New private home sales up in March, driven by launch of The Botany at Dairy Farm

The Botany at Dairy Farm sold 184 units at a median price of $2,068 per square foot. PHOTO: SIM LIAN GROUP

SINGAPORE – New private home sales rose in March for a third straight month, bolstered by new suburban launch The Botany at Dairy Farm. But overall sales fell year on year as some buyers turned cautious amid record-high interest rates and a slowing economy, while others held off in anticipation of more new launches.

Developers moved 493 units in March, up 13.6 per cent from February, but overall sales fell nearly 25 per cent from 654 units a year ago. This brings the first quarter’s new home sales to 1,318 units, a 29.9 per cent year-on-year drop from 1,880 units sold in the first quarter of 2022, according to CBRE.

Including executive condominiums, March’s sales gained 8.9 per cent - 513 units sold compared to 471 in February - but is down 26.9 per cent from 702 a year ago.

Another indication of slower demand is the take-up rate for the first quarter, which stood at 95.1 per cent, below parity for the first time since first quarter 2021, said Mr Nicholas Mak, chief research officer of

Ms Christine Sun, senior vice-president of research and analytics at OrangeTee, said “the current buying trend seems to be more supply-led rather than demand-driven, depending on what projects are released that month”.

Ms Tricia Song, head of research at CBRE South-east Asia, said that although demand for new homes in the near term “remains uncertain, a host of new launches in the second quarter may entice demand”.

A total of 573 units were launched for sale in March, up nearly 43 per cent month on month, and up 85.4 per cent from a year ago.

At least 30 new projects offering up to 12,000 new homes are expected to hit the market in 2023, compared with just 21 last year, according to ERA Realty.

The suburbs clocked the highest sales among the three submarkets, with 230 new units changing hands in March, up from the 48 units sold in February.

This is due largely to The Botany launch, which moved 184 units at a median price of $2,068 per square foot (psf) and accounted for more than one-third of total monthly sales in March.

ERA Realty Network key executive officer Eugene Lim said the robust take-up at The Botany shows “genuine demand for mass market homes amid limited unsold new home stock in the suburbs”.

Meanwhile, the new project in the city-fringe – Tembusu Grand in Katong – sold 340 units, or 53 per cent of its 638 units, over its launch weekend earlier in April at an average price of $2,465 psf.

Tembusu Grand in Katong. PHOTO: CITY DEVELOPMENT LTD

The Botany and Tembusu Grand, both 99-year leasehold projects, have set new average launch price benchmarks in District 23 and District 15, respectively, noted Ms Wong Siew Ying, head of research and content at PropNex.

“The positive sales at these two projects reflect resilient underlying demand for new private homes and still ample liquidity,” she said.

Other top performers in March included existing projects Leedon Green in the prime district, which sold 26 units at a median price of $2,957 psf, and city-fringe project The Landmark, which moved 24 units at a median price of $2,626 psf.

Ms Song added: “Based on quantum, the largest proportion of new private homes sold, excluding executive condominiums, were in the $1.5 million to $2 million range, at 29.4 per cent. This was followed by the $1 million to $1.5 million bracket, at 25.4 per cent.”

Analysts see the momentum in new home sales continuing to build in April and May, where up to four new projects – The Continuum in Thiam Siew Avenue (800 units), Newport Residences in Anson Road (246 units), The Reserve Residences in Jalan Anak Bukit (740 units) and Lentor Hill Residences (598 units) – may be launched.

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