New private home sales fall 30% in April from March, with big pullback in launches: URA data

Developers released for sale 444 private homes in April, down 33 per cent from 664 units year on year.
Developers released for sale 444 private homes in April, down 33 per cent from 664 units year on year.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - April saw a big pullback in launches as developers turned cautious despite relatively resilient sales in March.

Only 444 private homes were released for sale in April, down 75 per cent from the previous month's 1,812 units, and 33 per cent fewer than the 664 units launched a year ago.

This is according to figures released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Wednesday (May 15).

Developers sold 735 private homes in April, down 30 per cent from the 1,054 units they moved a month ago, but almost the same as the 733 units booked in the same month last year.

"Compared to the 1,812 units launched in March, 1,054 were sold. So developers are now more careful because they don't want to flood the market. Especially with the amount of supply coming, we may see fluctuations, or lower launch numbers going forward until demand picks up. That could be the pattern," JLL senior director for research & consultancy Ong Teck Hui said.

The ongoing property cooling measures, expected economic slowdown and uncertainty over the US-China trade war could also weigh on buyers' sentiment, analysts say.

"Given the amount of supply that is coming, developers will have to be very realistic in pricing in order to move their projects," Mr Ong added.

Including executive condominiums or ECs, developers sold 744 new units last month, also about 30 per cent less than the 1,062 units in March, and down 44 per cent from 1,329 units in April last year.

PropNex Realty chief executive Mr Ismail Gafoor said: ""Private new home sales maintained resiliency, despite the lack of any major launches for the month of April.

"Over 76.1 per cent of the units that were sold in April were from projects previously launched in 2018. ... With more new launches expected and buyers spoilt for choice, ... developers might dangle incentives and discounts to entice buyers and investors," he added.