Private homes sold by developers up in January

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Some 522 private homes were sold by developers in January, up 37 per cent from the 382 units sold a year ago and 21 per cent more than the 431 units moved in December.

In addition, developers sold 100 executive condominium (EC) units in January, identical to the previous month but a drop from 184 units in January 2017.

The figures were released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) yesterday based on its surveys of licensed housing developers.

Analysts generally termed the January sales as "healthy", especially given that no new private housing or EC projects were launched last month among projects that were still licensed.

The transactions last month provided for the best January sales figure since January 2014, when 572 units were sold.

A fear of rising prices may have motivated some to commit to a purchase, said property consultants.

"With the market swarmed with reports on a recovery in terms of prices as well as a buoyant collective sale market nudging land costs up, the fear of missing out or falling on the wrong side of the price recovery has possibly nudged the undecided to make a decision," said Mr Desmond Sim, CBRE Research's head of Singapore and South East Asia.

"In addition, the market is about to enter a different interest rate environment which may be a catalyst to this decision-making process," he added.

Cushman & Wakefield research director Christine Li said that the year-on-year fall in EC units sold last month was "due not to faltering demand but a dwindling unsold EC inventory".