Business

Private home market stays strong in August

Sales boosted by new launch Parc Clematis and from earlier launches

Developers moved 1,122 new private homes in the traditionally quiet month of August, just 4.8 per cent lower than the 1,179 units sold in July, as demand remained resilient despite the weaker macro-economic environment.

Last month's sales numbers were boosted by new launch Parc Clematis and sales at earlier-launched projects.

More than 70 per cent of units sold for August were from previous launches, as most developers avoided launching new projects during the Hungry Ghost month.

Parc Clematis was launched two days after the Ghost Month ended.

Also helping to buoy sales is the "lower-for-longer" interest rate environment.

Last month's strong performance - the second highest in a year after July - could encourage developers to continue launching more projects this month, they say.

Compared with a year ago, developer sales were up a whopping 82 per cent from the 617 units sold in August 2018, the first month after the July 6 property cooling measures took effect.

Last month, developers launched 979 units for sale, up 7.5 per cent from 911 units in July, and up a hefty 83 per cent from 534 units in August last year.

The data released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority yesterday exclude executive condominium (EC) units, which are a public-private housing hybrid. Including ECs, developers sold 1,167 units last month, down 25 per cent from 1,557 units in July.

MOMENTUM

This was up 82.3 per cent from 640 private homes and EC units sold in July last year.

"Adverse news on the 0.1 per cent GDP growth in the second quarter and the Ministry of Trade and Industry's downgrading of 2019's GDP forecast... do not seem to have an appreciable impact on the private home market so far," Mr Ong Teck Hui, JLL's senior director of research and consultancy, said.

"For the first eight months of the year, the estimated 7,381 private residential units launched is 20.4 per cent higher than the same period last year, while the estimated 6,489 units sold is 3.2 per cent higher year-on-year," he added.

The sales momentum at some of the earlier launches has picked up pace.

That could be because as new launches come on the market "at benchmark prices within their given localities, prices at earlier-launched projects may start to look attractive to some buyers", Ms Tricia Song, head of research for Singapore, Colliers International, said.

Property