New private home sales almost halved in October: URA

Developers sold 487 units in October, down 48 per cent from 932 in September, and 36 per cent lower than the 761 units booked in October last year.
Developers sold 487 units in October, down 48 per cent from 932 in September, and 36 per cent lower than the 761 units booked in October last year.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Demand for new private homes shrank by almost half in October from September with last month seeing only one small project launched.

Developers sold 487 units in October, down 48 per cent from 932 in September, and 36 per cent lower than the 761 units booked in October last year.

There was only one new launch - the 56-unit freehold condo 10 Evelyn, located off Newton Road - at upwards of $2,400 per sq ft (psf) in early October.

The 202 units from existing projects launched for sale last month is the lowest number launched since February 2018.

Huttons Asia head of research Lee Sze Teck said this trend is similar to that seen in the aftermath of earlier rounds of cooling measures "where the number of project launches, units launched and units sold eased in the third month of the measures".

"This is likely to be a blip and not a reflection of buying sentiment on the ground. Buyers are finding value in earlier launched projects and committing to a buy. The sales volume was spread across projects and was not dominated by a specific project.

"Sales volume is still heavily concentrated in the RCR (Rest of Central Region), largely due to a number of major launches in the RCR in 2018," he added.

The figures were released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Thursday (Oct 15), based on its survey of licensed housing developers.

The above figures exclude executive condominium (EC) units, which are a public-private housing hybrid.

Including ECs, developers moved 510 units in October - reflecting a drop of nearly 46 per cent from September's 944 units and also 48 per cent lower than the 972 units sold in October last year.

Orange Tee & Tie's head of research and consultancy Christine Sun noted that 485 of the 487 units sold were from existing launches, which is up from the average 460 units sold from such launches in the past 12 months.

"This shows that demand for new homes at existing launches has seen a general pick-up three months after the measures. In fact, many existing launches have seen an increase in sales or maintained their sales performance when compared to September.

ERA Realty key executive officer Eugene Lim noted that the number of units sold last month was 2.4 times that of units launched.

Last month's top-selling project was the 99-year Affinity at Serangoon, on Serangoon North Avenue 1, with 81 units sold at a median price of $1,499 psf. That's up from 31 units in September. Luxury project Marina One Residences sold 12 units in October, up from four units in the previous month.

Stirling Residences sold 75 units at a median price of $1,738 psf; Riverfront Residences sold 55 units at a median of $1,327 psf; Park Colonial sold 52 units at a median price of $1,754 psf; and The Tapestry sold 26 units at a median price of $1,375 psf.

Sales in November are expected to pick up on the back of more project launches such as Whistler Grand, Kent Ridge Hill Residences, Parc Esta, Arena Residences, 3 Cuscaden and Woodleigh Residences.