The Urban Redevelopment Authority’s (URA) Realis data showed that developers sold 1122 new private homes in August, excluding executive condominiums (ECs). Besides the 1122 new private homes moved, August also saw 45 ECs being sold.
CBRE commenting on the 1122 new private homes sold in August said:
“Unfazed by the Hungry Ghost month, a total take-up of 1,122 units (excluding ECs) was recorded for the month of August. This is close to the take-up of 1,179 units in the previous month. However, it is noted that 72% of the units sold for August were from previous launches, as most developers avoided launching new projects during the Hungry Ghost month.
Parc Clematis was the only new launch (440 launched) in August 2019 which saw 316 units sold, making it the top performer for the month. Encouragingly, projects from previous launches continued to do well – including The Florence Residences (122 units), Treasure at Tampines (93 units) and Parc Botannia (61 units), which are located in the OCR.
In the EC segment, Piermont Grand, which was launched in July, sold another 44 units. To date, 409 units were sold out of 820 units. Given the higher income ceiling which was revised from $14,000 to $16,000, CBRE expects a widening of the demand pie for ECs, as more marginal buyers may now be more incentivised to enter into the EC market. Over the next few months, this could benefit sales performance of Piermont Grand as well as Parc Canberra, which is expected to launch by end of the year.
Despite the weaker macroeconomic environment, the private residential market remains bolstered by fairly strong underlying demand. Some buyers could be motivated by the lower interest rate environment due to the revision of interest rates and outlook by the Federal Reserve.
CBRE Research expects launches and sales to pick up further in September given that more projects will be launched after the Hungry Ghost period. Some of these projects include Avenue South Residence, Meyer Mansion and Luxus Hill. Coupled with the 6,649 new units sold year to date, CBRE expects the total number of new sales in 2019 to clock north of 8,000 units.”
Colliers International’s Head of Research for Singapore, Ms Tricia Song said: “Demand in August seemed to have been sustained, despite the typically taboo Ghost Month.”
“Despite the global economic uncertainties and the Chinese lunar seventh month, over 1,000 new homes were sold last month. Last month’s sales volume is considered strong as it is almost on a par with July’s. The month of July usually records higher than average monthly sales in a year, and the sales volume for July 2019 was the highest for this year,” said OrangeTee & Tie head of research & consultancy Christine Sun.
“Most developers avoid the lunar seventh month for project launches and as a result, sales volumes tend to be lower. However, 2019 could be the exception. The lunar seventh month ended on Aug 29, giving developers the flexibility to decide whether they should launch on the last weekend of August,” said Huttons Asia’s research director Lee Sze Teck. In fact, Luxus Hills’ Signature Collection and Parc Clematis were both launched during that weekend to “spectacular results,” said Savills’ executive director for research and consultancy Alan Cheong.
JLL’s head of Singapore research Tay Huey Ying said she expects launch activities to “resume in September and the months after, given it will be in the interest of developers to ramp up new launches to beat the additional buyer’s stamp duty deadline.”
Mr Paul Ho, chief mortgage officer at iCompareLoan said, “although the 1122 new private homes sold in August, compared with 617 units in the same month a year earlier is an increase of about 82%, it is bad comparison.”
“We cannot forget that new private home sales plunged following the Government property cooling measures announced in July last year. So we cannot compare statistics from August 2018 with data from August 2019. There are several new launches in September and how the new private home sales clock this month will determine if the private residential market is indeed on the mend. Also will the property market be affected by the downturn of the economy?”
Some analysts suggested that the 1122 new private homes sold in August points to Singapore being seen as a safe haven from turmoil from the trade tensions between China and the USA, as well as the protests in Hong Kong. Others have said that the stable Singapore Dollar is another reason why investors are continuing to find confidence in the Singapore real estate market.
The private residential market has “remained resilient” in spite of local economic slowdown, said JLL’s senior director of Research and Consultancy Ong Teck Hui.
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