New private home sales see best September sales in 7 years

New private home sales see best September sales in 7 years

New private home sales came in strong in September, hitting the highest in 14 months since property cooling measures were implemented last July. Kelly Wong reports.

SINGAPORE: Sales of private homes by developers in Singapore rose 36.3 per cent year-on-year in September, official data showed on Tuesday (Oct 15).

Data compiled by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) showed developers sold 1,270 units last month, excluding executive condominiums, compared with the 932 units sold in the same month a year earlier.

This is the largest number of new homes sold in the month of September in the last seven years, since 2,621 new units were sold in September 2012. 

September 2019 private homes sales chart

Sales also rose from the revised 1,123 units sold in August. Including ECs, a total of 1,298 new homes were sold in September.

Taken with the previous two months, the third quarter of 2019 also saw the highest quarterly sales volume of private homes in about six years, said analysts.

"In 3Q19, some 3,572 private residential units were sold by developers," said Senior Director of Research & Consultancy at JLL Ong Teck Hui. 

"This is about 19 per cent higher than in 3Q18 and the highest quarterly sales volume of private homes since 2Q13 when the TDSR (total debt service ratio) was imposed."

The introduction of the TDSR, which in effect curtailed the amount people could borrow to buy a property, saw the private property price index dip by 3.5 per cent in 2014.

"Market momentum has certainly picked up and suggests that going forward, sales could remain healthy despite the economic slowdown," added Mr Ong.

Flash estimates released by URA earlier this month showed the private residential property index increasing 0.9 per cent in the third quarter of 2019 compared to the 1.5 per cent increase in the previous quarter.

READ: Singapore private home prices climb 0.9% in Q3

URA will release its full set of real estate statistics for the third quarter of the year on Oct 25.

SALES LARGELY DRIVEN BY RESIDENTS

Last month's sales were largely driven by locals, with Singaporeans and Singapore permanent residents (PRs) accounting for almost 95 per cent of the new sales volume (for landed and non-landed units, excluding ECs), said an OrangeTee analyst.

The number of Singaporean purchases rose 29.3 per cent to 1,078 units in September from 834 units in August, the highest number of new homes purchased by Singaporeans since July last year, said OrangeTee and Tie head of research and consultancy Christine Sun, citing URA Realis data.

Similarly, the number of new homes bought by PRs rose 33.3 per cent month-on-month to 120 units in September, she added.

"September’s sales performance has exceeded market expectations given the backdrop of continued global uncertainty and ongoing trade tensions," said Ms Sun. "The strong local support indicates that many Singaporeans remain confident about the long-term prospects of private properties here."

Five new projects - Avenue South Residences, Meyer Mansion, The Antares, Uptown@Farrer and Cuscaden Reserve - were launched in September.

Avenue South Residences alone sold 361 units or 28.4 per cent of the total monthly sales excluding ECs, according to JLL's Mr Ong.

The healthy sales volume is "riding on the hype" of the future development of the Greater Southern Waterfront announced during the National Day Rally in August, said Ms Tricia Song, Colliers International's head of research for Singapore.

Going forward, property analyst Ong Kah Seng said developers are expected to continue to release "choice units to attract buyers" for the rest of the year.

"Going into (the) remaining months of 2019 and 2020, developer sales activity is expected to be healthy and moderate at some monthly seasonal lulls, but buyers' interest will be selective on the unique selling points of the project," he said. 

"Sales in H2 2019 and 2020 will be driven by (the) project's uniqueness, exceptional value propositions and attractive pricing."

Source: CNA/nc(hm)

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