New private home sales rebounded strongly last month from a year earlier, with developers launching as many as seven projects amid rising economic headwinds.
Signalling healthy demand, some 1,198 units were sold, out of 1,341 units launched.
Last month's sales were the highest since the July 6 cooling measures. The 1,198 units sold represented a 52 per cent jump from the 788 units sold a year earlier, and were up 146 per cent from the 487 units booked in October.
The figures were released yesterday by the Urban Redevelopment Authority, based on its survey of licensed housing developers.
The figures exclude executive condominium (EC) units, which are a public-private housing hybrid.
The seven new launches - 3 Cuscaden, Arena Residences, Belgravia Green, Kent Ridge Hill Residences, The Woodleigh Residences, Parc Esta and Whistler Grand - accounted for 830 units, or 69 per cent, of new private home sales last month.
City-fringe projects, including Parc Esta and Whistler Grand, were among the top sellers last month. "Buyers were likely enticed by their affordable quantum," said Mr Desmond Sim, CBRE's head of research for Singapore and South-east Asia.
Located next to Eunos MRT station and near the Paya Lebar Quarter mixed-use development, Parc Esta sold 348 units at a median price of $1,699 per sq ft (psf), while Whistler Grand moved 219 units at a median price of $1,352 psf.
Previously launched projects also raked in decent sales, with 52 units from Park Colonial and 43 units from Stirling Residences.
For the year to date, the number of units sold stood at 8,644, or about 82 per cent of last year's total volume of 10,566. Analysts expect the total number of units sold this year to cross the 9,000 mark, with this month expected to be a quiet month with no new launches.
Mr Ong Teck Hui, JLL's senior director of research and consultancy, said: "The strong launches and sales take-up in November are significant as they occurred at a time when activities usually wind down because of the holidays. They are, in fact, the (second-strongest) monthly launch and sales figures this year."
As the number of units to be launched for sale next year is expected to be significant, developers are under pressure to launch their projects this year rather than withhold until next year, he added.
More than 40 new launches are expected next year, according to PropNex Realty chief executive Ismail Gafoor. Among those seen kicking off the first quarter are Mayfair Modern, Fourth Avenue Residences, Petit Jervois and The Florence Residences.
Between 10,000 and 17,000 new homes from collective sale and Government Land Sales sites could be launched, analysts say.
Property-buying decisions continue to be affected by rising interest rates, economic growth, trade tensions and even issues with Malaysia, said ERA Realty Network key executive officer Eugene Lim.
Meanwhile, EC sales fell to just four last month, from 23 in October, on dwindling supply. Including ECs, developers moved 1,202 units last month, up 136 per cent from a mere 510 units in October.
Ms Tricia Song, head of research for Singapore at Colliers International, believes EC prices will remain firm as inventory runs down.
Three units at Rivercove Residences sold at a median price of $990 psf and a unit at Treasure Crest sold at a median price of $1,100 psf.
"EC demand is likely to build up as the next EC project at Sumang Walk will be launched only in the second quarter next year," Mr Sim said.