SINGAPORE: Sales of new private homes rose by 20.7 per cent in March, rebounding from a sharp decline in the previous month.
Excluding executive condominiums (ECs), developers sold 654 units last month, up from 542 in February according to data released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Monday (Apr 18).
Most of these were in the Rest of Central Region (RCR), where 320 units were sold. There were 181 units sold for Outside Central Region (OCR), and in the Core Central Region (CCR), 153 units were sold.
Ms Christine Sun, senior vice president of research and analytics at OrangeTee & Tie, said that the private residential market showed some signs of recovery as developers sold more homes last month.
“Sales picked up after the Chinese New Year lull and the easing of safe management measures (SMM),” said Ms Sun.
“More people can visit show flats while viewing restrictions are further relaxed after the changes. As a result, the number of deals rose with the higher visitor traffic.”
Singapore relaxed domestic COVID-19 curbs on Mar 29, with groups sizes at show galleries expanded to 10 people.
Sales in the CCR rose by 39 per cent from the previous month, pushing up the proportion of sales S$2 million and above to 44.9 per cent in March, said Huttons Asia's senior director for research Lee Sze Teck.
On a year-on-year basis, new sales excluding ECs declined by 49.5 per cent from the 1,296 units sold in March last year.
Developers launched 309 units in March - an increase from the 195 units launched the month before.
A total of 60 units were launched in the OCR, followed by 95 in the RCR and 154 units in the CCR.
There were no major project launches - above 200 units - last month, noted Ms Sun.
She added that existing projects continued to pare down their unsold stock as buyers streamed back to the market.
The Federal Reserve made its first interest rate hike since 2018 to address the worst inflation that the US has seen in 40 years.
The upward adjustment of mortgage rates appears to be spurring more buyers to return to the market, said Ms Sun.
“Some on-the-fence buyers plan to lock in home loans before they climb higher, as a steep hike in borrowing rates may price some upgraders out of the market.”