Private condo resale volume hits 10-year high

The private resale housing market, which has so far defied the pandemic-induced recession, remained buoyant with the number of condominium units resold last month hitting the highest level seen in nearly 10 years. Prices of private condo resale units also rose for the eighth consecutive month.

Buyers were out in force last month as sales rebounded by 28.9 per cent to an estimated 1,662 units - the highest number since May 2011 - from 1,289 units in February, with its Chinese New Year lull.

This makes last month the ninth straight month to see more than 1,000 private resale units change hands, according to flash data from real estate portal SRX released yesterday.

The robust private resale market has sparked talks of another round of property cooling measures in the wake of recent ministerial remarks that the Government is keeping a close watch on the market.

Sales last month were also 122.5 per cent higher than in March last year, and 75.3 per cent more than the five-year average volume for the month of March.

Condo resale prices edged up 0.1 per cent from February - rising for the eighth consecutive month - and were up 4.2 per cent over March last year.

Homes in the suburban areas - outside the central region - accounted for the biggest proportion of private resale transactions, at 60.2 per cent.

Ms Christine Sun, senior vice-president of research and analytics at OrangeTee & Tie, said: "This indicates the resale market is currently driven by demand for more affordable homes, especially mass-market resale homes in suburban regions."

Demand could also have been pushed up by the lack of new units in the suburban areas and rising new home prices, she said.

ERA Realty head of research and consultancy Nicholas Mak said price growth was driven mainly by homes in central Singapore, where prices rose 1.1 per cent in March from the month before.

He noted that Midtown Modern in Bugis and Irwell Hill Residences, off River Valley Road, were both recently launched and piqued buyers' interest.

"Buyers expect the new launches to be priced higher than the resale properties in terms of dollar per sq ft (psf) of strata space. As a result, some buyers turn to the resale market," said Mr Mak.

PropNex's head of research and content Wong Siew Ying said the wide price gap in dollar psf between new launches and resale properties may also have helped to steer some buying interest towards the resale segment.

"Barring any fresh cooling measures, we expect demand for resale condos to remain healthy, largely driven by local end-user demand, including from Housing Board upgraders," she said.

The highest transacted price for a private resale unit last month was $18.3 million for a unit at Eden in Draycott Park, according to SRX data.

In its report, SRX noted that the overall median capital gain last month was $179,500, a decrease of $24,344 compared with the month before.

The capital gain or loss of a condo resale unit is calculated by comparing the current transacted price with the previous transacted price of the same unit.

District 21 (Clementi Park/Upper Bukit Timah) posted the highest median capital gain of $380,000, while District 8 (Farrer Park/Serangoon Road) posted the lowest median capital gain of $71,080.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 14, 2021, with the headline 'Private condo resale volume hits 10-year high'. Subscribe