Singapore condo resales plunge 57% in April amid circuit breaker period: SRX

Year on year, resales last month dived 62.2 per cent, compared with April 2019. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The partial lockdown measures from the start of a "circuit breaker" period hit Singapore's property market in April, sending the resales of private non-landed homes tumbling although again prices barely moved, according to flash data on Tuesday (May 12).

The number of condominiums and private apartments resold in April plunged 57.3 per cent to 309 units from 723 units in March, the figures from real estate portal SRX Property showed.

Year on year, resales last month dived 62.2 per cent, compared with April 2019. They were also 66.8 per cent lower than the five-year average volumes for the month of April.

Orange Tee & Tie head of research and consultancy Christine Sun said she found April's 309 resale home transactions "encouraging" given that no house viewings could be conducted during the circuit breaker period, which began on April 7.

"Although some have turned to virtual house tours as an alternative, it will still take time for remote house viewings to gain traction as potential buyers may still prefer to make a final inspection of the units before they make a purchase," she said.

She also noted that while the resale volume was low when compared with recent months, it was still not the lowest ever. Using the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s Realis data as a gauge, as SRX historical data was not immediately available, she said the last lowest volume was 305 units resold in January 2015.

The 57.3 per cent month-on-month drop was also not the biggest such fall. Resale volume sank 62.2 per cent in January 2012 and 69.6 per cent in February 2013.

Ms Sun sees resales falling further to around 250 to 300 units in May, with the circuit breaker measures still in place, while around 500 units could be sold after the measures are eased and house viewings can resume.

SRX's data for last month also showed that overall resale prices dipped just 0.2 per cent over March as sellers strove to hold on to their asking prices. April resale prices were a scant 0.7 per cent lower than a year ago.

The downward pressure on prices, however, was shown in the fall in SRX's transaction over X-value (TOX) data. TOX measures how much a buyer is overpaying (positive value) or underpaying (negative value) for a property based on SRX's computer-generated market value. The data includes only districts with more than 10 resale transactions.

In April, SRX's overall TOX slid to a negative $11,000 from a negative $2,000 in March.

Ms Sun said overall resale prices may fall by 3 to 5 per cent for the whole of this year.

The highest price for a resale unit last month was the $27.7 million paid for a luxury freehold apartment at Ardmore Park. The Business Times reported last week that Mr Huang Youlong, the businessman husband of Chinese actress Vicki Zhao, had bought a penthouse at Ardmore Park for $27.65 million, or about $3,164 per sq ft, based on the strata area of 8,740 sq ft.

In the city fringes, a freehold unit at The Waterside in Tanjong Rhu went for $3.8 million. The most expensive sale in the suburbs last month was a unit at Hillion Residences in the Dairy Farm/Bukit Panjang area, which resold for $2.7 million.

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