A version of this article is published in The Business Times, Homepage, 18 September 2018, with the headline ‘2018 new home sales forecast to wilt by a quarter’.
In August 2018, developers sold 616 private residential units (excluding Executive Condominiums) in August 2018. This was a significant drop of 64.3% from the 1,724 units sold in July 2018.
Firstly, due to the surprise announcement on the evening of 5 July by the government to tighten the property market curbs, some buyers rushed to conclude their home purchases on that evening before the new measures kicked in. These buyers brought forward their home purchases. As a result, the sales in subsequent months would be lower.
The Hungry Ghost Festival which covered two thirds of August this year caused some buyers to avoid purchasing real estate during that period as it was considered inauspicious to do so. In addition, property developers also launched fewer units in August compared to the previous months. These combined factors contributed to the lower sales.
Speaking to The Business Times, ZACD Executive Director, Nicholas Mak said, “Just as the high sales volumes in July which was boosted by the over-night sales on the evening of 5 July does not reflect the new benchmark for developers’ sales, neither do the lower sales volumes in August.” He added that the real estate market will take a few months to find a new equilibrium.
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