Avenir condo in River Valley

Residential sales in Singapore climbed 20% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2020.

Property is proving to be an enduring asset class for many in times of uncertainty as residential sales in Singapore climbed 20% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2020, revealed a Huttons Asia report.

After the lull in December 2019, developers sold 620 units in January, up 15.2% month-on-month and 43.2% year-on-year.

The report noted that the monthly sales is a six-year high and may have been “even higher if not for the extended Lunar New Year break and limited new launches”.

A total of 598 units were launched in January, with all three new launches located in the Core Central Region – namely, The Avenir, Leedon Green and Van Holland.

In February, developers launched 933 units and shifted 976 units, up 57.4% month-on-month and 114.5% year-on-year. The M in Bugis sold over 70% during its launch weekend as buyers willingly braved the sun and spent many hours queueing just to snap a unit.

However, residential sales volume dropped 32.3% month-on-month and 37.4% year-on-year in March as developers launched 578 units and moved 660 units.

“This is the sixth consecutive month that monthly sales volume has exceeded launch volume,” said the report.

Over at the resale market, transaction volume dropped 20% quarter-on-quarter in Q1 2020, while prices declined 1.2%.

“As economic and employment conditions were not dire in Q1 2020, sellers of completed homes in the mass market and landed segment most likely opt to accept lower profits in a bid to offload their property.”

The executive condominium (EC) segment also performed well during the quarter, with Parc Canberra selling more than 60% of its units, while Ola at Anchorvale Crescent sold 170 units or more than 30% on its launch weekend.

Meanwhile, Huttons Asia noted that while the percentage of foreigners purchasing properties (new and resale) within the city-state eased by 1% due to travel restrictions at some countries, Singaporeans continued to support the local property market.

Thus, “a small adjustment in foreigner buying is unlikely to have a significant impact on the market”, it said.

In fact, the decline in purchases by foreigners of properties priced above $2,000 per sq ft (psf) was more than offset by the number of Singaporeans acquiring similarly priced properties.

With the government’s circuit breaker measure in place, Huttons Asia expects the property market in the second quarter of 2020 “to be affected by Covid-19, the extent of which depends on how long the circuit breaker last and the rebound in economic activity”.

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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