New home sales surge 19% in Nov as developers ramp up launches

Healthy sales show not all segments hit by curbs on reissuing of OTPs, says expert

Condominiums in Punggol. Last month’s uptick in new home sales to 767 units, from 645 in October, followed a temporary pullback in October’s sales after the Urban Redevelopment Authority clamped down on the reissue of options to purchase.ST FILE PHOTO

The private residential market resumed its upward march last month, with sales up nearly 19 per cent month on month following a 225 per cent surge in the number of new homes launched.

Last month’s uptick in sales to 767 units, from 645 in October, followed a temporary pullback in October’s sales after the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) clamped down on the reissue of options to purchase (OTPs).

The URA figures released yesterday exclude executive condominium (EC) units, which are a public-private housing hybrid.

If ECs are included, 815 new private homes were sold last month, up nearly 19 per cent from October and down 31.3 per cent from a year earlier. No EC units were launched last month.

OrangeTee & Tie head of research and consultancy Christine Sun said: “November’s healthy sales indicate that not all segments of the market were affected by the new curbs on the reissuing of OTPs. There are many genuine buyers who can afford a private home without applying for an OTP extension.”

She said vaccine optimism has bolstered investor confidence in Singapore’s economic outlook and raised hopes that the pandemic may soon be under control.

Existing projects continued to see sustained interest, PropNex head of research and content Wong Siew Ying said. “About 70 per cent (or 540 units) of November’s sales were from projects already on the market.”

For instance, Riviere, at the former Zouk site, moved more units after cutting its median price to $2,541 per sq ft (psf), from $2,932 when it was launched in May last year. About 18 per cent have hitherto been sold, noted Ms Tricia Song, head of research for Singapore at Colliers International.

The market’s resilience could well spill over into this month, analysts said. With pandemic-led travel restrictions upsetting most outbound holiday plans, December is likely to be anything but a lull period for home sales, said PropNex chief executive Ismail Gafoor.

“With two new projects out – Ki Residences and Clavon, which respectively sold 143 and 442 units at their launch – we expect new home sales to cross the 1,000-unit mark this month,” he added.

Small wonder that developers are gearing up for more new launches instead of typically winding down for the year-end holidays. A total of 13 new projects are expected to hit the market in the coming months and they include Normanton Park, The Reef at King’s Dock and Midtown Modern.

Two ECs – Parc Central Residences and Provence Residence – are expected to launch, said ERA Realty’s head of research and consultancy Nicholas Mak.

But November’s sales are still down 34 per cent from the 1,165 units sold a year ago, even as the number of new units launched last month jumped 45 per cent year on year to 1,375.

Despite last month’s rebound, new home sales are still down 42.3 per cent from September, showing the “significant impact of the clampdown on OTP reissuances”, noted JLL senior director of research and consultancy Ong Teck Hui.

The proportion of Housing Board upgraders continued to fall as only 46 per cent of total sales last month were priced at the median price of $1,000 psf to $2,000 psf, compared with 72 per cent in October, Ms Song noted.

More than 50 per cent of total sales last month were priced at the median price of $2,000 psf to $3,000 psf, as city fringe or rest of central region projects dominated.

Two such projects – the 120-unit The Linq @ Beauty World and the 396-unit The Landmark – topped the bestsellers’ list last month. The Linq sold 118 units at a median price of $2,171 psf, while The Landmark moved 109 units at a median price of $2,135 psf.

Over 30 per cent of sales were in the suburbs or outside the central region and 11 per cent were in the prime or core central region.

“Source:[New home sales surge 19% in Nov as developers ramp up launches] © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Permission required for reproduction”

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