New private home sales surged after the lifting of the circuit breaker measures. Photo: Treasure at Tampines was the best-selling project in June.
Sales of new private homes in Singapore more than doubled in June from May, hitting the highest monthly sales since November 2019 and the highest June sales since 2013.
Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) data showed that new homes sales soared 104.9% to 998 units in June from the 487 units sold in May (excluding executive condominiums (ECs)). This figure is higher than the 75.8% increase in May from April. On an annual basis, new home sales increased 21.6% from the 821 units shifted in June 2019.
Including ECs, developer sales increased 102.2% month-on-month and 25.4% year-on-year to 1,031 units.
“We believe this reflects pent-up demand from the two-month circuit breaker period,” said Tricia Song, Head of Research for Singapore at Colliers International.
The circuit breaker measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 was lifted on 19 June and showflat viewings had resumed.
Song noted that while there was no major new project launch, buyers snapped up more private homes from earlier launches, also partly attracted by discounts dangled and lower borrowing costs.
Desmond Sim, Head of Research for Southeast Asia at CBRE, also attributed the increase in sales to the low interest rate environment.
Christine Sun, Head of Research and Consultancy at OrangeTee and Tie, said the increase in sales volume last month was broad-based across all market segments.
Excluding ECs, the number of new homes sold within the Rest of Central Region (RCR) soared 127.5% month-on-month to 430 units in June, those in the Outside Central Region (OCR) increased 90.3% to 489 units, while those in the Core Central Region (CCR) jumped 92.7% to 79 units over the same period.
Kopar at Newton continued to be the top-selling project within the CCR with 25 units sold in June. Other luxury projects such as Fourth Avenue Residences, Royalgreen, Van Holland, Leedon Green, The Avenir and Boulevard 88 also continued to shift units despite the pandemic.
Sun revealed that the reopening of showflats resulted in a substantial increase in sales of pricier private homes. URA Realis data showed that the number of private homes, excluding ECs, transacting at $2 million and above increased to 129 units in June from May’s 23 units.
In terms of proportion to the total sales (excluding ECs), 13% of new homes were sold at $2 million and above in June, compared to 5% in May. Moreover, 32 private homes were shifted at $3 million and above, while two new homes were transacted above $10 million including a 257 sq m 5th floor unit at Boulevard 88 and a 504 sq m 12th floor unit at 15 Holland Hill.
Sun observed that foreign buyers also returned to the market following the circuit breaker period. Based on URA Realis data, the number of non-landed homes acquired by foreign buyers substantially increased in June.
Non-permanent residents (NPR) acquired 49 non-landed private homes in June, a significant increase from the 14 units transacted in May. The figure is also higher than the 33 units moved in June 2019.
The number of non-landed homes acquired by Singapore permanent residents (PR) also surged to 120 units in June from May’s 56 units. It is also higher compared to the 86 units transacted in June last year.
“Many foreigners have bought properties last month as the growing macro-economic uncertainties have driven more overseas investors to seek shelter for safe-haven assets here. Although showflats were reopened last month, we have observed more foreign buyers purchasing private homes remotely due to the border lockdowns or travel restrictions imposed in many countries. This is in stark contrast to the past where many foreigners typically buy a unit only after visiting a showflat,” said Sun.
She expects more foreigners to “pick up private homes in the coming months as the interest rates are expected to remain low and ample liquidity is flowing into the asset markets due to the massive quantitative easing programs launched around the world”.
Victor Kang, Digital Content Specialist at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this or other stories, email firstname.lastname@example.org