New private home sales drop 60.5% in February amid lack of new launches

New private home sales drop 60.5% in February amid lack of new launches
New private home sales drop 60.5% in February amid lack of new launches

February saw only 167 new units launched, down 93.6% from the 2,600 units launched in January, and is also the lowest number of units launched since December 2018. 

Notably, only one project – boutique apartment J@63 in Lorong J Telok Kurau – was launched in February.

Singapore saw new private home sales, excluding executive condominiums (ECs), fall 60.5% to 645 units in February from the 1,632 units moved in January.

Leonard Tay, Head of Research at Knight Frank Singapore, attributed the drop in transaction volume to a lack of new launches.

January’s sales, on the other hand, was “propped up by new launches that had captured the homebuying public’s attention, such Normanton Park and The Reef at King’s Dock”.

Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) data showed that only 167 new units, excluding ECs, were launched in February, down 93.6% from the 2,600 units launched in January. It is also the lowest number of units launched since December 2018.

Recommended article: Normanton Park: Why Everyone (Even Property Agents) is Buying This New Launch Condo

Tay noted that the 167 new units launched was even lower compared to the number of launches launched in April and May 2020 “when Singapore was stuck in the circuit breaker, and when all business activity practically came to a halt”.

Notably, only one project – boutique apartment J@63 in Lorong J Telok Kurau – was launched in February.

“In the past, whenever there was a dearth of new launches, monthly sales volumes would naturally fall,” he said.

“However in February, there were almost four units sold to every unit launched (against every 1.0 to 1.7 units sold to every unit launched during the months in 2020 when the number of newly launched units fell below the number of units sold), suggesting that buyer interest remains in existing launches.”

Christine Sun, Senior Vice President of Research and Analytics at OrangeTee, believe February’s slower sales “indicate that the property market may still not be at risk of being overheated”.

“Budget-conscious buyers seemed to be holding back as the proportion of lower-priced private homes (excluding ECs) below S$1.5 million dipped to 48.5% in February 2021 from 63.4% in January 2021 and 60.9% in December 2020,” she said.

Suggested read: 19 New Launch Condos and ECs in 2021: Which to Buy?

“Some potential buyers could be putting their purchases on hold as they may be waiting for prices to fall in the event that new cooling measures were to be implemented.”

The Rest of Central Region (RCR) accounted for the bulk of new home purchases, excluding ECs, at 50.4%, followed by the Outside Central Region and Core Central Region at 40.6% and 9.0%, respectively.

The Reef at King’s Dock emerged as the best-selling project in February. It is followed by Parc Central Residences, Normanton Park, Treasure at Tampines and Midwood.

Looking ahead, Tay expects developer sales in March to pick up on expectation of new launches such as Irwell Hill Residences and Midtown Modern in the later half of the month.

Sun expects market watchers and investors to “continue to keep a close eye on the roll-out of vaccination programs and the possibility of new property curbs”.

“The historic $1.9 trillion stimulus boost to the US economy will unleash a fresh wave of liquidity that will help lift global economies and likely benefit real estate markets worldwide, including Singapore where a few luxury condominiums are slated to be launched this year,” she added.

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