New private homes see highest June sales in 6 years; more snapping up freehold condos

New private homes see highest June sales in 6 years; more snapping up freehold condos

The sale of new private homes in June was the highest for the month in six years, with more buyers snapping up freehold condominium units. Cheryl Lin and Elizabeth Neo report.

SINGAPORE: The sale of new private homes in June was the highest for the month in six years, with more buyers snapping up freehold condominium units.

Excluding executive condominiums (ECs), developers sold 821 homes in June - when sales are typically slower because of the school holidays.

This is an increase of 25.5 per cent compared with the 654 units sold in the same month last year, and is despite a decline in the number of project launches, according to data released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Monday (Jul 15).

It was also the highest June monthly sales since 2013, when 1,806 homes were sold.

READ: British billionaire James Dyson snaps up Singapore's priciest penthouse

Compared with May, however, new private home sales fell 13.8 per cent.

"Despite the implementation of the cooling measures and heightened volatility arising from the escalation of the US-China trade tension, the return of confidence points to sound fundamentals, rising affluence and ample liquidity in Singapore real estate," said Ms Christine Li, head of research for Singapore and Southeast Asia at Cushman & Wakefield.

"Investors with a long-term view are fully cognizant of the value that Singapore real estate offers, beyond the vagaries of cyclical price movements and cooling measures," she added.

READ: Commentary: Who’s buying private property after last year’s cooling measures?

FEWER CHOICES FOR BUYERS

The stronger sales come despite a dearth of new inventory for buyers to choose from. In June, developers released 670 new homes for sale, down 51.9 per cent from the 1,394 units released in May and 7.7 per cent from the 726 homes launched in June last year.

There were also only four new projects launched last month - Sky Everton, Lattice One, Seraya Residences and Sloane Residences - compared with nine in May.

"We have to bear in mind that the month of June observed school holidays and there was a lower number of newer projects launched. Hence, with a total of 821 units being sold for the month of June, this is a credible sales performance," said PropNex Realty CEO Ismail Gafoor.

READ: URA guidelines change for new condos: All you need to know

RISING NUMBER OF FREEHOLD CONDOS SOLD

One of the primary contributors to June's sales was freehold development Sky Everton, where 134 out of the 262 units launched were sold, at a median price of S$2,523 per sq ft (psf).

Trailing closely was 99-year leasehold Treasure At Tampines, which sold 70 units at a median price of S$1,320 psf.

Ms Christine Sun, head of research and consultancy at OrangeTee, noted that the market has seen a surge in the number of new freehold condos being sold.

According to URA's transaction data, 250 non-landed new freehold units were sold last month, while 316 units were transacted in May, Ms Sun pointed out.

READ: Government reduces supply of land for private housing as demand continues to slow

The previous highest number of new freehold condo sales recorded was in September 2013, when 439 units were sold.

"The uptrend is expected to continue as more freehold units will be launched in the coming months," said Ms Sun. 

"It is rare to have a good selection of premium, freehold projects being launched at choice locations. This could be a good opportunity for buyers to snag a freehold property; otherwise they may have to wait for the next collective sales cycle that is likely to take place many years down the road," she added.

Source: CNA/aj(cy)

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