Condo resale volume recovers in June while prices hold steady: SRX

The number of condominiums and private apartments resold increased to an estimated 497 units in June. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - More private non-landed homes were sold in June compared with May, while prices held steady for a third consecutive month as Singapore gradually reopened its economy after a two-month circuit breaker, according to flash data on Tuesday (July 14).

The number of condominiums and private apartments resold increased to an estimated 497 units in June, a 174.6 per cent increase from the 181 units moved in May, flash figures from real estate portal SRX Property showed.

Still, last month's resale volume was 26.3 per cent less than in June last year and 40.7 per cent lower than the five-year average volume for the month.

Ms Christine Sun, head of research and consultancy at OrangeTee & Tie, said that the sales volume recovery was within expectation given that house viewings resumed after the circuit breaker period ended in June.

She noted that the private resale market picked up quickly because of "technological tools" that helped buyers shortlist their options during the circuit breaker period.

"Virtual house tours and e-open houses have helped to speed up the buying process for some buyers as they could select and shortlist units remotely prior to the resumption of house viewings," Ms Sun said.

Last week, the SRX flash estimate for the Housing Board resale market reflected a similar rebound where close to seven times more flats were sold in June when compared with May after the circuit breaker period.

ERA Realty head of research and consultancy Nicholas Mak noted that the rebound for resale condos was "less spectacular" as compared with that of the HDB resale market. This could be because more first-time home buyers would buy an HDB flat than a private condominium as the former is more affordable, he said.

"HDB flat buyers would feel a sense of urgency to buy their first homes. By comparison, some of the buyers of private resale condominiums are HDB upgraders or they already own a private property. There is a lower sense of urgency among these buyers," he added.

Overall, prices remain unchanged month on month over May. Year on year, overall prices dipped by 0.6 per cent last month.

June resale prices for units in the core central region (CCR) and rest of central region (RCR) decreased over May by 1.8 per cent and 1.1 per cent respectively. Meanwhile, units in the outside central region (OCR) increased by 1.4 per cent.

More than half of the units resold last month were located in the OCR, at 52.3 per cent. Units in the CCR and the RCR make up 27.4 per cent and 20.3 per cent respectively.

June's overall SRX transaction over X-value (TOX) data stands at a negative $10,000, no change from May's number.

TOX measures how much a buyer is overpaying (positive value) or underpaying (negative value) for a property based on SRX's computer-generated market value. The data includes only districts with more than 10 resale transactions.

District 23 (Dairy Farm/Bukit Panjang/Choa Chu Kang) posted the highest median TOX at positive $5,000, followed by District 3 (Alexandra/Commonwealth) at zero TOX.

The lowest medians are found in District 9 (Orchard/River Valley) and District 16 (Bedok/Upper East Coast) at negative $80,000 and negative $38,000 respectively.

The highest price for a resale unit last month was the $12.2 million paid for a unit at Skyline@Orchard Boulevard.

In the city fringes, a unit at Floridian in Upper Bukit Timah resold for $3.9 million, while the most expensive in the suburbs was a unit at The Tembusu in Hougang, which went for $4.6 million.

Looking forward, ERA's Mr Mak said resale condo transaction volume could continue to rise in the coming months, as 26,000 HDB flats reach the end of their five-year minimum occupation period this year.

This would likely spur some upgraders' demand for a completed resale condo after the sale of their HDB flats to avoid paying additional buyer’s stamp duty.

He estimates a total of 8,000 to 10,000 units to be transacted for the whole of this year, while prices could remain flat with a slight downwards bias.

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