New home sales hit 10-month high in May

Gem Residences in Toa Payoh (above) sold 312 units at a median price of $1,431 per sq ft, while Stars of Kovan in Upper Serangoon Road moved 76 units at a median price of $1,414 psf.
Gem Residences in Toa Payoh (above) sold 312 units at a median price of $1,431 per sq ft, while Stars of Kovan in Upper Serangoon Road moved 76 units at a median price of $1,414 psf.PHOTO: DANIEL NEO FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

Surge from April due to strong demand at two new launches and brisk sales at other projects

Sales of new private homes surged to a 10-month high in May, partly driven by healthy demand at two new launches.

Developers sold 1,056 new homes last month, up by 41.2 per cent from the 748 units transacted in April, said the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) yesterday.

This is the strongest monthly sales performance since 1,655 units were sold last July.

Analysts said it could indicate that the property market - which has endured a lengthy period of slow sales due to cooling measures introduced - is stabilising and in a "tentative recovery mode".

"The green shoots (of recovery) could potentially persist if interest rates remain low. Another consideration is whether there would be a general improvement in economic growth in the second half (of the year)," said Ms Alice Tan, Knight Frank Singapore's research head.

TENTATIVE SIGNS OF RECOVERY

The green shoots (of recovery) could potentially persist if interest rates remain low. Another consideration is whether there would be a general improvement in economic growth in the second half (of the year).

MS ALICE TAN, Knight Frank Singapore's research head.


SALES COULD TAPER

This monthly sales figure is expected to moderate as there are no foreseeable new major launches. This is a result of the noticeable cutback on residential sites in the GLS (government land sales) programme.

'' MR DESMOND SIM, CBRE Research head for Singapore and South-east Asia.

May's sales, which were a big step up from the 643 units sold during the same month a year ago, was spurred by two top-selling new launches. Gem Residences in Toa Payoh sold 312 units at a median price of $1,431 per sq ft (psf), while Stars of Kovan in Upper Serangoon Road moved 76 units at a median price of $1,414 psf.

Apart from new launches, existing projects also booked brisk sales, a sign that reasonably priced projects near MRT stations continued to be favoured by home buyers.

The Poiz Residences sold 47 units, 36 units went at Sturdee Residences, and 36 homes were bought at Botanique at Bartley.

ERA Realty Network key executive officer Eugene Lim said: "This shows that there is sustained demand for existing projects and buyers are discerning, going for projects which offer them the best value for their money."

New homes on the city fringe accounted for more than half of last month's sales at 582 units, while 414 new homes in the suburbs were sold, followed by 60 units in the core central region.

Analysts believe buying interest will remain selective and sales could taper in the next two months.

"This monthly sales figure is expected to moderate as there are no foreseeable new major launches. This is a result of the noticeable cutback on residential sites in the GLS (government land sales) programme," noted CBRE Research head for Singapore and South-east Asia Desmond Sim.

All in, 3,274 new units, excluding those in executive condominiums (ECs), were sold in the first five months of the year, more than the 3,189 units transacted from January to May last year. Around 7,760 new private homes were sold last year.

Although sales of private condo units spiked, demand for new ECs waned last month, with developers selling 332 units - down 39.3 per cent from April. The best-selling EC projects included Bellewaters, The Vales and The Terrace, which found 37 to 40 buyers each, at median prices ranging from $788 to $800 psf.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 16, 2016, with the headline 'New home sales hit 10-month high in May'. Print Edition | Subscribe