Condo resale prices inch up in 2019, but sales plunge

Overall prices up 1.7% but volume down 27.4% as last year's cooling measures bite

The resale market for non-landed private homes felt the effects of the cooling measures last year with prices only marginally higher, while the transaction number crashed, flash figures noted yesterday.

Overall prices rose 1.7 per cent with all areas registering increases. The prime core central region was up 1.5 per cent, the rest of the central region or city fringes rose 0.6 per cent, and the outside of central region went up 2.3 per cent.

A total of 9,017 resale, non-landed private homes were sold last year, 27.4 per cent lower than in 2018, according to the estimates from SRX Property.

Ms Christine Sun, head of research and consultancy at OrangeTee & Tie, said 2018's stronger sales volume was mainly driven by a higher number of homes sold in the first half of the year before the cooling measures were implemented in July.

She also attributed last year's lacklustre resale demand to stiff competition from many new project launches and weaker market sentiment. But she noted that year-on-year sales volumes from August to December rose, suggesting that the resale market may be slowly recovering.

An estimated 650 units were resold last month, 15.4 per cent less than November's 768 units, but 21.5 per cent higher than in the same month in 2018.

"Although buying sentiment may continue to recover, competition for buyers will remain stiff given the pipeline of new supply entering the market," Ms Sun said. She sees resale prices rising by just 1 per cent to 3 per cent this year, with demand at between 8,000 and 9,000 units.

SRX data showed that an apartment at Four Seasons Park in Cuscaden Walk recorded the highest transacted price for a resale unit last month at $17.9 million. The most expensive sale in the central region was for a unit at Reflections at Keppel Bay, which sold for $7.2 million. The outside of central region's top seller was a $3.2 million unit at Bayshore Park.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 15, 2020, with the headline 'Condo resale prices inch up in 2019, but sales plunge'. Print Edition | Subscribe