Drop in sales of new high-end homes: JLL

Compared to the robust resale property market, new high-end homes are attracting relatively fewer buyers, according to property consultancy Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL).

Of the 192 caveats lodged for non-landed resale homes in Q1 2012, only 30 new units were sold by developers, notably the most unbalanced ratio in the last eight years, noted Dr Chua Yang Liang, Head of Research for Southeast Asia at JLL.

JLL's analysis of caveat data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) also revealed that total transactions have been declining for the past three quarters due to the cooling measures and general market uncertainty.

According to some experts, the sales gap is high as there were few launches of new high-end projects.

Chua Chor Hoon, Head of DTZ Asia-Pacific Research, said that there is a larger supply of secondary units to be sold, which means transactions will also increase.

In Q1 2012, a number of new units at d'Leedon (pictured) and The Scotts Tower were sold while Spring Grove and Orchard Scotts saw good resale deals.

Market watchers predict that lower prices in the high-end resale market may appear more enticing to investors looking at this segment.

According to the Singapore Residential Price Index (RPI) compiled by NUS (National University of Singapore), resale home prices in central areas slipped 0.9 percent in February and 2.4 percent in January this year.

Chua noted that weaker resale prices among prime homes narrowed the gap to 63 percent between the mass-market and high-end segment. As such, average prices for prime homes in Q1 2012 were 63 percent higher than mass-market units.   Related Stories:Loss of foreign talent affecting private property rentals

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