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Thread: Private home sales keep defying caution

  1. #1
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    May 2006

    Default Private home sales keep defying caution,00.html?

    Published June 16, 2009

    Private home sales keep defying caution

    Developers sold year-high 1,668 units in May amid discounts and improved sentiment


    (SINGAPORE) The buds of recovery sprouting in the private home market since February seem to have blossomed in May.

    Developer sales for the month hit 1,668 units - a record for the year and 37 per cent more than the 1,214 in April. More transactions also occurred in the high-end sector at prices above $2,000 per square foot (psf).

    However, some industry watchers continue to warn that the blooms may not last unless the economy improves decisively. They also remain concerned about weak rental demand and more residential supply coming on stream.

    According to data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) yesterday, developer sales in May put on their strongest showing not just since January, but also since the sub-prime crisis began to rear its head. The 1,668 units sold last month were just 3 per cent shy of the last high of 1,723 units in August 2007.

    'The stockmarket rally which began in mid-March has resulted in positive sentiment that has driven private residential home sales,' said CBRE Research executive director Li Hiaw Ho. Other consultants noted that lower home prices and immense liquidity searching for higher returns also kept home sales up.

    In another sign that sentiment had improved, buying activity continued to return to the high-end core central region (CCR) in May. The launch of 32 units at Rochelle at Newton, for instance, was fully taken up.

    Of the 1,668 units sold in May, 617 units or 37 per cent were from CCR. Colliers International pointed out that this proportion far exceeded the much lower 8 per cent seen in February.

    Jones Lang LaSalle attributed the higher CCR sales to 'discounted pricing from developers', as seen in several projects such as Martin Place Residences, The Wharf Residence and Parc Centennial. At Martin Place Residences, for instance, units were first sold at a median price of $1,746 psf in January 2008. Last month, buyers took up 186 units at a median $1,423 psf.

    Not only have sales increased in the high-end property market, more deals struck above $2,000 psf have emerged. According to Colliers, 14 units in May changed hands above that price level, compared with just one in February.

    Notably, two apartments at The Orchard Residences went for $2,787 psf and $3,299 psf each last month. Other properties which saw median transaction prices of over $2,000 psf include Boulevard Vue, The Orange Grove, St Regis Residences and Vida.

    The mid-market property sector also registered encouraging sales. Colliers noted that some 37 per cent, or 609 units of the 1,668 sold in May came from the rest of central region (RCR); the corresponding proportion in February was 29 per cent.

    RCR saw the launch of the 26-unit Spring @ Langsat last month, of which nine units were taken up. Projects such as The Arte and The Mezzo continued to sell well.

    Rosy sales aside, some buyers have returned units between April and May. URA data indicates, for instance, a return of 11 units at Mi Casa, three units at Verdure and three units at The Arte.

    There are also industry watchers who remain guarded about the recent surge in home sales. This is 'largely fuelled by softer prices and strong latent demand, which alone will not be sufficient to sustain an overall recovery in the market', said Jones Lang LaSalle associate director of research Desmond Sim.

    'Unless there are improvements in the overall economy, it may still take quite some time before we see the return of 'super-luxury launches' . . . Affordability still remains the main factor to entice buyers.'

    Citi and Nomura Singapore also said in research reports last week that the property upswing may not be sustainable. Nomura, in particular, expects to see a W-shaped recovery in asset prices because downside risks such as rising unemployment, falling rents and rising supply still exist.

    Colliers deputy managing director Grace Ng noted that the Singapore market is 'a bit peculiar' because buying is largely spurred by sentiment; many people 'actually come into the market because they see other people buying . . . rather than calculating yields'.

    Even then, rental yields today are likely to be higher than what bank deposits can offer, she added.
    Last edited by mr funny; 16-06-09 at 14:36.

  2. #2
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    May 2006


    June 16, 2009 Tuesday

    A merry May for home sales

    Figure at near record level, with prime areas doing particularly well

    By Joyce Teo

    SALES of new private homes rocketed last month, thanks to price cuts and the share market rally boosting buyer confidence.

