New private home sales up 86.5% last month from Feb.
The launch of The Tapestry condominium in Tampines helped boost sales of new private homes last month but the monthly numbers were still well short of last year's.
Developers moved only 716 units last month, up 86.5 per cent from the 384 units sold in February but nearly 60 per cent below the 1,780 new homes taken up in March last year.
Mr Ong Teck Hui, JLL national director, said: "The 716 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, when 979 units were sold.
"However, market activity resumed more robustly in March 2017, with 1,527 units launched and 1,780 units sold."
Yesterday's figures, which come from Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) surveys of developers, exclude executive condominium (EC) units.
The preliminary tally of new private home sales for the first quarter stands at 1,627 - down 12.7 per cent from the fourth quarter of last year and a decline of 45.1 per cent year on year.
Final figures for the quarter will be out on April 27.
City Developments moved 329 units at The Tapestry last month at a median price of $1,408 per sq ft (psf), making it the top-selling project.
This was followed by Grandeur Park Residences in Bedok South Avenue 3, with 40 units sold last month at a median price of $1,532 psf.
The data out yesterday also showed that developers sold 72 EC units last month - 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 moved at a median price of $789 psf, followed by Northwave in Woodlands, with 19 homes transacted at a $843 psf median price.
Mr Ong of JLL expects a pickup in launches and sales of private houses this month, with the market becoming more active.
"Several projects have already been launched including... The Verandah Residences and Park Place Residences at Paya Lebar Quarter (Phase 2), with others in the launch pipeline."
The Verandah Residences in Pasir Panjang sold 129 of its total of 170 units 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 and 8.
Analysts expect EC sales to be boosted this month 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 $965 psf.
Huttons Asia research head Lee Sze Teck noted: "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 (the second quarter of) 2010."
The URA's price index rose 3.1 per cent in the first quarter over the last three months of last year.
Adapted from: The Staits Times, 17 Apr 2018