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Value of homes sold at auctions up 31.2% in Q1

Value of homes sold at auctions up 31.2% in Q1.

Auctioneers started the year on a positive note, with 11 homes sold under the hammer in the first quarter - up from eight in the same period last year.

The higher number of transactions came despite the number of new properties put up for sale staying unchanged year on year at 63.

The total value of properties sold via auction in the first quarter was $19.97 million, 31.2 per cent higher than the $15.23 million recorded a year ago and well up on the 2016 total of $9.62 million.

The lift reflects the positive sentiment and strong demand in the market, Edmund Tie & Company said.The company noted that the figures do not include private treaty sales and units transacted before or after the auction.

Ms Joy Tan, Edmund Tie's head of auction and sales, said the good response may be due to pent-up demand from buyers, who have been waiting on the sidelines for news on changes to stamp duty.

The Government surprised the market by increasing the buyer's stamp duty in last month's Budget. Yet, instead of being deterred, local and foreign buyers seem to be returning to the auction market.

Ms Tan said: "We expect a steady increase in sales throughout this year, especially as owners who are cashing out on their (collective) sales begin to search for replacement units for occupation or investment."

In line with previous trends, lender sales were still the most popular among bidders, with eight units sold, totalling $13.42 million.

There were two owner's sales that reaped a total of $4.32 million while the one public trustee's sale - at 17, Jalan Batai, where the skeletal remains of two sisters were found - was closed at $2.23 million. Eight apartments and one landed unit were sold for $15.56 million in total.

Only two commercial units - they had a total sales value of $4.41 million - were sold in the quarter.

Ms Tan said: "In the last six months, we noticed that older developments completed before 2000 are attracting more interest, with some investors looking to ride the (collective sale) wave.

"During the marketing period of the units, we often receive queries about the (collective sale) potential of the development."

Six of the 11 units sold in the quarter were completed before 2000.

Adapted from: StraitsTimes, 30 March 2018