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Developers sold 729 private homes in April, up from 716 in March, but down 53.5% y-o-y

Developers sold 729 private homes in April 2018, up slightly from the 716 units in March 2018 but down 53.5 per cent from the 1,567 units in April 2017.

DEVELOPERS sold 729 private homes in April 2018, up slightly from the 716 units in March 2018 but down 53.5 per cent from the 1,567 units in April 2017.

These figures were released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority on Tuesday based on its survey of licensed housing developers.

The above figures exclude executive condominium (EC) units which are a public-private housing hybrid.

Developers moved 596 EC units in April, more than eight times the 72 units in the previous month and 1.6 times the 371 units they moved in April last year. The strong EC sales last month was on the back of the launch of Rivercove Residences in Sengkang. "This is the only EC launch for this year, soaking up pent-up demand after the sell-out launch of Hundred Palms Residences EC last year," noted Colliers International head of research for Singapore, Tricia Song.

ZACD Group executive director Nicholas Mak noted that the total number of unsold EC units has dropped to just 193 units in April 2018. There will be no further supply of EC units for sale until the next EC development in Sumang Walk in Punggol is launched some time in the second half of 2019, Mr Mak added.

JLL national director of research and consultancy Ong Teck Hui noted that given this and the fact that there is only one EC site scheduled to be put up for tender in June, the EC market will remain under-supplied. "So the upward pressure on prices will continue."

Huttons Asia head of research Lee Sze Teck, who expects the 193-unit unsold ECs to be exhausted within three to six months, said: "More EC sites need to be launched under the confirmed list of the second-half 2018 Government Land Sales Programme."

The top-selling project last month was the Rivercove Residences EC project. Its developer, a Hoi Hup Realty -Sunway Developments joint venture, moved 512 units in April at a median price of S$970 per square foot.

In Paya Lebar Road, a joint venture between Lendlease and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, sold 166 units at Park Place Residences at PLQ, a private residential development, at a median price of S$2,060 psf in the second-phase launch of the 429-unit development. The median price is about 14 per cent higher than the S$1,805 psf median price achieved for the 217 units that were sold during the first phase of the project's launch in March last year, based on URA data.

Oxley Holdings found buyers for 141 units at The Verandah Residences in Pasir Panjang Road at a median price of S$1,846 psf. Roxy-Pacific Holdings sold 52 units at Habour View Gardens, also in Pasir Panjang Road, at S$1,763 psf median price.

City Developments sold 51 units last month at The Tapestry in Tampines at S$1,391 psf median price.

JLL noted that only 654 new private homes were launched last month, continuing the leisurely pace of 614 units placed on the market in March and a mere 40 per cent of the 1,616 units launched last April.

From January to April this year, an estimated 1,575 private homes were launched for sale - down 56 per cent from the 3,565 units launched during the same period last year.

In tandem with this, the number of private homes sold by developers in the first four months of 2018, at about 2,310 units, was only about half of the 4,529 units they moved in the year-ago period.

"Despite the current buoyant market mood, developers launched only a few new projects in April, contrary to earlier market expectations. And this contributed to the low sales figures during the month" said Mr Ong of JLL.

Some market watchers said that this could be partly due to some developers taking their time to release projects to capitalise on rising prices.

Ms Song of Colliers, too, noted that the sales momentum for new private homes in April over March "was perhaps not as pacey as the market had expected" . "We think the relatively small project sizes of the new launches in April 2018 - coupled with raised prices in the limited remaining unsold stock - could have resulted in the slower pace of sales growth in April," she added.

Analysts are expecting developers' sales of private homes to rise in May over April given that a few projects have already been released and sold well - including Twin VEW in West Coast Vale, and Amber45.

More are slated for release by month-end, including Phase 2 of Le Quest in Bukit Batok.

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