Singapore new private home sales pick up in May amid ‘price-sensitive’ demand

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Singapore’s new private home sales bumped up 29.5 percent on-month to 952 in May, after developers launched 1,394 units during the month, up from 444 in April, according to data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority released Monday.

The top-selling projects for the month — Amber Park, Parc Komo, The Woodleigh Residences, The Florence Residences and Treasure at Tampines — all drew buyers due to their affordability, real-estate services firm JLL said in a note Monday.

“Their median prices of between S$1,340 and S$1,497 per square foot are within the means of many entry level private home buyers,” JLL said.

Ong Teck Hui, senior director of research and consultancy at JLL, added, “the 952 new private residential units sold in May is indicative of steady demand notwithstanding a price-sensitive market.”

Tricia Song, head of research for Singapore at Colliers International, noted that the relaunch of The Woodleigh Residences sold 74 units during the month after it cut its median price by 8.9 percent to S$1,823 per square foot.

That compared with the S$2,002 per square foot pricing during its initial launch in November, when it only managed to sell 29 units, she said in a note Monday.

“Most buyers remain price sensitive and value-conscious, with the lowest priced projects in OCR [outside central region] – Riverfront Residences, Parc Botannia and Treasure at Tampines, and the lowest-priced in RCR [rest of central region] – The Tre Ver continue to score 33 to 50 units per month,” she said.

Still, May’s sales were down 15.2 percent on-year, as the year-ago comparison month was before the government launched a fresh round of cooling measures in July 2018, which put a damper on demand.

In addition, the year-earlier month had a major mass-market launch of the 520-unit Twin Vew, which sold 454 units at a median S$1,385 per square foot, Colliers noted.

JLL’s Ong noted that around 70 percent of the units sold were from previous launches.

“This shows that unsold units in previous launched projects are building up and still offer buyers opportunities in spite of new projects being placed on the market,” Ong said.

He pointed to URA Realis data showing 3,491 unsold units in already-launched private residential projects in the first quarter of this year, up from 1,066 in the year-ago quarter.

Looking ahead, both Ong and Song said they expected sales would slow in June, as is typical for the school holidays, with a pickup again in July.

Colliers estimated around 9,000 new residential units would sell in 2019, up slightly from 2018’s 8,795, with prices up by around 1 percent for the full-year.

“Supporting factors that could hold up prices in the coming quarters include: halt in interest rate increases, continued benign economic growth, and en bloc beneficiaries buying replacement homes,” Song said.

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