SINGAPORE - The private resale housing market showed no sign of slowing down with the number of condominium units resold in March hitting the highest since May 2011, as prices rose for the eighth consecutive month.
Buyers were out in force last month as sales rebounded by 28.9 per cent to an estimated 1,662 units from 1,289 units in February with its Chinese New Year lull, according to flash data from real estate portal SRX released on Tuesday (April 13).
This makes March the ninth straight month to see more than 1,000 private resale units change hands.
Sales last month are also 122.5 per cent higher than March last year, and 75.3 per cent more than the five-year average volume for the month of March.
Condo resale prices edged up 0.1 per cent from February - rising for the eighth consecutive month - and were up 4.2 per cent over March last year.
Homes in the outside central region accounted for the biggest proportion of private resale transactions at 60.2 per cent. Homes in the city fringes accounted for 23.2 per cent, while the remaining came from central Singapore.
Ms Christine Sun, senior vice-president of research and analytics at OrangeTee & Tie, said: "This indicates that the resale market is currently driven by demand for more affordable homes, especially mass-market resale homes in suburban regions."
Demand could also have been pushed up by the lack of new units in the suburban areas and rising new home prices, she added.
Ms Sun noted there were few new mega-launches with more than 500 units in the outside central region, with only the 640-unit Clavon and 660-unit Ki Residences at Brookvale, both in Clementi, leading some buyers to turn to the resale market to find alternative housing.
ERA Realty head of research and consultancy Nicholas Mak said price growth was driven mainly by homes in central Singapore, where prices rose 1.1 per cent in March from the month before.
He noted that Midtown Modern in Bugis and Irwell Hill Residences, off River Valley Road, were both recently launched and piqued buyers' interests.
"Buyers expect the new launches to be priced higher than the resale properties in terms of dollar per sq ft ($psf) of strata space. As a result, some buyers turn to the resale market," said Mr Mak.
PropNex head of research and content Wong Siew Ying said the wide $psf price gap between new launches and resale properties may also help to steer some buying interest towards the resale segment.
"Barring any fresh cooling measures, we expect demand for resale condos to remain healthy, largely driven by local end-user demand, including from Housing Board (HDB) upgraders," she said.
The highest transacted price for a private resale unit last month was $18.3 million for a unit at Eden in Draycott Park, according to SRX data.
In the city fringes, a unit at Reflections at Keppel Bay fetched the highest price of $7 million, while in the outside central region, the top spot went to a $2.8 million unit at Archipelago in Bedok Reservoir Road.
In its report, SRX noted that the overall median capital gain in March was $179,500, a decrease of $24,344 as compared with the month before.
The capital gain or loss of a condo resale unit is calculated by comparing the current transacted price with the previous transacted price of the same unit.
District 21 (Clementi Park / Upper Bukit Timah) posted the highest median capital gain of $380,000, while District 8 (Farrer Park / Serangoon Road) posted the lowest median capital gain of $71,080.