New private home sales in S'pore hit 4-year high for April but tighter Covid-19 curbs may cool market
SINGAPORE – Sales of new private homes in April dipped from March but they still more than tripled from a year ago, when Covid-19 circuit breaker curbs shut down all show flats, and were the highest for the month since 2017.
Last month’s take-up of 1,262 units was a slight drop of 2.6 per cent from March’s strong tally of 1,296 units, and were up 356 per cent from 277 units in April 2020.
Developers meanwhile launched 1,038 units for sale in April, up 8 per cent from 959 units in March. Year on year, they launched 62 per cent more units.
The figures from the Urban Redevelopment Authority on Monday (May 17) exclude executive condominium (EC) units – a public-private housing hybrid.
Including ECs sold, developers moved 1,342 new homes last month – down 2.3 per cent from March, but up 358 per cent from a year ago. They launched 1,038 units for sale in April, up 8.2 per cent from March, and 62 per cent higher than a year ago.
After eight successful launches (excluding ECs) in the first 4.5 months this year, the market is taking a breather and there will be no launches in the second half of May and all of June, noted Mark Yip, chief executive of Huttons Asia.
The new restrictions under Phase Two (Heightened alert) from May 16 May to June 13 could cool the market without a change in policies, he said.
“The lowered capacity to one person per 16 square metre and two per group in showflats will lengthen the decision-making process for buyers and further lower the transaction volume in May and June. But virtual tours of the showflats may help to mitigate,” he added.
There may be up to five launches in July – Klimt Cairnhill, Pasir Ris 8, Perfect Ten, The Watergardens at Canberra and Parc Greenwich (EC).
Despite the dip in sales, a bigger proportion of pricier homes were sold, noted Ms Christine Sun, OrangeTee & Tie senior vice-president, research and analytics.
The proportion of non-landed homes (excluding EC) that sold above $2,000 per square foot (psf) leapt from 38.8 per cent in February to 55.4 per cent in April this year, indicating stronger consumer confidence, she said.
Overall, most of April’s sales excluding ECs (40.2 per cent) were in the the city fringe or the rest of central region, boosted by One-North Eden, which sold more than 85 per cent of its units during its launch weekend. This is followed by the prime or core central region (35.2 per cent), driven by Irwell Hill Residences where more than 50 per cent were sold at its launch weekend. The suburbs or outside central region accounted for 24.6 per cent of total sales.
“The elevated social distancing measures may affect the pace of sales in the short term. However, technology infrastructure has been stepped up since circuit breaker last year,” said Ms Sun.
“Agents and buyers are getting more accustomed to virtual property viewings through videos and live stream. Therefore, the sector seems to be more prepared to ensure business continuity than a year ago.”
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