August new home sales plunge 64.3% m-o-m

/ EdgeProp
September 17, 2018 6:00 PM SGT
The crowd at Mayfair Gardens, which previewed over the weekend of Sept 15 (Credit: The Edge Property)
Developers sold 616 private residential units in August, a dive of 64.3% from 1,724 units sold in July, and a fall of 50.6% compared to 1,246 homes sold in August 2017, based on URA flash estimates.
Property consultants have attributed the lower sales in August to the property cooling measures - higher Additional Buyer's Stamp Duty and Loan-To-Value rates - imposed by the Singapore government that took effect on July 6. The “true effect” of the measures is reflected in sales this August as home buyers rushed to lock in their purchases on July 5 before the measures took effect, says Tricia Song, head of research for Singapore at Colliers International.
Other reasons cited were the holdback of launches during the Hungry Ghost Month (Aug 11 to Sept 9). Including ECs, 534 units were launched in August, a dip of 76.2% m-o-m.
January to August 2018 saw 6,287 private residential units sold, 25.1% down from 8,397 units sold during the same period last year.
OrangeTee & Tie observed that the increased ABSD - of up to 20% - for foreigners has impacted sales for that market segment. According to caveats lodged with URA as at Sept 17, foreigners’ share of non-landed housing fell to a low of 5.1% in August, down 7.4% y-o-y. The last low was in July 2015, when foreigners accounted for 4.2% of the market. In contrast, sales to Singaporeans have “remained resilient” post-measures, rising 8% y-o-y to 83.6% in August.
There were four new launches in August: The Tre Ver, 8 Saint Thomas, Casa Al Mare, and Mont Botanik. The Tre Ver was the top selling residential project, at 164 units sold, fetching a median price of $1,551 psf.
The top five selling private residential projects for Aug 2018 (Source: Huttons)
Colliers’ Song believes that the property cooling measures have been effective in preventing new home prices from moving upwards. “We expect on average [for] prices to hold relatively flat for the rest of the year,” she adds.
However, developers who are “flush with cash” are expected to hold on to current pricing levels to protect their profit margins, says Christine Li, senior director, head of research at Cushman & Wakefield. She adds that “fire sales are unlikely”.
Meanwhile, the pace of new home sales is expected to be “slow”, averaging 600 to 700 units per month till the end of the year, says Song.
The top three selling EC projects for Aug 2018 (Source: Huttons)
There were 23 EC units sold in August, with 14 units left as at end August. This lack of supply for ECs has lent confidence to developers in bidding for land, says Song. On 14 Sept, an EC site tender at Anchorvale Crescent drew seven bids, attracting a top bid of $318.9 million.
Song expects the next EC launch to be after June 2019.
The Jovell's public preview over the weekend of Sept 15 (Credit: The Edge Property)
In the coming months, property consultants expect several new condo launches: The Woodleigh Residences, JadeScape, Mayfair Gardens, The Jovell, Jui Residences, Kent Ridge Hill Residences, Parc Esta and Whistler Grand. Of these, three projects - Mayfair Gardens, The Jovell, and Jui Residences - held their public preview during the Sept 15 weekend. JadeScape previewed during the Sept 8 weekend.