Sunday, April 29, 2012

Shoebox units make up 27% of new sales

Straits Times: Sat, Apr 28
THOSE tiny homes known as shoebox apartments now account for more than a quarter of private home sales, a big jump from about 15 per cent late last year.

The latest figures, for the first quarter of the year, show that 1,764 shoebox units were sold, representing about 27 per cent of the 6,526 private home sales.

These are small homes of about 540 sq ft or less.

As recently as the fourth quarter of 2011, shoebox flats accounted for slightly over 15 per cent of the total new sales.

This is the first time the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), which released its quarterly real estate statistics yesterday, has made available data on shoebox units in the report.

It included statistics from as early as 2007, when such small units constituted less than 5 per cent of private home sales.

Across the market, 42 per cent of new sales in the quarter were priced below $750,000. Many of these units are in the suburbs, with a hefty 82 per cent of all new unit sales outside the central region.

Mr Lee Sze Teck, senior manager of research and consultancy at Dennis Wee Group, said the figures indicate that developers are launching more small units - one- and two-bedders - for sale. 'The increase in prices of uncompleted non-landed properties is probably due to smaller units sold with higher per square foot prices,' he said.

The median size of units in new mass market launches has dived from 980 sq ft in the second quarter of 2011, to 710 sq ft in the first quarter of this year.

Median per sq ft (psf) price in the first quarter was $1,102, while it was $949 in the second quarter of last year...
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Martin Koh/ Sherry Tang
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