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Developer sales fall to 14-month low in February

SINGAPORE — Despite launching more units last month, developers sold their least number of homes in 14 months in February, partly due to the Chinese New Year festivities that kept a lid on buying activity.

Prospective buyers look at a model of an upcoming suburban private condominium development during its launch in Singapore in this October 25, 2013 file photo. Photo: Reuters

Prospective buyers look at a model of an upcoming suburban private condominium development during its launch in Singapore in this October 25, 2013 file photo. Photo: Reuters

SINGAPORE — Despite launching more units last month, developers sold their least number of homes in 14 months in February, partly due to the Chinese New Year festivities that kept a lid on buying activity.

Developers sold 301 units last month, down 6.8 per cent from January’s 323 transactions and 22.8 per cent lower than the 390 units sold in February last year, latest data by the Urban Redevelopment Authority showed on Tuesday (March 15).

However, launches increased 31.4 per cent to 209 units in February from the previous month’s 159 units as developers sought to clear ­unsold units from previously launched ­developments. On a year-on-year ­basis, launches fell 46.3 per cent from 389 units in February 2015.

“Real estate developers’ sales in February decreased … due to the lull period during the Chinese New Year festive season. Many market decision-makers, such as prospective buyers, retreated from the market,” said Mr Nicholas Mak, head of research and consultancy at SLP.

The only new project that made its debut last month was 183 Longhaus, a 40-unit development on Upper Thomson Road. Developers sold 11 out of the 20 units launched at a median of S$1,659 per square foot (psf).

Two previously launched projects, both located in the Outside Central Region (OCR), emerged as the best-selling developments last month. The projects, The Panorama on Ang Mo Kio Avenue 2 and Kingsford Waterbay on Upper Serangoon View, both sold 18 units each, at a median price of S$1,211psf and S$1,127psf, respectively.

That helped the OCR, or suburbs, to lead sales in February with 194 units. This was followed by the Rest of Central Region, or city fringes, with 82 transactions, while 25 homes in the Core Central Region, or city centre, were sold last month.

Analysts said transactions for March should pick up as several projects launched this month, including Cairnhill Nine and The Wisteria, have done well so far.

The Wisteria offloaded nearly 85 per cent of the 138 units released on its launch weekend last week, while Cairnhill Nine sold almost 70 per cent of the 200 units it launched on

March 13.

“Stable market conditions might encourage more new projects to be launched and, if priced competitively, could draw buyers leading to ­improved sales volume,” said Mr Ong Teck Hui, national director of research and consultancy at JLL.

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