Sales of new private homes up in March but well short of last year

The launch of The Tapestry condo in Tampines helped boost sales of new private homes last month but the monthly numbers were still well short of last year.

Developers moved 716 units last month, up 86.5 per cent from the 384 sold in February but nearly 60 per cent below the 1,780 new homes taken up in March last year.

Yesterday's figures, which come from Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) surveys of developers, exclude executive condominium (EC) units.

The preliminary tally of new private home sales for the first quarter stands at 1,627 - down 12.7 per cent from the fourth quarter of last year and a decline of 45.1 per cent year on year.

Final figures for the quarter will be out on April 27.

City Developments moved 329 units at The Tapestry last month at a median price of $1,408 per square foot (psf), making it the top-selling project.

This was followed by Grandeur Park Residences in Bedok South Avenue 3, with 40 units sold last month at a median price of $1,532 psf.

The data out yesterday also showed that developers sold 72 EC units last month - a 21.7 per cent decline from February and also a drop of 87.5 per cent year on year.

Last month's best-selling EC project was Signature at Yishun, with 39 units sold at a median price of $789 psf, followed by Northwave in Woodlands, with 19 homes transacted at a $843 psf median price.

JLL national director Ong Teck Hui expects a pick-up in launches and sales of private houses this month, with a more active market.

Huttons Asia research head Lee Sze Teck noted: "Buyers who have been sitting on the fence might enter the market for fear of missing the boat after the first quarter 2018 flash estimates from the URA showed the steepest rise in its overall private home price index since (the second quarter of) 2010."

URA's price index rose 3.1 per cent in the first quarter over the last three months of 2017. - THE STRAITS TIMES