New private home sales tumble in August on lack of new condo launches 

THE number of private homes sold in August slid to nearly half the amount sold a month ago, as developers held back launches during the Hungry Ghost month - when sales activities tend to slow. 

Developers sold a total of 437 units excluding executive condominiums (ECs), 47.6 per cent lower than the 834 units sold in July 2022, according to data released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Thursday (Sep 15).

Meanwhile, developers launched only 134 units, 66.7 per cent lower than the 402 units launched the month before.

Including ECs, 448 units were sold in August with 134 units launched, compared with the 846 units sold in and 402 units launched in July.

"The private residential market is in a strange place at the moment," said Knight Frank Singapore head of research Leonard Tay.

He noted ample demand from HDB upgraders and new family formations, yet, the supply of new private homes remains tight, suppressing transactional volume.

In the absence of new mass-market launches, projects located in the core central region (CCR) have picked up the slack, said PropNex Realty head of research and content Wong Siew Ying.

"Commonly seen as a proxy for the luxury home segment, the CCR sub-market accounted for half of the new home sales in August," she added.

According to URA data, 220 units located in the CCR were sold during the month, followed by homes in the rest of central region (RCR) or city fringe with 127 units and the outside central region (OCR) with 90 units.

The CCR saw the bulk of launches (77.6 per cent) with 104 units launched, which may explain the outperformance for this region. In comparison, the number of new launches in the RCR and OCR was 24 units and 6 units respectively.

The gravitation of demand towards CCR projects also comes as foreign demand recovers with the reopening of the borders, said Lam Chern Woon, Edmund Tie's head of research and consulting.

He added that price pressures were "noticeably firm" among the top 10 selling projects in August, especially in the CCR. Seven out of these 10 projects - Hyll on Holland, Perfect Ten, The Hyde, Leedon Green, One Pearl Bank, The Avenir and The Landmark - saw higher median sales price in August compared with July.

The number of condos excluding ECs, bought by foreign buyers also grew 40.4 per cent to 59 units in August, from 42 units in July, according to URA Realis data.

Top projects with sales to foreigners during the month were also predominantly in the CCR, observed Huttons Asia's senior director of research Lee Sze Teck. 

Looking ahead, Christine Sun, senior vice-president of research and analytics at OrangeTee & Tie expects sales volume to rebound in September due to the launch of condo projects like Sky Eden @ Bedok and the highly anticipated integrated development, Lentor Modern.

"Inflation and rising interest rates do not seem to have a significant impact on the property market," Sun said.

In contrast, CBRE South-east head of research Tricia Song expects transaction volume to moderate for the rest of the year as interest rates continue to rise and dampen buying sentiment.

She maintains her 2022 new home sales forecast of 9,000 units, compared with the 13,027 new homes sold in 2021.


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