Condo resale prices up for 15th straight month but volume dips again in October

Year on year, resale prices were up 9 percent from October 2020. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - Prices of resale non-landed private homes climbed for the 15th consecutive month in October, although fewer units changed hands, according to flash data from real estate portals 99.co and SRX on Tuesday (Nov 9).

Condominium resale prices climbed to a new high last month, but the month-on-month price rise slowed to 0.7 per cent from 1 per cent in September.

Year on year, resale prices were up 9 per cent from October last year.

However, resale volume dipped for the second straight month in October, with an estimated 1,578 units transacted, a 6.3 per cent drop from 1,684 units in September.

Ms Christine Sun, senior vice-president of research and analytics at real estate firm OrangeTee & Tie, said rising prices continued to weigh on the private resale market.

The two-person visitor cap per day as part of Covid-19 safety measures have also appeared to impact the number of transactions, as some buyers prefer to inspect and check the condition of the units before purchasing, she said.

Some property analysts believe that price resistance is also starting to set in.

Huttons Asia chief executive Mark Yip said the demand for resale condos may have peaked and the market "could be heading towards stabilisation".

Still, resale transactions in October were 9 per cent higher than the same month last year, and 52.3 per cent above the five-year average volume for the month of October.

The majority of the units transacted were in the suburbs, representing 60.1 per cent of the total volume for the month.

About 21.7 per cent of transactions were in the city fringes, with the remaining 18.3 per cent in central Singapore.

Month on month, prices of homes rose the most in the suburbs, by 0.9 per cent.

Prices in city fringes went up by 0.6 per cent while those in central Singapore edged up by 0.4 per cent.

Year on year, all three regions experienced price increases, with the suburbs growing the most, at 9.4 per cent.

This is because supply of new mass market homes remains tight in the suburbs, said Ms Sun.

"Currently, there seems to be more buyers than sellers in the market, especially in the suburbs where many Housing Board flat upgraders are looking for replacement homes after selling their flats in recent months," she said.

ERA Singapore head of research and consultancy Nicholas Mak said one contributing factor to the declining resale condo transactions was the fewer number of resale units on the market, as some owners may be holding out for a collective sale in their development.

"Although some condo buyers are willing to pay the higher asking prices, some owners are not offering their condo units for sale as they may be preparing for the collective sale process. This could take more than a year to complete as more than 80 per cent of the owners have to agree to the collective sale," said Mr Mak.

He noted that the landbank of many developers is drying up, so companies will turn to both Government Land Sales and the private collective sale market to replenish their inventories.

"Hence, more owners of older condominiums would contemplate starting the collective sale process," he said.

Thomson View Condominium, a 34-year-old development located near Upper Thomson MRT station, recently went up for collective sale via public tender at a reserve price of $950 million. It is the largest residential collective sale effort here by quantum so far this year.

The highest transacted price for a resale condo unit last month was $19.7 million for a unit at Seven Palms Sentosa Cove, a 103-year leasehold condo located on Sentosa Island.

In the city fringes, the highest transacted price was $6.4 million for a 99-year leasehold apartment at Reflections at Keppel Bay in HarbourFront.

In suburban areas, a unit in freehold condo Breeze By The East in Upper East Coast Road sold for $3.45 million.

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