Feb

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered
    For units sold in the Rest of Central Region (RCR), the lowest median price increased 14.2 per cent from $765 psf in January to $874 psf in February.




    not bad, price still up in Feb.
    Yes, we will be seeing the recovery soon. Cannot wait to see the prices escalate even higher.

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    Default Re: New home sales slump to 9-month low in Feb

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered
    Yes, we will be seeing the recovery soon. Cannot wait to see the prices escalate even higher.
    Good luck!

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    Default Re: New home sales slump to 9-month low in Feb

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered
    Yes, we will be seeing the recovery soon. Cannot wait to see the prices escalate even higher.

    If price slowly creep up with ery small volume, demand is there but sideline. Buyer will start to get worry if price continue to up this way.
    Together with stock price recovery in 1-2 months time, rocket will fire, people will rush in like crazy again.
    Now is the best time to buy, yet they dilly dally....

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    Default Re: New home sales slump to 9-month low in Feb

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered
    If price slowly creep up with ery small volume, demand is there but sideline. Buyer will start to get worry if price continue to up this way.
    Together with stock price recovery in 1-2 months time, rocket will fire, people will rush in like crazy again.
    Now is the best time to buy, yet they dilly dally....
    they don't want to caught in sucker's rally .

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    Default Re: New home sales slump to 9-month low in Feb

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered
    "For units sold in the Rest of Central Region (RCR), the lowest median price increased 14.2% from $765psf in January to $874psf in February."



    not bad, price still up in Feb.
    Prices went up by 14.2%?
    Good! Keep it up!

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    Default Re: New home sales slump to 9-month low in Feb

    Bankruptcies sneak back despite good times

    Situation could worsen if economy slows and people start losing their jobs

    By SIOW LI SEN


    (SINGAPORE) Despite full employment and robust economic growth, the number of people facing financial ruin has begun to rise.

    After falling from a high in 2004, the number of bankruptcy petitions and orders has begun to flatten and the delinquency rate for credit card holders has started to go up.

    Lawyers and those involved in bankruptcy counselling say new bankrupts tend to be younger and are mainly men. Also showing up are parents who acted as guarantors for their children.

    While the upward trend is far from alarming as it springs from a very low base, the situation could turn bleaker if the economy slows down and some people lose their jobs.

    'As far as I am aware, 99.9 per cent of the people made bankrupt are holding jobs; they complain that their salary is too low to pay (the debt) and that they have a family to feed,' said Aaron Chan, Advent Law director.

    The economy expanded 7.5 per cent last year and the unemployment rate was 2.1 per cent - a 10-year low. The National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) said retrenchments hit a 14-year-low, while unionised firms paid out the fattest bonuses in 18 years.

    Yet people seem to be living beyond their means.

    'When the country is doing well, there's a feel-good factor and people just want to spend,' said Mr Chan, who has been a banking litigation lawyer for some 15 years.

    He said the weekly list which comes out for bankruptcy hearings includes professionals such as lawyers and doctors.

    But these professionals usually pay up at this stage as they would not be allowed to practise if they were made bankrupt, Mr Chan said.

    Creditors can petition for a person to be made bankrupt once the debt exceeds $10,000.

    Leong Sze Hian, president of the Society of Financial Service Professionals, volunteers at the Official Assignee's office. He said the number of bankrupts could be even higher as creditors are holding back.

    In January this year, there were 292 petitions for bankruptcy and 215 bankruptcy orders were passed. In 2007, the average monthly bankruptcy petitions stood at 268 and the orders at 230, according to the Insolvency & Public Trustee's Office.

    In the works is a debt repayment scheme to help debtors avoid bankruptcy.

    Since he began counselling debtors two years ago, Mr Leong said he noticed that a number of new bankrupts seem younger, and are overwhelmingly men.

    Bankrupts include those who have problems paying rent for their HDB shops as well as those who cannot pay the bank loans for their HDB homes.

    In addition, quite a few are parents who acted as guarantors for the unsecured credit taken out by their children, Mr Leong said.

    There was also one case of a man who did not own a car but was bankrupted for his certificate of entitlement (COE) bid.

    He had bid $8,000 for the COE but found his application for a car loan rejected by a bank, said Mr Leong. With fees and charges, his debt snowballed to over $10,000, he said.

    Credit Bureau (Singapore) Pte Ltd data shows that the number of delinquent credit card holders began rising steadily from July last year.

    In December, there were 14,379 delinquent credit card holders representing a delinquency rate of 1.42 per cent against 11,346 or 1.16 per cent in July.

    Said Credit Bureau general manager Mark Rowley: 'I agree that we are seeing some early signs that delinquency is trending upwards although arguably off a low base. The numbers over the next few months will be interesting.'

    Credit Bureau's data also shows that a majority of those having payment problems are between 21 and 44 years old, and men make up almost 70 per cent.

    Some 80 per cent have credit cards with at least two banks. In most cases, the delinquent owes less than $5,000.

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    Default Re: New home sales slump to 9-month low in Feb

    3,000 apply for Boon Keng's condo-like flats, but only 460 sold

    By Fiona Chan, Property Reporter


    THOUSANDS of applications poured in for a condo-like Housing Board project in January - but as of last week, less than two-thirds of the flats had been taken up.

    About 250 of the 714 units in City View @ Boon Keng remain unsold, said HSR Property Group, which is marketing the project.

    These flats will be offered to the public, probably via a walk-in selection.

    The leftover homes came as a surprise to market watchers, given that 3,500 applicants had vied for them.

    This works out to five would-be buyers for each flat at City View, the second public housing project to be built by a private developer.

    It boasts condo-like features such as timber floors, built-in wardrobes and air-conditioning.

    All the applicants were given a chance to book the flats they wanted, said HSR project director Kellie Liew.

    The selection process stretched over 20 days and ended last Thursday, with more than 3,000 potential deals falling through.

    Developer Hoi Hup Sunway sold about 460 units, including six of the top-priced five-room units at $727,000 each, said Ms Liew.

    But she added that some buyers backed out of their purchases due to the weakening property market, while others did not meet the required criteria to buy the flats.

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