The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said the number of pre-owned, private houses sold during the second quarter increased 71 percent from 856 units in the first quarter to 1,706 units.

Re-sale capital values also increased in the second quarter, though it was still less than the figures seen during the peak cycle in 2007 across all sectors – mass market, prime and luxury prime. Some market analysts partly attributed the robust sales of second-hand property to this differential. Other reasons behind the active resale market could be the HDB upgraders who were eager to transfer to a new home and higher rental yields earned from investments in completed property as compared with deposit rates.

Though the median price of freehold, non-landed private houses fell 14.6% since the first quarter, CB Richard Ellis estimated that the final results will be higher in the second quarter when high-end projects like The Wharf Residences, Martin Place Residences and One Devonshire will be taken into account.

CBRE also projected that 3,500–4,000 new private houses will be sold this quarter, a 35 to 54 percent increase vis-à-vis the Q1 figures. The sales forecast was actually on par with the figures seen throughout 2007, when 3,700 units were sold on average every quarter.

CBRE Executive Director Joseph Tan attributed the stronger demand for new homes to stock market rally, improved liquidity and developers’ discounts.

HDB upgraders made up 65% of the new home market in the first half of 2009, compared with 44% throughout 2008. HDB upgraders also made up a significant share of the second-hand market, estimated at 49 and 33 percent in 2009 and 2008, respectively.