Condo resale prices hold steady in May

Volume falls 43%; analysts cite curbs on physical house viewings as reason

Resale prices for non-landed private homes held steady last month despite sales volume continuing to fall during the second month of the circuit breaker period, according to flash figures from real estate portal SRX Property yesterday.

About 171 units were resold last month, similar to levels seen during the global financial crisis of 2009. This marks a 43 per cent decrease from the 300 units resold in April, according to SRX figures.

Last month's resale volume is also 80 per cent lower than in May last year, and 83.1 per cent off the five-year average volume for the month of May.

Overall, prices last month finished 0.1 per cent higher than in April.

They were 0.6 per cent lower than in May last year.

The rest of central region or city fringes saw prices increase by 1.7 per cent, while prices in the core central region or prime districts fell by 0.2 per cent.

Prices outside the central region, or the suburban or outlying areas, fell by 0.5 per cent.

Ms Christine Sun, head of research and consultancy at OrangeTee & Tie, noted that the sharp fall in volume indicates that the resale market could be highly dependent on physical house viewings.

"Most potential buyers still prefer to inspect the premises in person and assess the condition of the units before making a purchase.

"Sales volume may pick up again when physical house viewings are allowed to resume," she said.

Looking ahead, ERA Realty head of research and consultancy Nicholas Mak predicts that resale transaction volume this month will likely vary between 150 and 300 units, similar to April and last month, since buyers and agents are still not allowed to view homes.

"However, there could be a growing group of buyers and sellers waiting for the day that the restrictions are further lifted.

"The accumulation of pent-up demand could lead to a jump in transaction volume when the market participants are once again allowed to freely visit and view properties for sale," said Mr Mak.

SRX data also shows that the highest transacted price for a resale unit last month came from an apartment at Nassim Park Residences, which went for $10.6 million.

In the city fringes, the most expensive sale was a unit at The Seafront on Meyer, which resold for $2.95 million. In the outlying areas, the highest transacted price was for a unit at Kovan Melody that went for $1.8 million.

Ms Sun noted that 18 luxury apartments were resold for $10 million and above this year, of which three changed hands during the circuit breaker period.

Aside from the third-floor unit at Nassim Park Residences sold on May 4, the other two units are also in the Orchard Road area. They comprise a high-floor unit at Ardmore Park that sold for $27.65 million or $3,163 psf on April 24, and a unit at The Claymore that went for $17 million or $3,456 psf on April 13.

"The ongoing sales of super-luxury condominiums during the circuit breaker period indicate that Singapore remains attractive to ultra-rich investors as a safe haven investment destination," said Ms Sun.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 10, 2020, with the headline 'Condo resale prices hold steady in May'. Subscribe