4 properties with a total sale value of S$10.35 million were sold at property auctions during the Hungry Ghost Month period, which falls between 17 August and 15 September this year. 

This is the highest sale value recorded in three years, since the financial crisis in 2008/2009 triggered by the collapse of the Lehman Brothers. 

Ms Grace Ng (黄黎明), Deputy Managing Director of Colliers International, says, “The property auction market is much quieter this year, largely due to the twin effects of the continuous government curbs on the residential market and the reduction in the number of mortgagee sales.

The high sale value registered during the Hungry Ghost Month this year is mainly attributed to the forced sale of a high-end condominium apartment at The Boulevard Residences (BLVD) at Cuscaden Walk, which was knocked down at S$5.7 million.  This is 55 per cent of the total sale value achieved during the Hungry Ghost Month.  Additionally, this is the first high-value residential property that was transacted above S$5 million at auction since early 2011.”

The other three properties sold included a single-storey terrace house at Thomson Road which was sold for S$2.33 million, an apartment in Lake View Estate (Upper Thomson Road) for S$1.3 million, as well as an industrial flatted factory at Northlink Building (Admiralty Street) for S$1.02 million. 

A total of 39 properties were put up for auction sale by the various auction houses in Singapore during the Hungry Ghost Month – of which the number of mortgagee sale remained low at 3 properties, and the remaining 36 properties were put up by property owners. 

The continued higher proportion of owners’ sale at 92.3 per cent this year could imply that both vendors and buyers are no longer concerned by the superstition associated with the Hungry Ghost Month. 

Ms Ng adds, “In fact, we have observed that vendors nowadays have adopted a more practical view, in that they are avoiding putting their properties up for sale during the festive season or school holidays.  This is because potential buyers could be away on vacation and the possibility of a transaction becomes lower during these periods.”

“To date this year, the property auction market in Singapore has knocked down 17 properties for a total sale value of S$50.565 million.  It is expected that Year 2012 could achieve more than S$70 million worth of sales transactions.

Nonetheless, due to the festive season and school holidays, as well as the continued stalemate between buyers and sellers, transaction volume is not expected to significantly pick up in the last quarter of the year. 

While mortgagee sale will continue to remain low, the market could potentially see high-end residential properties surfacing as mortgagee sale due to a more subdued level of sale activities in this sector.  Meanwhile, shophouses and strata-titled shops/offices, as well as landed properties, will continue to be sought after,” concludes Ms Ng.