Singapore condo resales sink further but prices hold steady in 2nd month of circuit breaker: SRX

Overall, prices in May finished 0.1 per cent higher than in April. Year on year, they are 0.6 per cent lower than May 2019. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - Resale prices for non-landed private homes held steady in May despite another plunge in sales volume during the second month of the circuit breaker period, according to flash figures from real estate portal SRX Property on Tuesday (June 9).

About 171 units were resold in May, similar to levels seen during the financial crisis of 2009. This volume is a 43 per cent decrease from the 300 units resold in April, according to SRX figures.

Last month's resale volume is also 80 per cent lower than in May 2019, and 83.1 per cent off the five-year average volume for the month of May.

Overall, prices in May finished 0.1 per cent higher than in April. Year on year, they are 0.6 per cent lower than May 2019.

Areas in Singapore saw a mix of price changes as the rest of the central region (RCR) or city fringes increased by 1.7 per cent, while prices in the core central region (CCR) or prime districts fell by 0.2 per cent, and the outside of central region (OCR) fell by 0.5 per cent.

Ms Christine Sun, head of research and consultancy at OrangeTee and Tie, noted that the sharp fall in volume indicates that the resale market could be highly dependent on physical house viewings.

"Most potential buyers still prefer to inspect the premises in-person and assess the condition of the units before making a purchase. Sales volume may pick up again when physical house viewings are allowed to resume," she said.

Looking ahead, ERA Realty head of research and consultancy Nicholas Mak predicts that resale transaction volume in June will likely vary between 150 and 300 units, similar to in April and May, as buyers and agents are still not allowed to inspect the homes.

"However, there could be a growing group of buyers and sellers waiting for the day that the restrictions are further lifted. The accumulation of pent-up demand could lead to a jump in transaction volume when the market participants are once again allowed to freely visit and view properties for sale," said Mr Mak.

SRX data also shows that the highest transacted price for a resale unit in May came from an apartment at Nassim Park Residences, which went for $10.6 million.

In the city fringes, the most expensive sale was a unit at The Seafront on Meyer resold for $2.95 million. In the outlying areas, the highest transacted price was for a unit at Kovan Melody, which went for $1.8 million.

Ms Sun noted that 18 luxury apartments were resold for $10 million and above this year, of which three changed hands during the circuit breaker period.

Aside from the third floor unit at Nassim Park Residences which was sold on May 4, the other two units are also in the Orchard Road area. They comprise a high-floor unit at Ardmore Park, which sold for $27.7 million or $3,163 psf on April 24, as well as a unit at The Claymore, which went for $17 million or $3,456 psf on April 13.

"The ongoing sales of super-luxury condominiums during the circuit breaker period indicate that Singapore remains attractive to ultra-rich investors as a safe haven investment destination," said Ms Sun.

A SRX indicator measuring how much a buyer is overpaying (positive value) or underpaying (negative value) for a property based on its computer-generated market value saw a $1,000 increase compared to April.

The data for the overall transaction over X-value (TOX) includes only districts with more than 10 resale transactions. A $0 TOX means buyers are getting units at the estimated market value.

TOX for May increased to negative $10,000.

The highest median TOX was recorded in district 1's Boat Quay/Raffles Place/Marina areas at negative $2,100, followed by district 14's Eunos/Geylang/Paya Lebar areas at negative $12,600.

District 15's East Coast/Marine Parade posted the lowest median TOX at negative $40,000, followed by district 18's Pasir Ris/Tampines at negative $13,000.

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