POSTED: 15 Nov 2013 12:56 | UPDATED: 16 Nov 2013 00:12 | CNA

SINGAPORE

Demand for new private homes in Singapore eased by 19 per cent in October, largely due to fewer project launches during the month.

But despite the slower overall sales, analysts said the new developments that were launched last month enjoyed very healthy take-ups as the underlying demand for private homes is still relatively strong.

According to data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), 1,009 units of new homes were sold in October, down from 1,246 units transacted in the previous month.

Among the units sold, 716 are located in the suburban areas, 212 units in the city fringe, and 81 units in the core central region.

Analysing the buying behaviour in recent months, property consultants said buyers are now more discerning and will go for projects that fit their budgets after the introduction of loan curbs such as the total debt servicing ratio (TDSR) framework in June.

Nicholas Mak, executive director at SLP International Property Consultants, said: “Firstly, whether the product in that particular location represents value for money. And secondly, they are also looking at the absolute quantum, partly due to the TDSR framework, whether they are able to get sufficient credit to fund that particular purchase.”

Property consultants said about 90 per cent of the units launched in October were sold — the highest take-up rate in recent months.

Prices, however, are unlikely to go up anytime soon.

Ong Teck Hui, national director for Research & Consultancy at Jones Lang LaSalle, said: “Either they are coming off slightly or they are being priced at a fairly comfortable level where buyers are able to respond and commit themselves. So we see this trend of realistic pricing going into the future as well because I think if you try to be a bit too optimistic in pricing, then your sales progress is going to be hampered.”

October’s top selling projects included The Inflora at Flora Drive which sold 388 units, Nine Residences in Yishun with 96 units, and 39 units at The Venue Residences in Potong Pasir.

Some analysts said new home sales in November could surprise on the upside, supported by demand for units at new launches such as Duo Residences in Bugis and Alex Residences at Redhill.

There was no executive condominium (EC) project launched in October.

Including sales from current EC projects, 1,108 units of new homes were sold last month. That is down from 1,658 units in September.

Analysts expect ECs to be the star performer in November with the launch of Waterwoods in Punggol and Skypark Residences in Sembawang.

For the whole of 2013, analysts estimated that some 14,500 to 15,500 units of new private homes could be sold, down substantially from 22,000 units last year.

– CNA/nd/gn

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/demand-for-new-private/887530.html