New private home sales fall 68.4% in October amid lack of major launches
This is the lowest monthly sales since Apr 2020, when only 277 units were sold.
SINGAPORE: New private home sales fell 68.4 per cent in October to a more than two-year low due to a lack of major launches.
Excluding executive condominiums (ECs), developers sold 312 units last month, down from 987 units in September, according to figures released on Tuesday (Nov 15) by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).
This is the lowest monthly sales since April 2020, when the COVID-19 "circuit breaker" was implemented. A total of 277 units were sold that month.
The Government introduced a new set of cooling measures on Sep 30 to try and moderate demand amid rising home prices.
Mr Lam Chern Woon, head of research and consulting at Edmund Tie, said the low number of sales was likely due to a dearth of new major project launches in October in the immediate aftermath of the cooling measures. A total of 102 units were launched in October, compared with 913 units in the preceding month.
"In anticipation of a kneejerk reaction to the latest cooling measures from the market, developers refrained from launching new units, while giving the market ample space to digest the new measures," said Mr Lam.
Mr Lee Sze Teck, Huttons Asia's senior director for research, said the "critically low" unsold stock in the market and a lack of major launches last month were two key reasons behind the low sales.
"This limited the choices for buyers and capped the monthly sales. Buyers are not so concerned over the high interest rates as the drawdown on loans for new homes is on a progressive basis," he added.
Most of the units sold in October were in the Core Central Region (CCR), where 171 units were sold. A total of 81 units sold were in the Rest of the Central Region (RCR) while 60 units in the Outside Central Region (OCR) were transacted.
The proportion of sales in the CCR hit a high of 54.8 per cent in October, surpassing the previous peak of 50.5 per cent in August, said Mr Lee.
As the CCR tends to attract more purchases by foreigners, the proportion of foreign buyers in October rose to 11.7 per cent, up from 4.5 per cent in September, he added.
Mr Lee said there might not be a major launch in November and December.
"As the end of the year approaches, most buyers are busy preparing for an overseas holiday," he said, adding that the depleting unsold stock also limits choices for buyers.
He expected sales in November and December to be similar to October.
Mr Lam said post cooling measures, overall price growth is expected to stay positive but moderate.
"We expect about 9 per cent price growth for the whole of this year, compared with 10.6 per cent last year," he added.