SINGAPORE: Sales of private homes by developers fell 30.2 per cent in April from the previous month, following a sharp drop in the number of units launched.
Excluding executive condominiums, developers in Singapore sold 735 units last month compared to the 1,054 units sold in March, according to data released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Wednesday (May 15).
The number of units launched fell sharply by 75.5 per cent, with 444 units in April compared to the 1,812 launched the previous month.
On a year-on-year basis, home sales went up marginally by 0.3 per cent.
"ENCOURAGING" SALES AT EXISTING LAUNCHES
There were only three new launches in April - Mayfair Modern, Coastline Residences and Wilshire Residences - all mid- to small-sized projects.
Analysts noted that most transactions last month were from existing launches such as top-selling projects The Tre Ver in Potong Pasir and Parc Botannia in Sengkang.
Despite fewer new launches, observers said sales remain encouraging.
"Sales performance has been encouraging at many existing launches, given that the cooling measures are still in place and a number of projects have been launched in recent months," said Ms Christine Sun, head of research and consultancy at OrangeTee.
"Some large-sized projects have already sold more than 40 per cent of their entire development within a 12-month launch period from May 2018 to April 2019," she added, citing projects like Mayfair Gardens and The Tre Ver.
"The good sales performance across many projects indicate that buyer demand is still strong, and that projects with attributes like good locality, distinctive designs, attractive pricing and being developed by reputed developers, will continue to see healthy demand."
Sharing that sentiment, CEO of PropNex Realty Ismail Gafoor said private new home sales have "maintained resiliency".
"Buyers are foreseeing that the subsequent new project launches might not be any lower, as developers have previously committed to high land bid prices," he said. "Hence, buyers and investors are gravitating towards projects that are rightly priced."
With at least three projects launched in the first week of May and potentially more in the pipeline, Colliers International expects takeup to remain "relatively healthy" in the coming months.
Prices could also stabilise in the second half of the year.
"We estimate that overall private home prices could stabilise in the second half of 2019, and rise by 1 per cent for the full year 2019," said Ms.Tricia Song, Colliers International's head of research for Singapore.
"Supporting factors that could hold up prices in the coming quarters include - halt in interest rate increases, continued benign economic growth and en bloc beneficiaries buying replacement homes."