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Higher home prices highlight effects of collective sale frenzy

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The effects of the collective sale frenzy two years ago are starting to be seen in the housing market, with pricier units increasing their market share.

A new report yesterday noted that apartments selling for less than $1 million comprised 24 per cent of all new sales in the second quarter, down from 37 per cent in the first.

And the proportion of new units priced above $3 million hit 5 per cent, up from 3 per cent.

The higher prices reflect the lofty amounts paid for collective sale sites from 2017 to mid-2018, reported real estate consultant Edmund Tie & Company.

They also reflect the increase in average unit sizes and a greater preference for larger apartments.

It was a little different in the resale market, where the proportion of units priced under $1 million remained unchanged from the first quarter at 24 per cent.

But resale apartments above $3 million accounted for 11 per cent of sales in the three months to June 30, up from 8 per cent in the previous quarter.

Prices for resale properties remained relatively stable quarter on quarter. Sales at new non-landed projects hit 3,966 in the first half, up 7.4 per cent on the same period last year.

Transactions in the second quarter alone jumped 30.6 per cent from the first three months to 2,246 units.

There were 16 new projects launched in the second quarter, up from six in the first, but the total number of units on offer was just 2,700, compared with 4,900 in the January-to-March period.

The rest of central region led the way with nine launches totalling 1,731 units in the second quarter, compared with four projects offering 326 units in the first.

Foreign buyers accounted for 6 per cent of non-landed private homes sold in the second quarter, up from 5 per cent in the first. Notably, the proportion of Chinese buyers fell to a low of 22 per cent in the period, said the report.

Edmund Tie said its outlook for the private housing market in this half remains "cautiously optimistic", and it is sticking to its forecast of 8,000 to 10,000 in sales of new units for the year. - THE STRAITS TIMES