New launches dominate Singapore development sales for February amidst growing market uncertainty


 New data from Singapore’s Urban Redevelopment Authority has shown a monthly increase of more than 50 per cent in new home sales within the country, which Colliers International attributes to a series of apartment launches.

Singapore apartment buyers have braved social distancing to queue for units at project launches in February, driving up new home sales for the month.

Data released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority on Monday (16 March) showed that 975 new private homes (excluding Executive Condos) were sold in February, up by 57.3 per cent from the 620 units that were shifted in January 2020.

On a year-on-year basis, developers’ sales more than doubled from the 455 units (excl. ECs) transacted in February 2019.

New apartment project, The M in Middle Road, led the increase, accounting for more than a third of the sales last month. 

Speaking about the latest figures, Colliers International Singapore Head of Research, Tricia Song, told WILLIAMS MEDIA while there was cautious optimism about the market being able to survive the uncertainty stemming from the COVID-19, much would depend on the economic fallout from the outbreak and whether there are large-scale job losses – widespread retrenchments, should it happen, will certainly dampen housing demand.

“At this stage, we are maintaining our forecast of 9,800 units of developers’ sales for the full year 2020, with downside risks,” she said.

“While the COVID-19 outbreak could weigh on market sentiment, we note that the surprise rate cuts by the US Federal Reserve recently meant that interest rates would remain lower for longer, and would be supportive of housing demand. Mortgage rates based on SIBOR have come off 30-40bps since the first 50bps rate cut by Fed, and should come off further.   

“On buyers’ profile, based on official data, foreigners bought 44 new non-landed private homes in February, fewer than the 58 in January 2020 but more than doubled year-on-year, compared to the 19 units transacted in February 2019. 

“Looking at the data, the COVID-19 outbreak did not appear to have deterred foreigners from buying Singapore properties yet.”

The best-selling private residential projects in February were: The M which sold 380 units at a median price of SGD2,439 psf; Treasure at Tampines which moved 97 units at a median price of SGD1,379 psf; and Parc Esta which transacted 53 units at a median price of SGD1,686 psf.

Meanwhile, the top-selling EC project was the newly launched Parc Canberra which shifted 324 units at a median price of SGD1,111 psf. In February, developers sold 339 ECs – which are a hybrid of public and private housing – taking the total new home sales to 1,314 units during the month. A total of 79 per cent of the units sold at Parc Canberra ECs are priced below SGD1.2 million, hitting the sweet spot for first-timers or HDB upgraders.

The 378-unit Kopar at Newton, on the government land sales (GLS) site at Kampong Java, is reported to start its preview on 28 March with prices starting from SGD2,100 psf. Meanwhile, OLA EC at Anchorvale reportedly received 1,163 e-applications, more than double the 548 units offered in the Spanish-themed development. Final pricing for the units at OLA is expected to be announced on March 19 or 20.

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