Looking ahead, Knight Frank expects overall private residential prices to increase by more than 5% this year.

Prices of non-landed private homes, excluding executive condominiums (ECs), increased 2.1% quarter-on-quarter in Q1 2021, the fourth consecutive quarterly hike since Q2 2020, according to Knight Frank’s Residential Market Research Q1 2021 based on the URA flash estimates in Q1 2021. 

The number of non-landed private homes, excluding ECs, transacted in Q1 2021 also grew 7.3% quarter-on-quarter to 6,470 units. Overall sales volume during the period under review also rose 73.5% in Q1 2020.

The property consultancy firm believes that demand for private homes continues to be “fuelled by HDB upgraders due to the buoyant HDB resale market, the recycling of substantial property capital gains from an older generation enabling the younger to transit into the private market, as well as retiree downgraders”.

It noted that the primary market’s performance remains sanguine with demand being largely supply-led.

In Q1 2020, newly launched projects witnessed brisk sales, with non-landed new sales increasing 31.6% to 3,357 units from the previous quarter’s 2,550 sales.

Knight Frank’s Wealth Report 2021 showed that the number of ultra-high-net-worth-individuals (UHNWIs) increased 10.2% last year despite the pandemic-led recession.

“In tandem with Singapore’s attractiveness among family offices, it was observed that both foreign and local homebuyers were looking to penthouses or units with more than 3,000 sq ft,” said Knight Frank.

“With the limited availability of newly launched penthouses, penthouses in the resale market were sought after by these UHNWIs who place greater priority on quality and living spaces.”

While the Core Central Region (CCR) registered a 0.3% quarter-on-quarter drop in prices, Knight Frank expects the finalised price index for Q1 2021 to be higher after considering the new launches and bulk of sale at Eden along 2 Draycott Park in late March.

In March, the CCR saw a pick-up in momentum with the launch of projects such as The Atelier and Midtown Modern.

With this, the total number of units sold in CCR stood at 1,294 units, or higher than every quarter last year, when there was a lack of new launches.

Knight Frank observed that buyers were also attracted to penthouse units at older developments with large floor areas. In fact, at least 15 transactions were registered for penthouses measuring above 3,000 sq ft and situated at developments completed between 1998 and 2013. These penthouses were sold between $5.4 million and $18 million, with a 7,266-sq ft penthouse in St Regis Residences Singapore leading the list.

Over at the Rest of Central Region (RCR), prices increased 6.1% quarter-on-quarter in Q1 2021, while non-landed sales volume rose 38.9% quarter-on-quarter to 2,736 units.

While the RCR registered a decline in resale transactions, primary sales volume jumped 87.5% quarter-on-quarter to 1,746 units – more than making up for the decrease.

Knight Frank attributed the spike in new sale transactions to Normanton Park and The Reef at King’s Dock in January, which posted a combined sales of 1,070 units.

The Outside Central Region (OCR) also recorded a 0.9% quarter-on-quarter increase in prices in Q1 2021.

However, it registered a 24.3% quarter-on-quarter drop in transaction volume due to the small volume of newly launched units.

Looking ahead, Knight Frank expects overall private residential prices to increase by more than 5% this year.

“The primary market is expected to achieve about 10,000 sales this year unless government measures are imposed, while more buyers should also gravitate towards the secondary market,” it said.

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