New home sales plunge 35% from year ago

Romesh NavaratnarajahFebruary 16, 2015

New home sales

Sales of private housing units by developers dropped almost 35 percent to 372 units in January 2015 from the same period last year when 572 units were sold, according to new data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).

But on a month-on-month basis, the sales volume was up around 62 percent from the 230 units sold in December 2014.

There were 415 private units launched in January, significantly higher than the 53 units released in the month before when developers held back on new project launches due to low interest from buyers during the festive season.

Despite the ongoing property slowdown resulting from the cooling measures, Ong Teck Hui, National Director, Research & Consultancy at JLL feels there is a chance the market might improve in 2015.

“Many buyers are timing the market with reference to the easing of measures by the government. Many see 2016 as a possibility, perhaps even late 2015, by which time prices are likely to have corrected by more than 10 percent. This could result in more buyers re-entering the market in the later part of the year enticed by lower prices and before measures are eased,” he said in January.

In 2014, private property prices fell by 4.0 percent, the first year of overall price decline since 2008.

According to URA, prices as well as the number of units sold during the month are based on the Option to Purchase (OTP) issued by developers to buyers and reported to URA. Not all OTPs result in confirmed sales.

An OTP is a right or option given by the vendor to an intending purchaser to buy the property at a specified price within a specified period of time – the validity period of the option. The intending purchaser must pay a booking fee of between 5.0 – 10 percent of the agreed price for this right or option. The purchaser has to exercise the OTP within its validity period if he decides to buy the property.


Romesh Navaratnarajah, Singapore Editor of PropertyGuru Group, wrote this story. To contact him about this or other stories email



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