Friday, April 17, 2009

Home sales set to rise in 3 to 12 months: CDL

PROPERTY developer City Developments (CDL) said yesterday that it expects increasing numbers of homebuyers to enter the market in the next three to 12 months.

Its optimism stems from the sale of more than 80 per cent - or 150 units - of its newly-launched development, The Arte at Thomson. CDL has put 180 units of the 336-unit project on sale.

It said The Arte was 'a record breaker of sorts', being one that showed 1,220 new private homes sold last month, just shy of the 1,332 units sold in February.

This makes two consecutive months with more than 1,000 units sold - the first time it has happened in a year.

First-quarter private home sales have hit 2,660 units - about 62 per cent of all of last year's new home sales.

It has led some to speculate that the market has indeed turned a corner.

CDL said that 'after absorbing news of forecasts of a steep decline in GDP growth for 2009, the upbeat in sales volume could mean that there is greater confidence that a turnaround is in sight - with a steady rise expected in the property market within the next three to 12 months'.

But analysts maintain that this level of buying may not be sustainable.

Knight Frank director of research and consultancy, Mr Nicholas Mak, has estimated that only 6,000 to 7,000 new private homes are expected to be sold this year, unless the Singapore economy and employment market improve significantly.

However, CDL's group general manager, Mr Chia Ngiang Hong, said that recent launches have shown that 'buyers are still willing to spend when they see value and see a good deal'.

Developers, prompted by the challenging economic conditions, have lowered selling prices - by between 5 to 25 per cent - and these factors have contributed to larger transaction volumes, said CDL.

Source: Straits Times, 17 April 2009

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