COMMERCIAL PROPERTY | Tony Chua, Singapore

Singapore's private property sales up 25% in April

Property market remains upbeat as mass-to mid-end markets were hot favourites among the 2,207 sales.

April 2010 saw 2,207 private property sales, a jump of 25% from the previous month and a figure surpassed only by July 2009's 2,767 units transacted.

"The property market is certainly very bullish," observed PropNex CEO Mr Mohamed Ismail, in a PropNex report Monday. "Although the majority of the units transacted in April did come from the mass- to mid-end markets," referring to the fact that 1,961 units, or 88.8% of all the units, transacted for below a median price of $2,000psf; the mass market units, or those that transacted at below a median price of $1,000psf, chalked up 1,274 units or 57.7%.

"It would appear from these statistics," analyses Mr Ismail, "that while investors' confidence is growing, demand from upgraders obviously remains as a major market force.

"This is evident from the fact that the top three projects transacted all featured median prices of below $1,200psf," he explains, referring to Waterbank at Dakota (573 units at $1,178psf), Tree House (374 units at $835psf) and The Interlace (144 units at $1,067psf). Between them, these three projects saw 1,091 transactions, or 49.4% of all the units transacted.

"In fact," he continues, "the high number of transactions for April can be partially explained by the correspondingly high and coincidental launch of 2,084 units, a number also surpassed only in July 2009."

While Mr Ismail expects private residential property prices to remain buoyant, he does not expect the volume of transactions to maintain the current levels for the rest of the year.

"In the first four months of 2010 there have already been 6,640 transactions, about 45% of the total for last year which was a surprisingly good year to begin with," he says.

"Demand is expected to stabilise at a lower level of about 1,000 units transacted per month over the next quarter," forecasts Mr Ismail, "although prices are not expected to fall in the near future. It is still a buyers' market but prospective buyers should remember to always buy within their means. They should avoid speculative views and purchase any property with a mid to long-term view."

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