SINGAPORE - With a solid showing of private home sales last month, developers should close the year on a strong note, even as the government cautioned it could step in to temper overexuberance in the market.
Based on the latest data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) yesterday (Nov 16), developers sold some 969 new private residential homes and executive condominiums (ECs), an increase of 7 per cent from September.
They also launched more units - 242 homes - during the month, up from 73 homes in September.
Excluding ECs, the 758 private residential units sold last month also represented a 15.4 per cent increase from September. The data was obtained through a survey of developers by URA.
The top-selling projects last month were earlier launches, including Sophia Hills, jointly developed by Hoi Hup Realty and Sunway Developments, Martin Modern by GuocoLand and Qingjian Realty's EC project iNz Residence.
"Faced with a limited selection of new projects in the market, buyers continued to purchase units from previous launches," Colliers International Singapore director and head of research Tricia Song observed.
Also reflecting the improved sentiment towards high-end homes, the two top-selling private residential projects last month were both in the prime region or Core Central Region (CCR). At Sophia Hills, 62 units were sold at a median price of $2,029 psf while at Martin Modern, also in district 9, 47 units went for a median $2,343 psf.
The two low-key project launches last month included The Navian by Roxy-Pacific Holdings in Jalan Eunos, which launched 24 out of 48 units and sold 12 at a median price of $1,543 per square foot (psf). Carpmael Thirty-Eight, developed by private company Lim Wen Heng Construction, launched 16 units.
Some 44 per cent of private homes sold by developers last month were in the suburban region or the Outside Central Region. But it was the CCR which saw the biggest percentage pick-up in transactions - a 143 per cent surge from a month ago and a year ago - to 141 units in October. PropNex Realty CEO Ismail Gafoor attributed this to price.
"Today's CCR property prices, averaging between $2,000 psf and $2,300 psf, are deemed very attractive because new launches in 2018 in the Rest of Central Region (RCR) are predicted to hit well above S$1,700 psf, thus narrowing the price gap between the two," he said.
Most market watchers did not see a dampening of residential buying demand. An exception was Edmund Tie & Company's research head Lee Nai Jia, who felt buying sentiment could be tempered by Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong's recent comments to Parliament that the Government would intervene if the property market became too heated, to maintain a stable market.
Nonetheless, while there may be a seasonal easing this month and in December, when there are traditionally fewer new launches, the release of the 735-unit Parc Botannia by Sing Holdings and Wee Hur last Saturday, which sold 230 units over the first weekend, is expected to buoy November sales figures.
Consultants expect primary new home sales by developers to reach 11,000-12,000 units excluding ECs, or 15,000-16,000 units if ECs are included, for the full year.
Last year, developers moved 7,972 private homes and 3,999 ECs.