SINGAPORE - Developers in Singapore sold 660 private homes in March, down 32 per cent from 976 in February, as launches dried up while the property market grappled with safe distancing restrictions from the coronavirus pandemic.
A total of 578 new private residential units were up for sale in March, of which 101 were in the core central region (CCR), 163 in rest of the central region (RCR) and 314 outside the central region (OCR). In comparison, 933 units were launched for sale in February, and 1,812 units were released in March a year ago.
Year on year, the number of new private homes sold last month was down 37 per cent from 1,054 units moved in March last year.
The figures, released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Wednesday (April 15), exclude executive condominium (EC) units, which are a public-private housing hybrid.
Including ECs, developers moved 904 units last month, down 31 per cent from February's 1,315 units, and nearly 15 per cent lower than the 1,062 units sold in March last year.
PropNex Realty chief executive Ismail Gafoor noted: "Even though in the absence of major new project launches, sales for the month of March were commendable. Notably, the top three non-EC projects were Jadescape, Treasure At Tampines and Parc Esta. Each development moved more than 60 units each."
The top five best-selling new launches in March were Ola, Jadescape, Treasure at Tampines, Parc Esta and Parc Canberra. Ola was the best-selling development, with a total of 169 units sold at a median price of $1,139 psf, followed by Jadescape, which sold a total of 75 units at a median price of $1,719 psf.
Mr Ismail added that for April, he anticipates "a decrease in sales, with the bulk of sales coming from Kopar at Newton, which was launched before the circuit breaker measures kicked in. With the evolving Covid-19 pandemic, we are expecting the volume of new project launches in 2020 to be lower compared to 2019".
Orange Tee & Tie's head of research and consultancy, Ms Christine Sun, said: "A temporary pullback in property sales could be expected next month as show flats are now closed and house viewings postponed as part of the circuit breaker measures. Once the situation stabilises and safe distancing measures ease, new homes sales will likely pick up when show flats reopen and house viewings resume.
"The growing economic uncertainties around the world may also propel more investors to seek shelter for safe-haven assets here, of which private residential properties will remain attractive to investors in the long term," she said.