Singapore new private home sales surged 75% in May over April's low despite circuit breaker: Knight Frank

A total of 967 caveats for new private homes were lodged from April 7 to June 1. ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

SINGAPORE - New private home sales rebounded in May from April, even as Singapore was in the second month of its Covid-19 circuit breaker period.

Developers in Singapore sold 484 private homes in May, going by sale caveats, Knight Frank Singapore said on Wednesday (June 10). This is 74.7 per cent more than the 277 private homes sold by developers in April.

A total of 967 caveats for new private homes were lodged during the circuit breaker period from April 7 to June 1, said Knight Frank Singapore.

Of these, 577 were new sales, while 380 were resale transactions and the remaining 10 were sub-sales.

This comes even as show flats were closed and in-person property viewing was curbed as strict safe distancing measures were in place.

Mr Leonard Tay, head of research at Knight Frank Singapore, said: "The sales volume of new homes dominated private residential transactions in May. Despite the restrictions on physical interaction, there is life yet for the real estate market."

Mr Tay added that new home buyers have shown "a degree of adjustment and adaptation to the prevailing circumstances" amid a pandemic.

"It could be that many of these new home buyers who sealed the deal in May had already been to the show flats prior to the circuit breaker, and weeks thereafter of staying at home helped in some measure towards a decision-making purchase," he said.

"It could be that other buyers were confident enough to make a purchase with only the aid of online visuals and information."

While May's new private home sales surged over April, they were still down 49 per cent from a year ago when developers sold 952 units, according to Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) data.

Overall monthly demand for both new and resold private homes was down in April and May, compared with the first quarter of this year, which accounted for a total of 4,162 caveats - or an estimated monthly average of 1,387 caveats.

Still, numbers for May were slightly more promising than April's. Last month saw 643 transactions, up slightly by 2.6 per cent compared with the 627 in April.

Ms Christine Sun, head of research and consultancy at OrangeTee and Tie, noted that over 90 per cent of new homes sold were located in the outside central region (OCR) and rest of central region (RCR).

It is a reversal from April, when new homes in core central region (CCR) accounted for over a third of all sales.

On why sales in the mass market segment picked up in May, Ms Sun said: “Possibly some investors have decided to enter the market after having read reports that wealthy investors are streaming into Singapore’s market lately and that the price quantum of homes in OCR and RCR are more affordable for these buyers.”

The top three best-selling projects in May were Treasures at Tampines (56 units), Parc Clematis (55 units) and The Florence Residences (54 units).

URA is due to release its data on sales and launches of new private homes and executive condominiums next week.

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