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New private home sales rebound in April

Sales of new private homes rebounded last month despite fewer launches in the market, helped by strong interests for Jurong Lake District's latest offering Lakeville and Bishan's Sky Habitat.

SINGAPORE: Sales of new private homes rebounded last month, helped by realistically-priced units.

According to the Urban Redevelopment Authority, 745 new units -- excluding executive condominiums -- were sold in April, the highest number registered in a single month this year.

This is 55.2 per cent more compared to the previous month, and a slight increase from February's figures (739 units).

The top performer in April is the newly-launched Lakeville condominium in Jurong West.

The 696-unit Lakeville sold more than 90 per cent of its 230 homes launched in the first phase.

And the reason for better sales, property watchers say, is competitive prices.

Christine Li, head of research and consultancy at OrangeTee, explained: "Developers have been very realistic in terms of pricing. For example, the Sorrento, it is a freehold project but it was priced almost similar to a 99-year-leasehold project and that is why the take-up is more than 90 per cent in April. The project was almost sold out in one month."

The Sky Habitat in Bishan sold 130 units last month at a median price of S$1,377 per square foot (psf).

That is about 13 per cent lower than the median price of S$1,583 psf when it first launched in April 2012.

Desmond Sim, head of research at CBRE said: "If you have a palatable quantum, or if you have an expected price cut, units would move. There is an underlying demand out there waiting to buy but they (buyers) are just waiting for developers to make such moves or (give) some sweeteners in order to come into the market and start buying."

Analysts expect sales to improve in the next few months on the back of more new launches, with transaction volume possibly crossing 1,000 units in May.

The Commonwealth Towers was launched earlier this month, while two other projects - Coco Palms and Waterfront@Faber - will be launched this weekend.

Analysts say developers are likely to still "drip-feed" the market - that is launching their units in stages, so there will not be a supply over-hang.

"Some developers prefer to phase their projects, especially the bigger projects, so that next time in order to move sales, they have more flexibility when it comes to pricing," added Ms Li.

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