New private home sales in S'pore hit 4-year high for March as buyers flocked to high-end condos

Midtown Modern (above) was the best-selling private residential project last month, which saw new private home sales of 1,296 units.
Midtown Modern (above) was the best-selling private residential project last month, which saw new private home sales of 1,296 units.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Buyers jumped in after the Chinese New Year break in anticipation of an economic recovery, sending new private home sales last month to 1,296 units - the highest March take-up since 2017 and double the 645 units sold in February.

Year on year, developers booked 96 per cent more sales in March, with a little under half of the units coming from high-end condominiums in the prime districts.

"Buyers flush with cash and seeking stability are investing in stable assets like properties," said Mr Lee Sze Teck, director of research at Huttons Asia.

An estimated 3,574 new private homes were sold in the January to March period this year - the highest quarterly sales since the second quarter of 2013 when 4,538 units were taken up, he added.

Developers launched 959 units for sale in March, up from 167 in February, but down from 2,600 in January. Year on year, they launched nearly 66 per cent more units.

The figures from the Urban Redevelopment Authority exclude executive condominium (EC) units - a public-private housing hybrid.

Including ECs sold, developers moved 1,373 new homes last month - up 82 per cent from February and 52 per cent higher than a year ago.

The best-selling projects in March were Midtown Modern, Treasure at Tampines, RV Altitude, Amber Park, Ki Residences at Brookvale and Normanton Park.

About 42 per cent, or 546 units, of March sales were in the prime or core central region (CCR), helped by sales in Midtown Modern, RV Altitude and The M. This was followed by the city fringe or rest of central region (RCR) with 29.9 per cent, and suburbs or outside of central region (OCR)with 27.9 per cent.

"The previous high in the CCR was in November 2013 where 668 units were sold," Mr Lee said.

He noted that 44 per cent of March's transactions were priced below $1.5 million, 32.9 per cent were between $1.5 million to $2 million, and 23.1 per cent were above $2 million.

The bulk of purchases, about 82 per cent, were by Singaporeans, with permanent residents and foreigners making up 13.4 per cent and 4.3 per cent respectively.

According to URA Realis data, the number of non-landed homes bought by foreign buyers rose 66.7 per cent from 33 units in February to 55 units in March.

The number of non-landed home purchases by permanent residents jumped 98.9 per cent from 87 units to 173 units over the same period. This is just slightly lower than the 182 units inked in January 2021.

Ms Christine Sun, OrangeTee & Tie's senior vice-president of research and analytics, said: "Backed by the prospects of further price growth and a better leasing environment, foreign demand is expected to return gradually. We may see more luxury homes being sold in the coming months as more such projects are slated to be launched." 

Case in point, buyers snapped up more than 50 per cent of Irwell Hill Residences during its launch weekend, she added.