New units to be launched at higher prices?

Demand for new private homes stayed robust in April with sales staying above 1,000 units for the second straight month – a feat not seen since the tail end of 2013.

Developers sold 1,555 new units – excluding executive condos (ECs) – down by 12.6 per cent from the 1,780 shifted in March, said the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) yesterday. Despite the decline, sales were still more than double the 750 units moved in April last year. Upcoming executive condo launches include Rivercove EC while existing ones include Parc Life, Signature at Yishun,  Brownstone EC, Visionaire EC, Inz Residence, The Criterion EC and Northwave EC, The Terrace EC,  The Vales EC, Hundred Palms Residences EC, Sol Acres EC and The Bellewoods EC. Rivercove Residences floor plans and Rivercove Residences EC details will be available shortly.

“There is a trend of greater market activities and rebound in consumers’ confidence, which has led to a greater number of sales, even in projects that were launched earlier,” said PropNex Realty chief executive Ismail Gafoor.

Sentiment has picked up following the slight tweaking of some cooling measures in March. Private home values have declined by 11.6 per cent since the third quarter of 2013, as a slew of cooling measures dampened home demand.

New units in suburban areas led April’s sales with 967 transactions, followed by 558 in the city fringe and 30 in the core central region.

Two new launches topped the charts: Frasers Centrepoint Singapore’s Seaside Residences in Siglap sold 419 units at a median price of $1,736 psf while Tang Group’s Artra in Redhill moved 126 units at a median price of $1,646 psf.

Consultancy JLL noted that demand for units in previously launched projects was stable with 1,001 units sold in April against 1,079 in March. “This level of demand for previously launched projects is about double the average for 2016… This trend has bolstered the confidence of some developers in releasing more units,” said Mr Ong Teck Hui, national director of research and consultancy at JLL.

These popular projects included Parc Riviera in West Coast Vale, which sold 90 units, and Commonwealth Towers, where 85 homes were moved.

There were 4,696 new private homes transacted in the first four months of the year – more than half of the 8,360 or so units sold in all of last year, the URA figures showed.

In the EC segment, 371 new units were transacted in April. MCL Land’s Sol Acres in Choa Chu Kang was the star performer, moving 122 units at a median price of $787 psf.

No ECs were launched in April, while 1,616 private homes were released – the highest number of units launched since May 2014 and a strong sign of rising confidence among developers, said analysts.

“Barring a financial crisis, market sentiment is expected to remain positive and the higher demand for new launches coupled with limited supply could lead to market stabilisation in 2017,” said Mr Wong Xian Yang, head of research and consultancy at OrangeTee.

As unsold inventory continues to dwindle further, Mr Wong added that “it is possible that new units will be launched at higher prices soon”

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