Private home sales could drop to 1,700 units in 1Q2014: Knight Frank

20-35% decline expected from 4Q2013.

In its latest outlook for residential developer sales, Knight Frank said that given the ongoing dampening impact of current property cooling measures, "we envisage private home sales in 1Q 2014 to decrease further by around 20 to 35 per cent compared to 4Q 2013, with sales volume potentially ranging from 1,700 units to 2,000 units."

New private home sales though could improve in the next two months with a couple of upcoming projects
potentially being launched within 1Q 2014 period.

"With increasing competition amongst developers in light of current market conditions, developers are likely to deploy more aggressive marketing strategies to move sales, as well as pitching their projects at the right prices," said Knight Frank.

Here are more forecast estimates from Knight Frank:

- High-end market in CCR is likely to remain sluggish at least for this month, as there has been no major new project in the pipeline following the launch of Duo Residences in November 2013, which is being sold at competitive prices compared to other projects in CCR or even RCR.

- New sales performance in the mid-tier segment in RCR is likely to remain at current levels for the next couple of months, as new projects in good locations near to city centre will continue to receive fairly healthy interest from buyers, provided that the price quantum is pegged at a 'sweet spot' level.

- Mass market in OCR could see better sales performance in the next two months, with upcoming project launches that could attract a fair level of interest from potential homebuyers. However, any further price increase from current levels could receive market resistance particularly from middle-income buyers amid the TDSR ruling and recent cooling of HDB resale prices.

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