New private home sales plunge by half in October

The lack of major new launches led demand for new private homes to shrink by almost half in October from a month earlier. But existing launches saw good pick-up three months after the July 6 cooling measures kicked in, analysts say.

Developers sold 487 units last month, down 48 per cent from 932 in September, and 36 per cent lower than the 761 units booked in October last year.

There was only one new launch – the 56-unit freehold condo 10 Evelyn located off Newton Road – which sold two units at a median price of $2,478 per sq ft (psf).

The 202 units from existing projects launched for sale last month were the lowest number since February this year.

“The meagre number of new units launched last month was unsurprising given that developers had put 1,169 units on the market from six non-landed launches in September,” said Ms Tricia Song, Colliers International’s head of research.

The trend is similar to that following earlier rounds of cooling measures “where the number of project launches, units launched and units sold eased in the third month of the measures”, Huttons Asia head of research Lee Sze Teck noted.

“This is likely to be a blip. Buyers are finding value in earlier launched projects and committing to a buy… Sales volumes are still heavily concentrated in the city fringe or rest of central region (RCR) largely due to a number of major launches in the RCR in 2018,” he added.

INTEREST IN EARLIER PROJECTS

Buyers are finding value in earlier launched projects and committing to a buy… Sales volumes are still heavily concentrated in the city fringe or rest of central region (RCR) largely due to a number of major launches in the RCR in 2018.

HUTTONS ASIA HEAD OF RESEARCH LEE SZE TECK, who says the trend is similar to that following earlier rounds of cooling measures “where the number of project launches, units launched and units sold eased in the third month of the measures”.

Ms Christine Sun, Orange Tee & Tie’s head of research and consultancy, noted that 485 of the 487 units sold were from existing launches, up from the average of 460 units sold from such launches in the past 12 months.

“This shows that demand for new homes at existing launches have seen a pick-up after the (July 6) measures,” she said.

The figures were released yesterday by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) based on its survey of licensed housing developers. The above figures exclude executive condominium (EC) units, which are a public-private housing hybrid.

Meanwhile, EC sales nearly doubled to 23 last month from 12 in September, reflecting pent-up demand due to limited stock.

Rivercove Residences has consistently sold at $1,000 psf since its launch in April this year.

Developers moved 510 units, including ECs, last month, reflecting a drop of nearly 46 per cent from September’s 944 units and also 48 per cent lower than the 972 units sold in October last year.

Last month’s top-selling project was Affinity at Serangoon, with 81 units sold at a median price of $1,499 psf. That’s more than double the 31 units sold in September.

Ms Song attributed strong sales to “the developer’s discount in pricing to below $1,500 psf from $1,584 psf in June”.

Stirling Residences sold 75 units at a median price of $1,738 psf; Park Colonial, 52 units at a median price of $1,754 psf; Riverfront Residences, 55 units at a median price of $1,327 psf; and The Tapestry, 26 units at a median price of $1,375 psf.

“Continued take-up at Stirling Residences, Park Colonial, The Tre Ver and JadeScape underscored genuine demand in large city-fringe projects that offer ample facilities and (are) near MRT stations. Projects that are priced affordably below $1,400 psf such as Riverfront Residences and The Tapestry in the suburbs also have supporters,” Ms Song added.

Cushman & Wakefield’s senior director Christine Li expects new sales to rebound this month, fuelled by new major launches such as Whistler Grand, Kent Ridge Residences, Parc Esta and Woodleigh Residences.

“Total developer sales could potentially near or even exceed 1,000 units in November,” she said.

Grace Leong

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