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Private home sales up 43.5% in July, with 1,178 units sold

Private home sales up 43.5% in July, with 1,178 units sold.

Developers sold 1,178 private homes in July, up 43.5 % from the 821 units they moved in June, but 31.7 % lower than the bumper crop of 1,724 units they sold in July last year during the last-minute rush to beat property cooling measures.

Last month, developers launched 911 units for sale, an increase of 36 % from 670 units in June, but a sharp drop from the 2,239 units in July last year. The figures - which exclude executive condominium (EC) units - were released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority yesterday, based on its survey of licensed housing developers.

Including ECs, developers sold 1,556 units last month, a hefty 89.3 % increase from 822 units in June. This was 12.4 % less than the total 1,776 private and EC units sold in July last year.

Last month's best-selling project was the 820-unit Piermont Grand EC in Punggol - the only EC launch of the year - which saw 378 units booked at a median price of $1,107 per square foot (psf). It was launched for sale towards the end of the month by City Developments and TID.

Property analysts noted that a rise in July sales, compared with June, is not unusual, as buyers are stirred to move after the month-long school holidays and close deals before the Hungry Ghost Festival month of August.

Still, JLL head of research and consultancy Tay Huey Ying noted that the magnitude of the increase, "coming on the back of a string of negative economic indicators amid rising trade tensions, is testament to the strong underlying demand for new homes".

Huttons Asia research head Lee Sze Teck said solid sales recorded for One Pearl Bank and Sky Everton was "a catalytic factor for the primary sales market in July", which saw positive sentiments spill over to the rest of the market.

Excluding ECs, the 774-unit One Pearl Bank condo project by CapitaLand, from the collective sale of the iconic Pearl Bank Apartments, was the bestseller last month. Launched last month, it sold 197 units, at a median price of $2,353 psf, which represents almost a quarter of its total 774 units.

Meanwhile, a consortium led by Sustained Land managed to move another 67 units of the 262-unit freehold Sky Everton in Everton Road. This was sold at a median price of $2,606 psf.

PropNex chief executive Ismail Gafoor said the continued momentum of mass market developments, such as Treasure at Tampines and The Florence Residences, shows they still attract buyers and investors. These two condos moved the second-and third-highest number of units for July, at 119 and 112, respectively.

"The sales show market resilience because buyers' appetites for projects that are rightly priced at the right locations are still there," said Mr Ismail.Z

CBRE's head of research for South-east Asia Desmond Sim said downward pressures are expected only in the mid-to longer-term, when the impact of the weaker macroeconomic environment settles in, and when developers are compelled to reduce prices as their sell-by deadlines approach.

Analysts also expect sales volume this month to be slower as both developers and buyers hold back owing to the inauspicious Hungry Ghost month. Post-August, however, the launches include Parc Clematis, Avenue South Residences, Meyer Mansion, The Antares and Guoco Midtown.

Adapted From The Straits Times, August 16 2019