SINGAPORE: Sales of new private homes in Singapore fell 23.6 per cent in August after hitting a six-month high in the previous month.
Excluding executive condominiums, developers sold 1,215 units in August compared to 1,591 units in July, according to data released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Wednesday (Sep 15).
The lower sales can be attributed to the Hungry Ghost Festival, which is traditionally a quieter period for the property market, said analysts.
They also noted that fewer units were launched in August, with 836 units up for sale.
This was down 24.3 per cent from the 1,104 units launched in July and a fall of 47.2 per cent from the 1,582 units launched in August last year.
Despite a dip in sales, the volume transacted in August is considered "relatively healthy", said PropNex Realty.
"It demonstrated the market’s resiliency in spite of the lack of new launches, the Hungry Ghost month as well as the Phase 2 Heightened Alert Restrictions from Jul 22 to Aug 18," the company added.
DEMAND FOR SUBURBAN HOMES
Suburban developments attracted the most buyers in August, with developers selling 720 units in the Outside Central Region (OCR), followed by the Rest of Central Region (RCR) with 343 units and the Core Central Region (CCR) with 152 units.
"Projects in the suburbs and city fringes continue to find favour with buyers due to their affordability and spaciousness," said Ms Christine Sun, OrangeTee & Tie's senior vice president of research and analytics.
PropNex CEO Ismail Gafoor noted that the figures show "some residual pent-up demand for suburban homes from HDB upgraders, which will continue to sustain the market till the end of the year".
The Watergardens At Canberra, one of two projects launched in August, accounted for about 22 per cent of new home sales in August, with 267 units sold out of 300 units launched, said Mr Gafoor. The rest were from previously launched projects.
"Owing to the lack of new launches, buyers continued to pick up new homes from past projects due to their attractive pricing in comparison to recent launches which have higher benchmark prices," he added.
Ms Sun noted that other best-selling projects include Normanton Park, The Florence Residences, Dairy Farm Residences and Parc Clematis.
Developers are likely to step up project launches after the Hungry Ghost month, which could help boost sales in the coming weeks, she added.
There is "firm homebuyer demand" for new projects islandwide, said Mr Leonard Tay, head of research at Knight Frank Singapore.
"In addition to the demand from HDB upgraders and the newly wealthy, homebuyers could also be starting to show urgency to secure purchases in anticipation that prices could increase further," he added.
"Ironically, it could have been the pandemic that triggered the home-buying, with individuals and families compelled into major life decisions, where in normal conditions would-be buyers might just have been happy to watch and wait, indulging in a perceived luxury of time."
Analysts expect the market to end the year on a high of about 12,000 new sales, barring new cooling measures.