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New private home sales in October dive by nearly 48% over September amid absence of new launches

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Developers in Singapore sold 487 private homes last month, falling nearly 48 per cent from the 932 units moved in September, and 36 per cent lower than the 761 units they booked in October last year.

DEVELOPERS in Singapore sold 487 private homes last month, falling nearly 48 per cent from the 932 units moved in September, owing to an absence of major launches in October. 

This was down 36 per cent from the 761 units they booked in October last year.

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

During the month, developers released just 202 new units for sale (excluding ECs),  down nearly 83 per cent from September when 1,169 units were launched. Only one new project was launched in October, the 56-unit, 10 Evelyn project at Newton, where two units were sold. More units were also released from existing launches such as The Tapestry and The Tre Ver.

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Including ECs, developers moved 510 units last month, reflecting a decrease of 46 per cent from September’s 944 units, and also nearly 48 per cent lower than the 972 units sold in October last year.

In July, the government implemented cooling measures, which resulted in higher additional buyer's stamp duty and tighter loan-to-value limits. Still, analysts pointed out that buying sentiment remained firm despite the dearth of new launches. "Despite the lower number of units launched, demand from buyers remained resilient," said Eugene Lim, key executive officer at ERA Realty. "Units sold were 2.4 times that of units launched. In the absence of new launches, buyers picked up units from existing projects."

Last month’s top-selling project was the 99-year leasehold Affinity at Serangoon along Serangoon North Avenue 1, with 81 units sold at a median price of S$1,499 per square foot. The project is by a consortium led by mainboard-listed Oxley Holdings.

"Buyers are still streaming into the market, but there is a preference for projects that are perceived to be value-for-money and affordable," said Christine Li, Cushman & Wakefield's head of research, pointing out that 83 per cent of the units sold in Affinity At Serangoon in October were priced below S$1.2 million.

Meanwhile, analysts expect that sales will pick up in November thanks to a number of major launches, including Parc Esta, Kent Ridge Hill Residences, The Woodleigh Residences, Whistler Grand and Belgravia Green.