    Recession-defying numbers out yesterday showed there were 1,668 units sold in May, just a tad below the all-time high of 1,731 set in the boom-time month of August 2007.

    Last month's figure was also well ahead of the already-strong developer sales of 1,214 units in April and 1,220 in March.

    PropNex chief executive Mohamed Ismail cited recent rallying of the stock markets and launches by developers at attractive prices as reasons for what he described as outstanding sales last month.

    Many speculators who had been sitting on the fence were spurred into action, hoping to take advantage of the low prices in the market across all levels, he said.

    Other experts cited pent-up demand and buyers' fear of missing the boat as explanations for the sales spike.

    Developers stepped up a gear last month as well, launching 1,161 new homes, up from 1,085 in April, according to Urban Redevelopment Authority data.

    The total sales of 2,882 units recorded in April and last month exceeded first-quarter sales by 11 per cent and they were generally done at prices higher than the first quarter's, said CBRE Research.

    One striking aspect of last month's bumper numbers is that sales of homes in the core central or prime region nearly doubled from April to 617 units. This comprised 37 per cent of total sales.

    Despite being in the midst of an economic downturn, this region's May sales have outshone the August 2007 performance by 6 per cent, said Jones Lang LaSalle's associate director of research, Mr Desmond Sim.

    The high-end segment, while still mired in the doldrums, recorded 15 transactions, up from three in April, noted PropNex. Two units at The Orchard Residences atop the Orchard MRT station, for instance, were sold at $2,787 per sq ft (psf) and $3,299 psf - prices that have not been seen for a while.

    Sales were also well up in city-fringe areas. There, 609 units transacted at median prices of $735 psf to $1,200 psf over April's 362 units.

    But sales of suburban homes reflecting a median price range of $580 psf to $760 psf fell 16 per cent to 442 units.

    The best-selling project last month was the 302-unit Martin Place Residences in Kim Yam Road, which had sales of 186 units at a median price of $1,423 psf.

    Buyers flocked there after Frasers Centrepoint cut prices to a seemingly attractive level - initial units at the condo had gone for $1,700 to $2,000 psf last year.

    Other popular projects included The Wharf Residence in Tong Watt Road and The Arte in Jalan Datoh. Buyers picked up 140 units at The Wharf Residence at a median price of $1,186 psf and units of The Arte at $933 psf.

    Experts said the unexpectedly strong May showing was rather exceptional.

    Mr Ismail said the number of transactions this month could well exceed 1,000 units while CBRE Research expects second-quarter sales to exceed 3,500 units.

    If the present strong sentiment persists, this year's new home sales will exceed 10,000 units, which is way above the 4,264 units sold last year and close to the 11,147 units sold in 2006, it said.

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  3. #3
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    May 2006


    Sales of new private homes up 37% on-month in May

    By Irene Chan/ Ng Baoying, Channel NewsAsia | Posted: 15 June 2009 1550 hrs

    SINGAPORE: Sales of uncompleted private homes climbed 37 per cent on-month in May as improving market sentiments and optimism of an economic recovery spurred more home buyers to snap up properties.

    A total of 1,668 units were sold last month, up from 1,214 in April, bringing the total number of units sold in 2009 to 5,526. This is more than the 4,435 units sold for the whole of last year. But it remains lower than the market peak of 14,811 sold in 2007.

    Home sales in the mid-tier market picked up pace in May. The developments that sold the most units last month were Martin Place, The Wharf, The Arte and The Mezzo.

    These four projects, which are in the prime districts and the city fringe areas, made up more than 30 per cent of the sales.

    The median price for these developments ranged between S$903 and S$1,423 per square foot.

    Deputy managing director of agency and business services, Colliers International, Grace Ng, said: "There are more properties sold above S$1,000 per square foot. For example, in the month of April, the percentage of properties sold above S$1,000 per square foot is about 28 per cent. In May, this crept up to 29 per cent.

    “It seems like physical property prices have corrected more in these categories. In the core central region, property prices corrected over 15 per cent. In the outside central region, it contracted about 16, 17 per cent."

