Singapore new private homes see best September sales in 7 years: URA data

Avenue South Residence, launched in Sept 2019, was the month's top-selling project with 361 units sold. PHOTO: UOL GROUP

SINGAPORE - New private home sales in September were the best for that month in seven years - and also the highest in the 14 months since property cooling measures were imposed in July last year.

This came as developers, after the Hungry Ghost month, revved up launches in the city-fringe and more buyers opted to trade up to this location.

Buyers snapped up 1,270 new private homes last month, up 13 per cent from August's 1,123 units and 36 per cent more than the 932 units sold in September 2018, according to data released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Monday (Oct 16). The figures exclude executive condominiums or ECs.

The last time September sales of new private homes was higher was in 2012 with 2,621 units sold for the month.

September's figure also brings the number of new private homes sold in the third quarter of this year to 3,572 units. This is about 19 per cent higher than in the year-ago period and is the highest quarterly sales volume since the second quarter of 2013 when tighter loan-to-income rules under the total debt servicing ratio (TDSR) was introduced, noted JLL senior director of research & consultancy Ong Teck Hui.

"The increases in the URA private home price index in the second and third quarters could be interpreted that prices are likely to be stable with limited downside and this would give confidence to developers to continue launching their projects and more buyers are likely to be drawn into the market as well," Mr Ong said.

Last month, developers launched 1,714 private homes for sale, up 69 per cent from 1,015 units in August, and nearly 47 per cent more than the 1,169 units in September last year, the URA data show.

Five new projects were launched last month. They include Avenue South Residence, Meyer Mansion, The Antares and Uptown @ Farrer, all located in the city fringe, while Cuscaden Reserve is in prime district 10.

Huttons Asia research director Lee Sze Teck noted that nearly 60 per cent of September's sales were in the city-fringe or Rest of Central Region (RCR). Within this region, Avenue South Residence in Silat Avenue, launched last month, was the top-selling project, with 361 units sold at a median price of $1,941 psf.

Other good performers included Parc Clematis, which sold 119 units at a median price of $1,620 psf, while earlier launches like Parc Botannia, Treasure at Tampines, The Florence Residences and Parc Esta also saw robust sales.

Ms Christine Sun, head of research and consultancy at OrangeTee & Tie, noted that September's new sales volume were driven mainly by Singaporeans and Singapore permanent residents. According to URA Realis data on Oct 15, the number of local purchases rose 29.3 per cent to 1,078 units in September from 834 units in August - the highest number since July 2018 (1,250 units).

"This indicates that many Singaporeans remain confident about the long-term prospects of private properties here. Many investors have reassessed their risk appetite... possibly turning to safer investment assets like real estate in Singapore," she added.

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