30% slump in private home sales: report

Sales of private homes in Singapore plummeted by over 30 percent in Q3 2014 from the previous quarter to around 2,800 to 2,900 units, according to a DTZ report.

The volume of transactions recorded last quarter is similar to the first three months of the year.

New private home sales were relatively weak in Q3, with developers moving about 1,500 units or 52 percent of all transactions in the period. It was a different story in 2013 whereby primary market sales averaged 65 percent of total sales in each quarter.

A major factor was the lack of any new launches in August coinciding with the Hungry Ghost Festival.

But there were still three major launches in the quarter, with City Gate in July and Highline Residences and 70 Saint Patrick’s in September.

City Gate and Highline Residences reported take-up rates of more than 70 percent and 80 percent of units launched respectively. Meanwhile, the freehold 70 Saint Patrick’s saw more than half of all units sold over the first weekend of its launch, with recently announced plans for the Thomson-East Coast MRT Line contributing to its popularity.

DTZ stated that strong demand for these city-fringe projects came despite the slew of cooling measures and relatively high prices. The average price of 70 Saint Patrick’s was in the range of $1,630 psf, while City Gate averaged over $1,800 psf and Highline Residences averaged $1,900 psf.

“Instead of lowering prices, some developers are finding ways to add more value for buyers. For instance, by providing a variety of personalised services within residences or selling fully-furnished units with upscale interior fittings. These added features are hoped to help sustain sales at certain prices,” said DTZ.

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