New private home sales hit 8-year high for January amid talk of impending property curbs

The topseller was Normanton Park, the largest cityfringe project, which sold 625 units.
The topseller was Normanton Park, the largest cityfringe project, which sold 625 units.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - New private home sales in January surged to their highest for the month in eight years, as developers went all out with several new launches, including the mega 1,862-unit Normanton Park and 429-unit The Reef at King's Docks, both of which accounted for more than 50 per cent of the units sold.

The fear of missing out was out in full force on talk of another round of property curbs, lifting January's sales by more than 32 per cent to 1,609 units from 1,217 in December.

These were the strongest January sales since 2013, when 2,028 units were transacted. They were also the highest sales for any month since July 2018's 1,724 take-up.

Compared with a year ago, sales excluding executive condominiums (ECs) soared nearly 160 per cent.

The top seller was Normanton Park, the largest city fringe project, which sold 625 units, followed by the 700-unit Parc Central Residences EC, which sold 417 units and The Reef at King's Dock, which moved 221 units. Existing launches, such as Ki Residences at Brookvale, Treasure at Tampines, Jadescape, Parc Clematis and The Garden Residences, were also among top sellers last month.

The Reef at King's Dock saw good demand as some were buying into the potential of the Greater Southern Waterfront development. Further, there has not been a new launch in the harbour-front area for many years.

The figures from the Urban Redevelopment Authority on Monday (Feb 15) exclude EC units, which are a public-private housing hybrid. Including ECs, new home sales came to 2,098 units - up 65.8 per cent month on month and up nearly 228 per cent from more than a year ago.

The number of new units launched in January skyrocketed 335 per cent from a year ago, and was up 93 per cent from December.

ERA Realty head of research and consultancy Nicholas Mak said both Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat and National Development Minister Desmond Lee gave veiled warnings last month of more property market curbs. The high number of housing units launched in the past month could be a response to such warnings, he added.

The speculation also nudged on-the-fence buyers to take action, said Ms Christine Sun, OrangeTee & Tie’s senior vice-president of research and analytics. Buyers are jumping in now on concerns that prices could trend higher as the global economy is expected to pick up this year, she added.

Huttons Asia research director Lee Sze Teck pointed out that if sales from Normanton Park and The Reef at King's Docks are removed, sales from earlier launched projects stood at 763 units, which is "a sustainable pace without major launches".