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Developers' private home sales rise 86.5% to 716 units in March from previous month

Launch of The Tapestry, located at Tampines Street 86. Developers sold 716 private homes in March this year – 86.5 per cent higher than the 384 units sold in February 2018.

CITY Developments' launch of The Tapestry condo in Tampines helped to boost developers' sales of private homes in March to 716 units, up 86.5 per cent from the 384 units sold in February 2018.

However, the March sales volume was down nearly 60 per cent from the 1,780 units in March last year.

These figures exclude executive condominium (EC) units, which are a public-private housing hybrid form. The above figures were released on Monday by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), based on its survey of licensed housing developers.

The preliminary tally of developers' sales for the first quarter of 2018 stands at 1,627 private homes - down 12.7 per cent from the fourth quarter of last year and also a decline of 45.1 per cent year on year. The URA will release the final figure for the first quarter on April 27.

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

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

JLL national director Ong Teck Hui said: "The 716 new private homes sold in March seems like a slow pick-up but it is the month after Chinese New Year which was in mid-February.

"In 2017, Chinese New Year was in late January and we also saw a modest pick-up in the following month, that is, February when 979 units were sold. However, market activity resumed more robustly in March 2017, with 1,527 units launched and 1,780 units sold."

URA's data also showed that developers found buyers for 72 EC units in March - reflecting 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 S$789 psf, followed by Northwave in Woodlands, with 19 units transacted at S$843 psf median price.

In the private housing segment, Mr Ong of JLL expects a pick-up in launches and sales take-up in April, with the market becoming more active. "Several projects have already been launched including...The Verandah Residences and Park Place Residences at PLQ (Phase 2), with others in the launch pipeline."

Agreeing, Colliers International head of research for Singapore, Tricia Song, said: "Already the brisk take-up of new units at two developments recently - The Verandah in Pasir Panjang and Park Place Residences at PLQ - will give a fillip to developers' sales in April."

At The Verandah, 129 of the project's total 170 units were sold on the first weekend of sales on April 7 and 8. At Park Place Residences, 149 units were transacted in the first weekend of its Phase 2 launch, also on April 7-8.

"Amber 45, Twin Vew and Margaret Ville are also tipped to be launched in the near term," said Ms Song.

Analysts also expect the EC sales volume for April to be boosted from last weekend's launch of Rivercove Residences in Sengkang. Nearly 80 per cent, or 499 of the 628 units in the project have been sold at an average price of S$965 psf.

Huttons Asia head of research Lee Sze Teck said: "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 Q2 2010."

URA's price index rose 3.1 per cent in Q1 this year over the preceding quarter.

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