New private home sales fall 47.6% in August amid lack of launches during Hungry Ghost month

New private home sales fall 47.6% in August amid lack of launches during Hungry Ghost month

SINGAPORE: New private home sales in Singapore fell 47.6 per cent in August from a month earlier due to the lack of launches during the Hungry Ghost month.

Excluding executive condominiums (ECs), developers sold 437 units last month, down from 834 units in July, according to figures released on Thursday (Sep 15) by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).

The last time monthly sales were lower was in April 2020 – when the COVID-19 “circuit breaker” period had just started – when 277 new homes were sold.

On a year-on-year basis, home sales in August fell 64.1 per cent from the 1,216 units sold in the same period last year.

No new condominium projects were launched last month.  

However, two landed projects were launched – The Jardine Residences (six units) along Lorong Chuan and Mount Rosie Signature Collection (six units) near the Bukit Timah area.

“The Lunar Seventh Month, which straddled almost the whole month of August, resulted in developers deferring the launch of new projects,” noted Mr Lee Sze Teck, Huttons Asia’s senior director for research.

“The number of units launched for sale fell by 66.7 per cent month-on-month to 134. This is the lowest number of units launched for sale since September 2017.”

The Core Central Region (CCR) saw the most number of units sold at 220, followed by the Rest of Central Region (RCR) at 127 units and the Outside Central Region (OCR) at 90 units.

This is the first time that units in CCR have exceeded 50 per cent of monthly sales, noted Mr Lee.

“Buyers are shifting their focus to the CCR as the median price per sq ft between the CCR and RCR has narrowed to 14.9 per cent in August 2022 compared to 41.6 per cent in January 2022,” he added.

Mr Mohan Sandrasegeran, senior analyst for research and content creation at One Global Property Services, added that the increase in sales in the CCR was likely due to the lack of new projects launched in the area, “leading to buyers and investors scraping the barrel for a limited pool of private homes”.

Due to the lack of new launches in August, buyers looked to past projects. Some of the best-selling ones include Hyll On Holland, Riviere, Perfect Ten and The Hyde.

MORE PURCHASES BY FOREIGNERS

Property analysts also noted that there were more purchases by foreigners.

The number of condominiums, excluding ECs, bought by foreigners rose from 42 units in July to 59 units in August, noted Ms Christin Sun, OrangeTee and Tie’s senior vice president of research and analytics.

She added that last month, 64.4 per cent of foreigners bought private condominiums in the CCR (38 units), followed by 13 transactions in the RCR and eight in the OCR. 

“With visitor arrivals on track to return to pre-pandemic levels, it is no surprise that foreigner purchases are moving in tandem,” said Mr Mohan.

“Singapore’s status as a secure regional hub and the nation’s quick shift to endemic living has also given the country a competitive advantage. The easing of border control measures gives visitors from abroad a sense of security and assurance.”

Moving forward, property analysts expect sales to pick up.

Ms Sun said that rising interest rates and inflation “do not seem to have a significant impact on the property market”.

“Sales volume will likely rebound next month as at least two projects are launched in September including Sky [email protected] and the highly anticipated integrated development, Lentor Modern,” she added.

Ms Sun noted reports that 75 per cent or 118 units of Sky [email protected] were sold on the first day of the project’s launch, at an average price of about S$2,100 psf. Units at another popular project, Amo Residence, sold at a median price of S$2,110 psf when they were launched in July.

“Even at higher price points, units are being snapped up in these two projects,” she said.

“Their successful launches testify that affordability is not an issue for some buyers and people are willing to pay for projects with good locations and attractive product attributes.”