Updated, Jan 18, 2018, 5:12 p.m., to reflect changes as published in EdgeProp Pullout, Issue 814 (Jan 22, 2018).

 

For the whole of 2017, developers sold a total of 10,682 private homes, according to various analysts and URA data released on Jan 15. This marks a 34% increase from the 7,972 units sold in 2016. According to Tricia Song, Colliers International head of research for Singapore, the new-home sales achieved last year were the highest since 2013.

In the traditionally slow month of December, the school holidays and year-end festive season, only 231 new units were released for sale compared with 450 units in November, says Nicholas Mak, executive director at ZACD Group. Meanwhile, newhome sales last month rang in at 431 units, a 45% drop m-o-m compared with the 788 units sold in November.

The take-up rate in December, which is almost double the number of units launched for sale (187%), has led to “faster clearance of developers’ inventory of launched and unsold units”, adds Mak. This explains why developers’ inventory of launched and unsold uncompleted private housing units (excluding executive condominiums) decreased further from 2,190 units in November to 2,073 units in December, notes Mak.

 

Visitors at GEM Residences' show gallery

Malaysian property developer Gamuda Land and its partners, Evia Real Estate and Maxdin, moved 21 units at GEM Residences in December at a median price of $1,501 psf (Credit: GEM Residences)

 

EL Development’s Symphony Suites in Yishun and Parc Riviera topped new-home sales in December (see Table 1). At Symphony Suites, 50 units were sold at a median price of $1,027 psf, while Parc Riviera saw 44 units snapped up at a median price of $1,223 psf. Both projects were launched earlier — Symphony Suites in February 2015 and Parc Riviera in November 2016. Sing Holdings and Wee Hur Holdings’ Parc Botannia in Sengkang ranked third for the month of December; the developer moved 32 units at a median price of $1,283 psf.

In fourth place was Hao Yuan Investment’s Queens Peak, with 24 units sold in December 2017 at a median price of $1,679 psf. Meanwhile, Malaysian property developer Gamuda Land and its partners, Singaporean fund and property management firm Evia Real Estate and Singapore engineering and construction firm United Engineers, moved 21 units at GEM Residences at a median price of $1,501 psf. GEM Residences ranked fifth in terms of sales volume for December 2017.

“Developers might be holding back property launches in anticipation of a further increase in prices this year,” says Christine Li, Cushman & Wakefield’s head of research for Singapore. According to her, expected launches in 1H2018 include Low Keng Huat’s 99-year leasehold, mixed-use development on Perumal Road at Farrer Park; MCL Land’s 99-year leasehold, 275-unit residential development on Margaret Drive; and City Developments’ 124-unit New Futura, a freehold condo on Leonie Hill Road, where private preview by invitation only will be held on Jan 18.

“We would be watchful of such key new project launches as well as the close of tender of four Government Land Sales sites on Jan 30,” says Louis Chua, equity research analyst at Credit Suisse. They would be used as a gauge for signs of a continued rise in sentiment among developers and buyers, he adds.

For the whole of 2017, units in the suburbs, or Outside Central Region (OCR), accounted for 58% of total developer sales, while the cityfringe areas known as Rest of Central Region (RCR) made up 33%. The prime districts, or Core Central Region (CCR), made up just 8% of total developer sales, according to Credit Suisse (see Table 2).

However, it was the CCR that saw the strongest y-o-y growth in sales volume, with developers selling 67% more units in 2017 compared with 2016. Sales volume in RCR and OCR rose 34% and 4% y-o-y respectively.

 

Table 1: Private projects with most units sold in Dec 2017

Number of private residential units sold by region in Dec 2017

(Tables Credit: Credit Suisse, URA)