A decline in the number of new private homes hitting the market sent sales figures down last month but transactions were still pretty robust.
Developers sold 1,024 homes - excluding executive condos (ECs) - last month, a fall of 34 per cent from the 1,558 moved in April.
This was the second straight month-on-month decline following the 12.5 per cent drop from March to April, figures from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) showed yesterday.
Last month's sales were also lower than the 1,058 units moved in May last year. Developers released just 339 new units on the market last month, compared with the 1,616 launched in April. No new ECs were launched last month.
Said International Property Advisor chief executive Ku Swee Yong: "Considering there wasn't any major project launches last month, the sales booked were healthy. The sales momentum seen in the past months has carried over to May."
Buying sentiment has been positive, with new sales exceeding 1,000 units for three consecutive months.
Sales in suburban areas led the way last month with 617 transactions, followed by 341 in the city fringe and 66 in the core central region. The top-selling private residential project last month was Parc Riviera in West Coast Vale, which moved 83 units at a median price of $1,246 psf. The Santorini in Tampines was next, selling 64 units at a median price of $1,022 psf.
ERA Realty Network key executive officer Eugene Lim noted that buyer confidence is high, boosted by a tweak in some cooling measures in March. "Most buyers are encouraged by the shorter holding period of three years for the payment of Seller's Stamp Duty, compared to the four years previously," he said.
Number of new private homes sold by developers, excluding executive condominiums, last month.
Number of such homes that were sold in April.
In the EC segment, 370 new units were transacted last month; 371 new units were sold in April. This brought total new home sales last month to 1,394 units. Sol Acres EC in Choa Chu Kang was the best performer in this segment, moving 116 units at a median price of $794 psf.
New homes sales started to pick up recently when home buyers, who had been sitting on the fence, got back into the market following three years of price declines.
Said PropNex Realty chief executive Ismail Gafoor: "More consumers will come to the realisation that the market has bottomed out and prices are likely to inch upwards with the strong land-bid prices we are witnessing."
Mr Ismail said it could prompt more home seekers to commit themselves and, in turn, drive up new homes sales to 10,000 units - excluding ECs - for the year. About 8,360 new units were sold in the whole of last year.
There were 5,723 new private homes sold in the first five months of this year, easily surpassing the 3,278 moved in the same period last year, URA data showed.
Consultancy JLL said sales volumes could dip this month due to the school holidays, which typically see reduced activity.
ERA expects the "market exuberance" to continue in the second half of the year, with projects including Hundred Palms Residences EC, Martin Modern and Le Quest all slated to be launched next month.