SINGAPORE: Private home sales in Singapore dipped 2.6 per cent in April, with one analyst saying the performance of the overall market is "healthy" despite the slight decrease.
According to data released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Monday (May 17), a total of 1,262 private residential units were sold in April 2021. This excludes executive condominiums.
The Rest of Central Region led new home sales with 507 units sold, followed by the Core Central Region with 444 units and the Outside Central Region with 311 units.
"The sales performance for the overall market is healthy despite the slight decrease in sales volume considering a higher proportion of pricier homes were sold and no mass market projects were launched," said Ms Christine Sun, Senior Vice-President of Research & Analytics at OrangeTee & Tie.
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New home sales, excluding executive condominiums, jumped more than four times in April 2021 compared to the same month in April last year, when only 277 units sold.
Analysts said the huge spike year-on-year was due to the implementation of "circuit breaker" measures in April 2020 when all showflats were closed.
"We are unlikely to revisit the low of 277 units sold during the circuit breaker in April 2020 as preliminary figures showed around 400 sold in the first two weeks of May," said Mr Mark Yip, CEO of Huttons Asia.
Ms Sun said that there was a significant increase in condominiums sold at higher prices, which indicates "stronger consumer condience and appetite for pricier homes".
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Fourteen new non-landed homes were transacted for at least S$5 million in April 2021, said Ms Sun. The priciest unit was a 470 sq m freehold apartment at 15 Holland Hill that sold for S$15.2 million or S$3,002 per sq ft (psf).
With tighter new COVID-19 measures implemented during the Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) period from May 16 to Jun 13, Ms Sun said the pace of sales and market sentiment may be affected in the short term.
However, technology infrastructure has been stepped up since the circuit breaker period in April last year, which may help mitigate impact of the new restrictions.
"The use of virtual and augmented reality have helped to digitalize the home buying experience and made online searches more seamless and accessible to buyers.
"Agents and buyers are getting more accustomed to virtual property viewings through videos and live stream," she said.
Mr Yip said the smaller group size allowed into showflats until Jun 13 will "lengthen the decision making process for buyers and further lower the transaction volume in May and June".
"Virtual tours of the showflats may help to mitigate this," he said.