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March resales of private non-landed homes highest since July 2018 cooling measures: SRX

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Meanwhile, the resale prices of condominiums and private apartments edged up 0.1 per cent rise in March from the previous month, for a third straight month-on-month increase.

THE private resale property market saw its biggest recovery in activity since it was hit by the last bout of cooling measures, according to flash estimates from SRX Property on Tuesday. 

Flash data from the real estate portal showed the number of resale non-landed private homes sold last month jumped 59.3 per cent to 830 units after the Chinese New Year seasonal lull in February when only 521 units were transacted.

March resales reached the highest volume since the property curbs were implemented in July last year, but they are still 41.4 per cent lower than a year ago.

ZACD Group head of research & consultancy Nicholas Mak noted that in the eight-month period since the latest round of cooling measures, the average monthly resale volume dropped to 653 units from 1,364 units in the five-month period from March to July 2018.

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Said Mr Mak: "This could be the 'new normal' monthly resale volume for the private non-landed residential resale market. Therefore, the 41-per cent year-on-year decline of resale volume in March 2019 was not surprising."

SRX's data also showed resale prices of condominiums and private apartments edged up 0.1 per cent in March from the previous month, for a second straight month-on-month increase, after dipping in December and January.

This brings private non-landed resale prices to 3.5 per cent higher than a year ago, after February's month-on-month price rise was revised up to 0.6 per cent from an earlier estimate of a 0.5 per cent increase.

Resale prices are now just 0.6 per cent lower than their peak in July 2018 when the cooling measures struck.

The price rise last month came from the 1.3 per cent increase in the outlying areas or outside central region (OCR), where prices rose a third consecutive month.  In contrast, resale prices in the prime districts or core central region (CCR) dropped by 2.1 per cent while remaining the same in the city fringes or rest of central region (RCR).

Mr Mak said private residential resale prices "continued to remain resilient", while noting the effect of two mega launches in March, namely Treasure @ Tampines and The Florence Residences, which are both situated in the OCR.

Said Mr Mak: "The average prices of new launches are typically higher than those of resale properties. Hence, these mega launches would have provided some support to the resale price index in the OCR" .

Christine Sun, OrangeTee & Tie head of research & consultancy, said the highest resale transactions in March were mainly from districts 19, 23, 18, 15, 16 and 5, where new projects were recently launched, based on an analysis of URA Realis caveats.

Said Ms Sun: "The trend may indicate that marketing activities arising from new project launches may spur buying interest in the secondary market within the vicinity. We may expect buying interest for resale homes to pick-up further in selected locations as more projects will be launched in the coming months."