Singapore new private home sales fall 31% in September as developers hold back launches

The number of private home units moved fell 31 per cent in September from August.
The number of private home units moved fell 31 per cent in September from August. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Sales of new private homes fell again in September as developers delayed launches amid a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases and tighter safe-management measures.

There were 834 units moved in the month, down 31 per cent from 1,216 in August and 37 per cent below the 1,329 homes sold in September last year, showed Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) data on Friday (Oct 15).

Just 210 new homes went on the market last month, down 75 per cent from 836 in August and an 84 per cent plunge from the 1,340 a year earlier.

Most of the units launched in September were from the new Bartley Vue project, which launched 115 homes, and from Sengkang Grand Residences, which released 40. They accounted for around 73 per cent of the total units put on the market, JLL said.

Mr Ong Teck Hui, senior director of research and consultancy at JLL, noted that 3,652 new private homes were sold in the third quarter, a 23 per cent rise from the second and 3.8 per cent higher than the same three months last year.

New home sales for the first three quarters this year - 10,111 units - have already exceeded the whole of last year's sales of 9,982.

"This shows stronger market momentum in 2021, which could be attributed to the economic recovery and confidence in managing Covid-19 and living with it," Mr Ong said.

The take-up of new private homes could be between 12,000 and 13,000 units this year, which would make it the best annual sales performance since 2013, when 14,948 new private residences were sold, he added.

Five of the top selling condominiums last month were existing projects in the suburbs, with another five in the city fringe and prime district, suggesting growing interest in homes in the central area, said PropNex Realty chief executive Ismail Gafoor.

"Sales in the (city fringe and prime district) should continue to pick up, supported by upcoming launches Canninghill Piers and Perfect Ten," he added.

"Homes in the central region tend to be more popular with investors and foreign buyers. As border restrictions and safe-management restrictions slowly ease up, sales should pick up slightly."

Meanwhile, sales of new private suburban homes that went for at least $2 million hit new highs in the first nine months of this year, said Ms Christine Sun, senior vice-president of research and analytics at real estate firm OrangeTee & Tie.

URA Realis data noted that 583 non-landed homes from 24 condos in the suburbs transacted at more than $2 million each, with Parc Clematis recording the lion's share of 161 sales.

Once executive condominiums (ECs) are included, new home sales shed just 2 per cent to 1,296 units last month from 1,323 in August but were down 6.4 per cent on September last year.

Sales were bolstered by the launch of the Parc Greenwich EC, which moved 335 of its 496 units at a median price of $1,229 per square foot (psf), reflecting Housing Board upgraders' robust appetite, said Ms Tricia Song, head of research for South-east Asia at CBRE.

The EC market is also setting new price highs.

Ms Sun said: "With more HDB resale flats transacted at over $1 million, and given a lack of new EC supply, this has caused a number of ECs to be transacted at over $2 million." 

A 160 sq m EC unit at OLA in Anchorvale Crescent sold at $2.102 million, or $1,221 psf, this month, breaking the previous record of $2.076 million inked in July this year at the same project, she noted.

Seven new EC units were sold for more than $2 million this year compared with just one - at OLA - last year, and another in CityLife @ Tampines at $2.05 million in 2013.

The number of EC units sold for at least $1.5 million also notched a new high - 281 in the first nine months of the year, from projects including Piermont Grand, Parc Central Residences, Provence Residence, Parc Greenwich and OLA.