News: New private home sales drop 58% in April

May 18, 2020

Developers sold 277 new private homes in April, down 58% from the 660 units shifted in March. Photo: Kopar at Newton by CEL. 

With the implementation of circuit breaker measures from 7 April leading to the discontinuation of house viewings and closure of showflats, developers sold 277 new private homes in April, down 58% from the 660 units shifted in March.

On an annual basis, developer sales fell 62.4% from the 737 units moved in April 2019, showed Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) data.

Including executive condominiums (ECs), developers sold 293 units, down 67.6% month-on-month and 60.7% year-on-year.

Demand largely came from the Core Central Region (CCR), with Kopar at Newton emerging as the best-selling private residential project in April with 83 units sold at a median price of $2,241 per sq ft (psf).

It is followed by Treasure at Tampines and Riverfront Residences, which moved 28 and 17 units, respectively.

Read: Property Price Growth: Which Districts Had the Highest Price Psf Growth in Q1 2020?

April saw two new launches, one of which is a landed development with only five units – Burghley Drive; the other is 15 Holland Hill. Both projects sold one unit.

Analysts noted that the circuit breaker did not deter buyers as over one-third of April’s developer sales were registered on or after 7 April, indicating resilient demand.

“Some transactions continued to happen even after the circuit breaker kicked in, as buyers could have seen the showflats before the circuit breaker and made the decision after,” said Tricia Song, Head of Research for Singapore at Colliers International.

In fact, several luxury projects continued to move units even after the circuit breaker measures were rolled out, including Boulevard 88, Van Holland, Midtown Bay, Neu at Novena and Kopar at Newton, showed URA Realis data.

Two super-luxury condominium units at Boulevard 88 were transacted for more than $10 million each, while luxury homes at Van Holland were shifted for $3.2 million and 5.1 million.

A 477 sq m super-luxury condominium at 15 Holland Hill was the highest-priced private home transacted in April at $13.8 million.

“Given the movement restrictions and uncertain economic outlook, it is quite remarkable that some super luxury and luxury new homes were sold during the circuit breaker period,” said Christine Sun, Head of Research and Consultancy at OrangeTee.

“This may indicate that despite the pandemic, many wealthy and ultra-rich continue to view Singapore as an attractive investment destination and a safe haven to park their funds.”

Song expects May’s sales “to be lower than April, due to a full month of the circuit breaker measures”.

Nonetheless, she does not expect the rate of decline to be as steep as in April, noting that 27 new private home sales caveats had been lodged during the first three days of May.

For the whole of 2020, Desmond Sim, Head of Research for Southeast Asia at CBRE, expects new home sales, excluding ECs, to drop between 4,000 and 5,000 units.

“Overall, disruptions from the extended “circuit breaker”, where sales galleries are mandated to close, the ban on foreign visitors into Singapore and the slowdown in project launches, are expected to have a negative impact on sales volume moving forward,” he said.

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Victor Kang, Digital Content Specialist at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this or other stories, email victorkang@propertyguru.com.sg

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