Resale home sales surge

SINGAPORE — Sales of previously-owned homes surged in the third quarter to their highest level since 2012, when the property market was last buoyant, as prices fell at a faster rate in the three months ended Sept 30.

Analysts noted that sellers have become more realistic in their asking prices, drawing more buyers back into the market, but they also questioned the sustainability of the recovery in light of the poor economic outlook, job market weakness, as well as the continued enforcement of the property cooling measures. Recent EC launches include Treasure Crest and Northwave EC while existing ones include Terrace EC, Brownstone EC, The Vales EC, Parc Life EC , Sol Acres EC, The Visionaire, Bellewoods EC, Signature at Yishun, The Criterion EC, Waterwoods EC, Skypark Residences, Wandervale EC, The Amore EC,  Bellewaters EC.

A total of 2,615 units were transacted in the resale market during the third quarter, 14 per cent more than the previous quarter’s 2,294 units and the highest volume since the fourth quarter of 2012, showed data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s (URA) final report released on Friday (Oct 28). The buoyant sales boosted the resale segment take-up rate to 57 per cent of total transactions in the third quarter, up from 50 per cent in the April-to-June quarter.

“The increased transaction volume is a good sign that buyers are coming back to the market after prices have fallen to more attractive levels,” said Ms Christine Li, director of research at Cushman & Wakefield.

Sales of new private homes, however, fell 12.2 per cent to 1,981 units, on the back of fewer new project launches, showed the URA data. However, analysts said developer sales are expected to pick up in the fourth quarter, helped by several new launches, including The Alps Residences in Tampines and Forest Woods in Serangoon, which have attracted a strong buyer response.

In the third quarter, prices of private homes fell 1.5 per cent from the previous quarter, the fastest pace in seven years and higher than the 0.4 per cent decline in the April-to-June quarter. The drop was in line with the URA’s flash estimate released earlier this month. The price decline was led by the city centre, or Core Central Region, where prices fell 1.9 per cent. Home prices in the Rest of Central Region, or city fringes, declined 1 per cent, as did those in the Outside Central Region, or suburbs.

“(This) suggests that private residential prices are still under some considerable pressure, due possibly to the continued enforcement of the cooling measures. I fully expect prices to continue their correction for the next two quarters at least — decreasing by up to 3 per cent in 2016,” said Mr Ismail Gafoor, chief executive officer of PropNex Realty.

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