Singapore condo resales hit 11-year high in April, prices rise 1.5%

Year on year, private home resale prices rose 5.8 per cent over April last year.
Year on year, private home resale prices rose 5.8 per cent over April last year.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The private resale housing market remained robust with the number of condominium units resold in April hitting an 11-year high as prices rose 1.5 per cent from the previous month.

Resale volume last month jumped by 7.9 per cent to an estimated 1,993 units from 1,847 units in March, representing the highest monthly volume since April 2010, according to flash data from real estate portal SRX released on Tuesday (May 11).

Volumes last month were estimated to be 528.7 per cent higher than in April last year, and 125.2 per cent more than the five-year average volumes for the month of April.

Year on year, prices rose 5.8 per cent over April 2020.

Month on month, the price increase was across the board. Prices in the suburbs rose by 1.7 per cent, while those in the city fringe and city centre both increased by 1.2 per cent.

Ms Christine Sun, senior vice-president of research and analytics at OrangeTee & Tie, said the resale market was propped up by a large proportion of Housing Board (HDB) flat upgraders as 56.9 per cent of the last month's resale volume were in the suburbs.

Homes in the city fringes accounted for 23.7 per cent, while the remaining 19.5 per cent came from central Singapore.

"Many HDB flat owners have sold their flats in recent months and are searching for affordable, completed homes. Therefore, demand for resale homes may continue to increase in the coming months since prices of new homes are rising in many locations and the supply of mass-market condominiums remain limited," said Ms Sun.

She noted that the uncertain rental market have may also driven some landlords to sell their units as it may still take some time for tenants, who are typically foreigners, to return to Singapore and for the leasing market to recover fully.

ERA Realty head of research and consultancy Nicholas Mak said the construction delays for Build-To-Order (BTO) flats may have seen a chain reaction. More buyers may have turned to HDB resale flats instead of applying for BTO flats, leading to an increase in HDB resale flat prices.

In turn, this enabled sellers of the resale flats to afford an upgrade to private resale condos, thus pushing up the prices of such real estate, he said.

"The continuing disruption in the local construction industry due to the pandemic would fuel the demand for completed HDB flats and private condominiums among owner-occupiers in the coming months," he said.

Mr Mak expects prices for resale condos to rise between 6 per cent and 9 per cent this year.

PropNex head of research and content Wong Siew Ying said the demand for resale condos will likely remain healthy, as buyers may prefer ready properties in order to avoid the uncertainty around completion delays.

"In addition, the substantial price gap between new sale and resale properties may also encourage some buyers who have a tighter budget to look at the resale market," she said.

The highest transacted price for a private resale unit last month was $13.8 million at Leedon Residence in Bukit Timah, according to SRX data.

In the city fringes, a unit at The Meyerise in Meyer Road fetched the highest price of $5.2 million, while in the outside central region, the top spot went to a $3.2 million unit at Ocean Park in East Coast Road.

In its report, SRX noted that the overall median capital gain in April was $200,000, an increase of $20,500 as 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/Upper Bukit Timah) posted the highest median capital gain of $486,250, while District 4 (Sentosa/Harbourfront) posted the highest median capital loss of $54,880.