Buyers partly lured by discounts, incentives, lower rates: Analysts
Private home sales shot up last month despite a full month of the circuit breaker, no new launches and a weaker economy belted by layoffs and wage cuts.
Some buyers still took the plunge, lured in part by discounts, incentives and lower borrowing costs, analysts said.
There were 486 non-landed private homes sold last month, up a striking 75 per cent from the 277 sold in April, according to Urban Redevelopment Authority data released yesterday.
But the buying surge does not mean the market is back to pre-Covid-19 levels, given that May’s numbers were still about 49 per cent down from the 952 new homes sold in the same month last year.
The figures exclude executive condominium (EC) units, which are a public-private housing hybrid.
“This is not a broad-based improvement as stronger sales were registered in projects that were more competitive in terms of pricing and affordability,” noted Mr Ong Teck Hui, JLL Singapore’s senior director for research and consultancy.
Sales of new homes from January to May hit 2,912, down 17.4 per cent from the same period last year, while transactions in April and May were 54.8 per cent lower than in the same two months last year, said JLL.
Mr Ong added that if show galleries reopen in the second half of this year, sales could be 20 per cent to 30 per cent lower than in the last six months of last year due to the recession.
Developers have launched 14 projects since January, out of the more than 30 that are expected to hit the market this year, according to OrangeTee & Tie. There were 615 new private homes launched last month, down from 640 in April and nearly 56 per cent under the 1,394 released a year earlier.
The 335 units at Parc Clematis and JadeScape‘s 200 accounted for 87 per cent of the total number launched last month, JLL noted.
May’s sales appeared to be largely driven by locals and investors, said Ms Christine Sun, OrangeTee & Tie’s head of research and consultancy.
URA Realis data yesterday noted that the number of non-landed homes bought by Singaporeans jumped 81.1 per cent to 402 units last month, from 222 units in April.
Purchases by foreigners also strengthened, with Singapore permanent residents and non-permanent residents buying 72 units last month, up 71.4 per cent from 42 in April, Ms Sun said.
There are some encouraging signs in this month’s new home sales forecast. URA Realis data showed that 155 new homes, excluding ECs, were sold in the first seven days of this month, which is more than half the 277 units inked in April.
Buyers are still price-sensitive, said Colliers International head of research for Singapore Tricia Song. “We estimate 86 per cent of the total developer sales in May were priced at the median of $1,000 psf to $2,000 psf, compared with 58 per cent in April. We expect new sales to fall 29 per cent to 7,000 units in 2020 from 2019’s 9,912 units, and developers could cut prices by 3 to 5 per cent.”
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