New private home sales in S’pore hit 6-month high as tighter supply trumps cooling measures

Buyers snapped up 1,356 units in May, more than double April’s 660 units. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE – Two major city-fringe launches, Piccadilly Grand and Liv@MB, propelled new private home sales to a six-month high, as buyers took the latest round of property cooling measures in their stride amid tighter supply.

Buyers snapped up 1,356 units in May, more than double April’s 660 units and 51.5 per cent higher than a year ago, according to Urban Redevelopment Authority data released on Wednesday (June 15).

But year to date, total sales excluding executive condominiums (ECs) are down 32 per cent to 3,841 units, compared with the same period last year, analysts say.

Including ECs, new home sales jumped 62.6 per cent to 1,376 units in May, from 846 in April.

Developers rolled out three times more new homes – 1,240 last month, from just 397 in April, while the volume of new units launched was up 140 per cent from 516 units a year earlier. Including ECs, the number of new units launched rose 22 per cent in May from the previous month.

Mr Ong Teck Hui, JLL’s senior director of research and consultancy, noted that new home sales in May were almost back to the level seen in November 2021, before the cooling measures were imposed in December.

“The new project launches in May were a good test of home buyers’ appetite in a market facing headwinds from cooling measures, rising interest rates and macroeconomic uncertainties,” he said.

Ms Catherine He, Colliers’ head of research for Singapore, cited pent-up demand for well-located projects, robust HDB resale prices, and buyers locking in mortgage rates ahead of further interest rate hikes.

The strong take-up at median prices of $2,175 per sq ft (psf) and $2,405 psf for Piccadilly Grand and Liv @ MB respectively is very encouraging, said Ms Wong Siew Ying, head of research and content at PropNex Realty.

“The supply crunch and absence of new launches in the suburbs could also have channelled some buyers to the city fringe, boosting sales in the two projects,” she added.

“With land prices staying firm, some buyers may also take the view that selling prices of future launches are likely to remain elevated.”

Mr Ong noted that May’s strong sales may incentivise developers to resume new launches in the second half this year.

“Therefore, we may expect primary market home sales in the second half of 2022 to be stronger than in the first half,” he said.

In the third quarter, several new launches are expected – The Arden in Phoenix Road, AMO Residence in Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1, Lentor Modern in Lentor Central, and Sceneca Residence in Tanah Merah Kechil Link.

In May, the city fringe accounted for the bulk of new home sales at 65.9 per cent, or 893 units, driven by Liv@MB and Piccadilly Grand, said OrangeTee & Tie senior vice-president of research and analytics Christine Sun. This was followed by the suburbs at 18.2 per cent, or 247 units, and the prime district at 15.9 per cent, or 216 units.

Last month, Piccadilly Grand sold 78.1 per cent of its 407-unit project, while Liv@MB moved 236 units, or 79.2 per cent. Other top condo sellers include The Florence Residences, Normanton Park, Avenue South Residence and The Gazania.

Pricier condos were sold last month, with 84 per cent of total sales transacted between $1 million and less than $3 million. Sixteen per cent of total transactions, or 216 units, moved at about $3 million – the highest number of sales inked in that price category since April 2010 when 238 units were sold.

The priciest transaction was a 1,841 sq ft unit at The Lilium, which sold for $3.53 million. This was followed by a 1,711 sq ft unit at Parc Clematis at $3.11 million.

Mr Lee Sze Teck, senior director of research at Huttons Group, noted that despite heavier stamp duties, the number of new homes purchased by foreigners jumped 58.5 per cent to 84 in May, from 53 in April. This included the purchase of 20 units in CanningHill Piers by a Chinese national for $87.6 million, he added.

In the first quarter of this year, foreigners bought fewer than 30 units per month, Ms Sun noted.

Purchases by permanent residents rose to 142 units in May, from 79 units in April, after border measures were further lifted.

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