SINGAPORE - Condominium resale volume fell for the fourth consecutive month in August, as sales activity typically slows down in the seventh month of the lunar calendar during the Hungry Ghost Festival.
However, condo resale prices continue to hold strong, edging up 1.2 per cent for the 25th straight month in August, according to flash figures from real estate portals 99.co and SRX released on Tuesday.
Compared with August last year, prices were up 10.5 per cent, data showed.
Property analysts said the strong resale prices could be due to sellers anticipating higher prices for new condo launches in the months ahead and are factoring them in their asking prices.
Two new 99-year leasehold condo projects in the suburbs ‒ a segment largely supported by Housing Board upgraders ‒ were launched at record high prices this year.
New units at AMO Residence in Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1 and Sky Eden @ Bedok in Bedok Central were snatched up quickly on launch day, despite an average price tag of $2,100 per square foot at both projects ‒ a price level that is more commonly seen in the prime and city fringe condo markets.
Lentor Modern, a 605-unit mixed development next to Lentor MRT station on the Thomson-East Coast Line, is widely expected by property analysts to launch at a similar price level this month.
ERA Realty's head of research and consultancy Nicholas Mak said: "If the upcoming condo launches continue to ride the wave of new price trends, this will likely cause an upward shift in resale condo prices."
The declining resale volume since April could also be a sign of widening price expectations between buyers and sellers, driven by rising mortgage rates as both sides adopt a wait-and-see approach, said analysts.
Data showed an estimated 1,135 units changed hands in August, a 14.5 per cent decrease from the 1,327 units resold in the month before.
OrangeTee & Tie senior vice-president of research and analytics Christine Sun noted that the lack of home supply in the suburbs has turned that segment into a largely seller's market, evident from the 1.5 per cent price increase in the outside central region.
The outside central segment also accounted for 61.7 per cent of resale transactions in August. Homes in the city fringe areas accounted for 21.4 per cent, while the remaining 16.9 per cent were in core central Singapore.
PropNex Realty head of research and content Wong Siew Ying said some condo owners may opt to hold on to their property for rental income instead of selling, as rental demand is still going strong.
"Some of those who are looking to sell may also raise their asking prices in view of the increase in rental yields," said Ms Wong, adding that she expects transaction volume to continue to decline amid a tight supply of resale stock.
The highest transacted price for a resale condo in August was $15.15 million for a unit at Sage, a luxury freehold condo project in Nassim Road that is about 10 years old. It is located in the middle of the upcoming Orchard Boulevard and Napier MRT stations on the Thomson-East Coast Line.
One Global Group senior analyst Mohan Sandrasegeran said while the $15.15 million deal appears to be the only transaction in the development last month based on data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority's Realis database, he expects more activity in the coming months in developments around new stations on the Thomson-East Coast Line as stations gradually start operations.
In the city fringe areas, the highest transacted price was $7.65 million for a 99-year leasehold unit at Reflections At Keppel Bay.
In the suburban areas, a freehold unit at Fernwood Towers in the East Coast area sold for $3.75 million.