RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Condo sales up 49% in May

Three developments accounted for half the market, find out which ones they were.

Nearly half of non-landed residential sales in the ‘outside central region’ or OCR can be attributed to Terrasse with 184 units, Foresque Residences with 141 units and Eight Courtyards with 137 units.

On the other hand, sales volume in the ‘core central region’ or CCR has dropped by 43%.

Here’s more from OCBC:

Sales still dominated by mass-segment units. Similar to the last three months, "outside central region" or OCR transactions dominated sales volume. OCR transactions made up 60% of all non-landed sales in May -an increase from 56% in Apr. About half of all OCR sales can be attributed to three projects - Terrasse with 184 units, Foresque Residences with 141 units and Eight Courtyards with 137 units. We also note that sales volume in the "core central region” or CCR has fallen to 168 units from 296 units in Apr 11- down 43% MoM.The number of non-landed units sold increased 48.7% YoY in May 2011 to 1,557 units. Including EC and landed units, a total of 1,825 units were sold. Only 1,208 non-landed units were launched in May and were up 8.6% YoY, resulting in an exuberant take-up rate of 128.9%. Non-landed inventories decreased 8.0% MoM to 4,341units.

Mass segment prices continued uptrend in May. We analyzed 3,529 caveats lodged with the URA in Apr and May, excluding landed and EC properties, and isolated 1,287 caveats attributable to OCR projects with transactions in both months. From these caveats, we calculated the difference in average unit psf (S$) prices between same-project sales that occurred in Apr and May. We found that transaction prices (S$ psf), on a transaction-weighted basis, have increased S$5.68 across same-project sales, which indicated a 0.63% MoM increase over the average OCR transaction price of S$898.07 psf in Apr. This implies that momentum in mass-segment prices had continued at a steady pace in May.

Anecdotal signs of lower Jun 11 sales. From recent anecdotal evidence given in the media, cautionary comments by Minister for National Development Khaw Boon Wan in his blog have slowed down sales over the last weekend. Moreover, an expected increase in HDB supply and media reports of possible inflection points for property prices in Hong Kong and China may dampen buyer enthusiasm further.

BUY UOL. In our view, however, liquidity continues to be an over-arching impetus for property price momentum and policy overhang remains a concern. We maintain our NEUTRAL rating on the residential property sector.

Our pick in this sector is UOL due to its limited residential exposure and the potential to pick up accretive acquisitions in a softer market ahead. Maintain BUY on UOL with a fair value estimate of S$5.57. 

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