Developers sold 480 private homes in March, down from 739 units in February and 2,793 units in March last year.
This brings the first quarter’s tally to 1,791 private homes sold, down from 2,568 units in Q4 2013 and 5,412 units in Q1 2013, Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) data shows.
The muted sales were partly due to the low launch volume in the first quarter. Only two new projects were launched in March: The Santorini in Tampines and Ascent@456 at Balestier Road – 724 units in all.
This brings the total launch volume in Q1 2014 to 1,964 units.
Although The Santorini sold only 76, or 13 per cent, of its 597 units in March, it became the top-selling project. Median prices for its sold units average $1,100 per sq ft.
Amid the bleak data, some consultants saw a silver lining in the rest of central region (RCR) and core central region (CCR). Sales in the city fringes and city area improved 44.3 per cent and 1.9 per cent respectively in March – due to homebuyers picking up units from earlier launched projects.
In the RCR, Eight Riversuites sold 44 units, Guillemard Suites 14 units, and Bartley Ridge 12 units; in the CCR, Hallmark Residences sold 13 units, Liv on Wilkie nine units and Goodwood Residences eight units.
Analysts are expecting buying activity to improve in April, with sales volume likely to climb to 500 to 800 units, going by healthy interest in new projects Commonwealth Towers and Lakeville in Jurong.
Other projects in the pipeline include The Crest and Highline Residences at Tiong Bahru, and The Sorrento at West Coast Road.
The figures exclude executive condos (ECs), a private-public housing hybrid. Including ECs, developers moved 535 units in March, lower than the 787 units in February this year and 3,072 units last March.
URA will release the final Q1 2014 figures on April 25.
Source: Business Times – 16 April 2014