Sales of private homes, ECs surge in July

Snippet from  Yahoo!

By Liyana Low

Sales of private homes, including executive condominiums (ECs), surged by 40 per cent in July from the level the month before as property developers launched projects ahead of the usually slow Hungry Ghost month.

A total of 1,954 units were sold last month, figures from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) show.

Excluding EC sales, private home sales rose by 17 per cent to 1,386 in July compared to sales of 1,182 units in June.

About 54 per cent of July's sales were in the suburban areas or outside central region, while 37 per cent of sales were in the city fringe area. The central area accounted for 9 per cent of sales in July.

Propertyguru's analyst Tejaswi Chunduri said the hike in sales volume was led by two EC projects launched in July. There was a total of eight EC launches during the month.

The two best-selling EC projects were Riverparc Residence at Punggol Drive, which sold 322 out of 504 units at an average of $694 per square foot (psf), and Blossom Residences, along Segar Road in Bukit Panjang, which sold 192 out of 602 units at $792 psf.

Other top selling projects include The Miltonia Residences, which saw 124 units sold at a median price of $871 psf and Seastrand, which sold 120 units at a price of $935 psf.

The most expensive property was at $4,299 psf at The Orchard Residences at Orchard Boulevard.

Chunduri noted the increased sales volume could be due to superstitious buyers purchasing homes in July, ahead of the inauspicious Hungry Ghost Month which falls in August this year.

National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan's suspension of the Design, Build and Sell Scheme could also have affected sales volumes in the mass to mid-end private property market, she added.

The analyst expects private homes sales to fall this month due to the on-going Hungry Ghost festival. She predicted that about 1,500 units will be sold.

She said measures to raise the HDB income ceiling and increased supply of build-to-order flats could also shift buyers' focus to the public housing market as more buyers are eligible for a HDB flat.

"Also, external factors such as the recent US and Eurozone financial crisis might lead to negative buying sentiments and force property investors to adopt a cautious approach," Chunduri added.

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