New home sales drop in December compared to November: URA, Latest Business News - The New Paper

New home sales drop in December compared to November: URA

This article is more than 12 months old

Despite plunge from November, this is highest sales figure for month since 2012

Developers in Singapore sold 602 private homes last month, about half the 1,201 units they moved in November last year due to the absence of new project launches and the typical slowdown in marketing activity during year-end holidays.

The figures were released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) yesterday based on its survey of licensed housing developers.

Some 101 private homes from existing launches were released last month - down 92 per cent from the bumper 1,342 units in November, and down 56 per cent from 231 units released in December 2017.

This is the lowest number of new private homes launched since September 2017, JLL senior director of research and consultancy Ong Teck Hui noted.

Of the 101 units launched last month, 100 were from Affinity at Serangoon, OrangeTee & Tie research and consultancy head Christine Sun noted.

But there is a silver lining.

The number of units sold last month - 602 units excluding ECs - was quite encouraging, up nearly 40 per cent from 431 units sold in December 2017.

It was the highest sales done in the month of December since 1,410 units were sold in December 2012, Ms Tricia Song, Colliers' head of research for Singapore, noted.

Meanwhile, only three new EC units were sold last month.

But last year, 628 new ECs were launched and 1,137 units sold, Mr Ong said.

"The supply and demand imbalance caused median prices to jump nearly 25 per cent from $793 psf in the fourth quarter 2017 to $989 psf in the fourth quarter last year," he added.

Among the top selling new home projects last month were Parc Esta along Sims Ave and Whistler Grand along West Coast Vale.

Other top sellers - Riverfront Residences in Hougang, Park Colonial in Upper Serangoon, Stirling Residences, and The Tapestry in Tampines - are "seeing total sell-through at 40 to 65 per cent, while holding prices steady at $1,313 to1,745 psf," Ms Song said.

The latest round of cooling measures, higher financing costs and tighter financing requirements will likely cap price growth at a more moderate pace, Mr Desmond Sim, CBRE head of research, Singapore & Southeast Asia, said.

Last year, developers launched an estimated 8,773 private new homes, up from 6,020 units launched a year ago. They sold 9,264 units (excluding ECs), down from 10,566 units in 2017.

But things are not too dire.

About 40 per cent of developer sales were transacted in the last five months of last year, a sign of encouraging demand despite the July 6 cooling measures, more curbs on shoebox units, rising interest rates, and the US-China trade spat, Ms Sun said.