Sales of new private homes and ECs almost double in July from June

Prospective buyers at the launch of Hundred Palms Residences  EC in Yio Chu Kang Road, which sold all of its 531 units at its launch on July 22 this year.
Prospective buyers at the launch of Hundred Palms Residences EC in Yio Chu Kang Road, which sold all of its 531 units at its launch on July 22 this year.PHOTO: WANBAO

SINGAPORE - Singapore developers sold 2,086 private homes and executive condominiums last month, nearly double the total in June, a traditional lull period, which had a total sales figure of 1,064.

ECs were the standout performer with a bumper crop of 978 units snapped up in July. This was nearly 20 per cent higher than the 838 EC units sold in the same month last year - which had been the highest monthly sale of EC units since November 2014.

July's strong sales numbers are likely due to the strong performance of certain projects, such as the Hundred Palms Residences EC in Yio Chu Kang Road, which sold all of its 531 units at its launch on July 22.

Excluding ECs, the number of new private homes sold in July jumped by 35 per cent to 1,108 units, compared with June's 820 units, according to Urban Redevelopment Authority data released on Tuesday (Aug 15). July's sales were comparable to the 1,092 units moved in the same month last year.

All in all, developers have sold 7,147 private residential units and 3,004 ECs in the first seven months of the year. This is a 50 per cent and 11.4 per cent increase from the same period in 2016 respectively.

Sales to date this year have already reached the 7,000 to 8,000 range of average annual new home sales in 2014 to 2016, said Mr Desmond Sim, CBRE Research head for Singapore and South-east Asia.

"That range had been identified as underlying demand and we are now seeing the possible swing of pent-up demand coming into the market," said Mr Sim. "Likely, potential buyers have come to terms with the prevailing cooling measures, and recent information that a possible turn of the market in terms of pricing is here may have pushed pen to paper."

ERA Realty Network key executive officer Eugene Lim said he is expecting total developer sales to be in the range of 10,000 to 12,000 units and EC sales of 3,500 to 4,000 units for 2017.

Mr Lim said buyers are anticipating the market recovery to happen in 2018, and choosing to make their purchase now in hopes of catching the market on its upswing.

Also, with recent land prices trending upwards, buyers may have decided to commit to a purchase now rather than later as prices for future projects on land sale sites are likely to be priced higher when they are launched next year.

CBRE's Mr Sim said the strong EC take-up in July was not surprising as the premium between private residential and EC prices - the latter capped by a glass ceiling - had widened in the light of recent land sales.

Apart from Hundred Palms Residences, other ECs which posted good sales in July include Inz Residence in Choa Chu Kang, which sold 65 units, and Parc Life in Sembawang, which moved 63 units.

The top-selling condo project was high-end Martin Modern in Martin Place, which moved 109 units. The Santorini in Tampines followed with 82 units sold.

Developers launched 692 new private homes in July, much higher than the 159 units launched in the school holiday month of June.

There were 570 units sold in the suburban areas, while 334 were sold in the city fringe and 201 in the city areas.