Singapore new private home sales dip 2.6% in June amid viewing restrictions

SINGAPORE – Sales of new private homes eased in June despite developers launching more units as recent Covid-19 restrictions dampened viewings.

Sales by developers dropped 2.6 per cent to 872 units last month from 895 units in May. Compared to a year ago, sales were down 12.6 per cent.

Viewing restrictions clearly had an impact on transaction volume, Huttons Asia senior director of research Lee Sze Teck said.

“The proportion of sale transactions from June 15-30 when viewing restrictions were eased stands at 59.8 per cent, compared to 40.2 per cent between June 1-14,” he noted.

The figures from the Urban Redevelopment Authority exclude executive condominium (EC) units – a public-private housing hybrid.

Including ECs sold, developers moved 962 new homes last month – 22 per cent lower than in May, and down 6.7 per cent from a year ago.

Mr Ong Teck Hui, senior director of research & consultancy at JLL, said: “With the heightened alert measures stretching into mid-June, it is not surprising that new home sales in June remained modest.”

But pent up demand could push sales and prices higher in the third quarter, he said.

Sales could improve in July as developers rush to launch their projects before the start of the Hungry Ghost festival in August. Upcoming launches include The Watergardens at Canberra, Pasir Ris 8 and Klimt Cairnhill.

The Watergardens at Canberra and Pasir Ris 8 are the first two mass market launches this year and could do well if priced to capture the buoyant Housing Board resale market.

“However, due to the unpredictability of Covid-19, the market should be watchful of future restrictive measures that could slow market activity again,” said Mr Ong.

Developers launched 815 units in June, up nearly 58 per cent from May, and 36.5 per cent higher than a year ago.

Analysts noted the continued strong demand for homes in the prime districts.

Hyll on Holland, which offered promotions on certain units, was the top seller last month, moving 87 units at a median price of $2,387 per square foot (psf).

Ms Christine Sun, senior vice-president of research and analytics at OrangeTee & Tie, said many high net worth buyers have jumped into the luxury market.

Besides Hyll on Holland, another 119 luxury homes were snapped up at other prime district projects, she said. Leedon Green moved 31 units, Fourth Avenue Residences sold 12 units and Irwell Hill Residences 11 units.

Other best selling projects included Treasure at Tampines, Normanton Park, The Florence Residences, Avenue South Residence, Parc Clematis and Amber Park.

More Singaporeans bought homes priced between $1.5 million and $2 million in June, after cashing out their existing HDB flats, Huttons Asia chief executive Mark Yip said.

More than 40 per cent of sales in June were priced below $1.5 million, 31 per cent were between $1.5 million and $2 million and 27 per cent above $2 million. The average price paid for a unit in June was $1.82 million, Huttons said.

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