    Sales of mid-tier and mass-market developments remained strong.

    Projects that had a median price of less than S$900 per square foot made up 45.9 per cent of the total units sold.

    Analysts say the buoyant sales could be credited to the upswing in the stock markets.

    Associate director of ERA Asia Pacific, Eugene Lim, said: "The current rally is predominantly driven by the upswing in the stock market. Over the past months, we saw the stock market rally, not only in Singapore, but across Asia. This improved sentiments among investors and this is probably the main reason behind people buying units today."

    Most analysts say it is uncertain if the coming months will see similar sales, but they expect at least 1,000 sales a month.

    Ng said: "We expect that the number of units sold will still be above 1,000 in the month of June and the next few months. But whether it is sustainable will depend on a few factors -- like whether there is a sustained recovery in the property market, whether there are clear signs of declining exports, and whether the developer will increase prices."

    And should the momentum persist, analysts say the total number of units sold this year may exceed 10,000.

    Lim said: "With the current momentum, we do expect to see more launches coming up. So buyers will have more choice. We will see the momentum continuing unless the market changes for the worse."

    And analysts say prices are unlikely to increase much despite strong sales. This is because developers are more focused on clearing stock, rather than making high profits in the current environment.

    Lim said: "The main agenda of developers today is to clear stock. And they will be very focused on pricing it competitively to move units rather than go for high profits."

    Developers launched a total of 1,161 units in May, up seven per cent compared to April.

    - CNA/yt

  4. #4
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    May 2006


    High-end market hots up

    Prime district home sales almost double; analysts say recent stock market rally is fuelling interest in property

    by Kelvin Chow

    05:55 AM Jun 16, 2009

    SALES of private residential properties surged to their highest level in nearly two years in May. According to the latest data by the Urban Redevelopment Authority released yesterday, overall home sales totalled 1,668 units last month, the highest monthly figure since the all-time record of 1,723 units was set in August 2007.

    Purchases of private homes in the prime districts, which include Holland Road, River Valley and Newton, nearly doubled in May with 617 units sold, compared with 322 in April.

    Market watchers said the spike in transaction volumes was due to the recent stock market rally, coupled with optimistic consumer confidence and liquidity.

    Said Mr Donald Han, managing director of Cushman and Wakefield: “Back in late March and April, the regional stock markets went up by about one-third. This fuelled a lot of the liquidity that is coming back into the (property) market.”

    CBRE Research’s executive director, Mr Li Hiaw Ho, said there was a significant amount of interest in high-end properties last month. “Five units of The Orange Grove were sold at the median price of $2,320 per square foot (psf), while one unit each of Boulevard Vue and St Regis Residences was sold at $2,602 psf and $2,200 psf respectively,” said Mr Li.

    Mrs Ong Choon Fah, head of consulting at DTZ Debenham Tie Leung, said the May figures suggest that the bullish sentiment in the mass market projects has started to filter up to the luxury segment. “The momentum has certainly picked up. A few projects have seen very brisk sales,” she said.

    According to URA data, the most popular developments were Martin Place Residences, The Wharf Residence, The Arte and The Mezzo. These four projects, located in the prime districts of 9, 10 and 11, as well as the city fringe areas, made up more than 30 per cent of the sales. The median prices of units there ranged from $903 to $1,423 psf.

    Mr Desmond Sim, associate director of Research at Jones Lang LaSalle, said discounts given by the property developers and strong latent demand helped to boost sales.

    Looking ahead, DTZ’s Mrs Ong said prices in the prime districts are likely to go up when more investors comes back into the market, prompting developers to launch the high-end properties in their inventories.

    But analysts also warned that the current rebound in the property market may not be sustained. “Activity remains confined within the residential market. This, in our view, is largely fuelled by softer prices and strong latent demand which alone will not be sufficient to sustain an overall recovery in the market,” said Mr Sim.

    “Unless there are improvements in the overall economy, it may still take quite some time before we see the return of ‘super-luxury launches’ which may fetch an average $5,000 psf as affordability still remains the main factor to entice buyers.”

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