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Singapore's Oct new home sales halve on fewer launches, options curbs

Developers in Singapore sold 642 new private homes in October, 51.7 per cent lower than the 1,329 units sold in September.

DEVELOPERS in Singapore sold 642 new private homes in October, 51.7 per cent lower than the 1,329 units sold in September.

The decline came amid the authorities' clampdown on Sept 28 on the re-issuing of options to purchase (OTPs) by developers, as well as a dearth of new project launches last month. 

On a year-on-year basis, developers' private homes sales was also down 31.1 per cent from the 932 units they moved in October 2019.

That means developers have sold 8,021 private homes in the first 10 months of this year, 4.5 per cent lower than the 8,401 units sold in the first 10 months of last year.

The figures - released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Monday based on its survey of licensed housing developers - exclude executive condominium (EC) units, which are a public-private housing hybrid.

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Including ECs, developers moved 682 units in October - a month-on-month drop of 50.8 per cent from the 1,385 units in September, and a year-on-year fall of 28.9 per cent from 959 units.

The tightening of the OTP rules, aimed at fostering greater financial prudence among buyers and preventing market distortion, included restricting developers from providing upfront agreements to buyers to re-issue the OTPs. Developers are also restricted from re-issuing OTPs to the same buyers for the same unit within 12 months of the expiry of the earlier OTP; and developers have to inform buyers of this condition upfront.

ERA Realty’s head of research and consultancy, Nicholas Mak, noted that many potential buyers held back their purchases last month while seeking more clarity on the effects of the latest government announcement.

OrangeTee & Tie’s head of research and consultancy, Christine Sun, said: “Some buyers could be waiting on the sidelines, hoping that developers will moderate prices in response to the drop in sales volumes.

“Others who are directly impacted by the new regulation may need time to settle any outstanding issues in order to proceed with their home purchase. For instance, HDB upgraders who stand to incur the 12 per cent additional buyer’s stamp duty (on the purchase of a second residential property) will instead try to dispose of their existing HDB flats first. 

“In the interim, they are likely to rent a home elsewhere or make alternative accommodation arrangements with their extended families as they take some time to shop around for a private home and wait for the completion of the project. As a result, new private housing sales may pick up again in the next few months after the ‘dust has settled’.”

The top-selling project last month was The Garden Residences along Serangoon North View, with 53 units sold at a median price of S$1,612 per square foot, followed by Treasure at Tampines, with 50 units sold at S$1,408 psf median price.

At Parc Clematis in Jalan Lempeng, 49 units were sold at S$1,644 psf median price.

The only new project to be launched last month, Hyll on Holland, saw five units being sold at S$2,729 psf median price.


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