New private home sales jump 80% in April; cooling measures unlikely to impact local buyers: Analysts

New private home sales jump 80% in April; cooling measures unlikely to impact local buyers: Analysts

SINGAPORE: Sales of new private homes in Singapore jumped 80 per cent in April to a seven-month high, driven by the launch of two high-profile projects – Blossoms by the Park near one-north and Tembusu Grand in the Katong area.

Excluding executive condominiums (ECs), developers sold 887 units in April, up from 492 units sold in March

On a year-on-year basis, sales rose by 34 per cent, according to data published by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Monday (May 15).

A total of 779 units were launched for sale, 36 per cent more than in March and 96 per cent higher compared with a year ago.

The strong April sales figures show that the recent property cooling measures have a minimal impact on Singaporean buyers, said analysts. 

According to data from OrangeTee & Tie, Singaporeans made up about 84 per cent of buyers of Blossoms by the Park, which was launched shortly after the new cooling measures kicked in on Apr 27. 

Meanwhile, 90 per cent of Tembusu Grand buyers are Singaporeans. The project was launched earlier in April. 

“The stellar sales at Blossoms by the Park were a surprise, as almost 75 per cent of the project was sold within its launch month despite the new cooling measures,” said Ms Christine Sun, OrangeTee & Tie’s senior vice president of research and analytics. 

“The cooling measures may not stop local buyers, especially first-timers unaffected by the increased ABSD,” she added.

“Some buyers expect prices to rise further since more buyers may enter the market when interest rates moderate and most Singaporeans are gainfully employed. Moreover, home prices have continued to rise even after each round of ABSD adjustments, based on historical trends.”

Agreeing, ERA’s key executive officer Eugene Lim said Singapore’s private residential market is mainly supported by domestic demand, adding that foreign demand “rarely influences the dynamics of the overall market”.

Huttons Asia’s senior director for research Lee Sze Teck noted, for instance, that only eight foreigners bought units at Blossoms by the Park.

He added that The Continuum, a freehold project launched in the first weekend of May, also sold more than 200 units on launch day. 

“The cooling measures will lead to fewer purchases by foreigners but the impact on overall transaction volume is expected to be minimal. Almost 95 per cent of buyers are either Singaporeans or permanent residents,” Mr Lee said.