[UPDATE] March new home sales rebound by 20.7% m-o-m

By Hailey Yu
/ Edgeprop Singapore |
North Gaia showflat (Credit: Samuel Issac Chua / The Edge Singapore)
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SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - Developer sales for new private residential units (excluding executive condominiums - ECs) totalled 654 units in March according to URA. It is a 20.7% m-o-m rebound from February’s 542 units sold.
However, on a y-o-y basis, new home sales in March were 49.5% lower than the 1,296 units sold the year before, underpinned by the absence of new launches as developers continue to adopt a wait-and-see approach following the cooling measures implement last December.
Nonetheless, consultants are generally upbeat on the recovery shown in March. The data “suggests that buyers have already taken the cooling measures in their stride", says Catherine He, head of research for Colliers in Singapore. "Demand remains intact, despite there being no first-time launches," she adds.
Projects in the city fringe or Rest of Central Region (RCR) made up the bulk of private new home sales at 320 units, while the projects in the suburban areas or Outside Central Region (OCR) accounted for 181 new homes last month. The prime or Core Central Region (CCR) contributed to 153 new home sales.
The top-performing project in March was Normanton Park in the RCR, where 83 units were sold at a median price of $1,887 psf. The other top-selling projects in the RCR were One Pearl Bank and Avenue South Residence. The three projects accounted for 40% of the sales in the RCR.
Significant price growth in the RCR has resulted in greater demand for smaller units below 700 sq ft, notes Lam Chern Woon, Edmund Tie head of research and consulting. The number of units less than 700 sq ft accounted for 32% of the new homes sold in March, compared to 24% of the sales in the previous month.
The top-selling project in the OCR was The Florence Residences with 44 units sold at a median price of $1,701 psf. The second highest was Ki Residences at Brookvale, which moved 28 units at a median price of $1,976 psf last month.
In the CCR, The Avenir and Leedon Green led the way, selling 23 units each, and accounted for 40% of the sales in the top end. Median price for The Avenir was at $3,099 psf, down 1% from the preceding quarter, while Leedon Green saw a slight increase to $2,844 psf.
Projects that were launched earlier that had achieved 100% sales last month included 3 Cuscaden in the CCR, One North Eden in the RCR, and The Jovell in the OCR.

Quarterly performance

The tally for new home sales in 1Q2022 stood at 1,880 units, down 37.7% q-o-q, and a steeper 46.2% drop on a y-oy basis. The data shows that the private new home sales market has softened considerably, after the cooling measures took effect on 16 December 2021, says Ong Teck Hui, JLL senior director of research and consultancy.
The number of new private homes launched in 1Q2022 was particularly weak, the lowest since the 506 units launched in 1Q2003, notes Ong. The figure was even lower than the 706 units placed on the market in 4Q2008 during the Global Financial Crisis, he points out. "Due to the uncertain market after cooling measures were imposed in December last year, launches in 1Q2022 were withheld because demand was expected to be less forthcoming and developers needed more time to size up the market," he adds.
However, the pick-up in new launches and sales last month reflects "a slight improvement in confidence among developers and home buyers, who were able to see more clearly the impact of the cooling measures after one quarter", according to Ong.
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Despite the cooling measures, condominiums of at least $1.5 million made up 75.9% of non-landed private home (excluding ECs) transactions in 1Q2022, says Christine Sun, OrangeTee & Tie senior vice president of research & analytics. This is significantly higher than a year ago, when new homes of at least $1.5 million made up 46.2% of new home sales.
Sun reckons the higher price tags of units sold in 1Q2022 are driven by more launches in the RCR and CCR in recent months, which tend to be sold at higher prices compares to the OCR. “Prices of homes have also been creeping up over the past year, driven by a shortage of supply,” she adds.

Outlook for the coming months

Looking ahead, underlying buyer demand for private homes is expected to remain strong, as future supply from land sales remain moderate while unsold stock continues to dwindle, notes Leonard Tay, head of research at Knight Frank Singapore.
“Despite the slow start to 2022, new sale volume could reach around 8,000 to 9,000 units, as the number of units available for sale keeps paring down each passing month, and at the same time, pent up demand continues to build up during the relatively quiet 1Q2022,” he explains.
EC sales are expected to make up the bulk of new home sales in the coming months, with the launch of the 616-unit North Gaia EC at Yishun Close on April 23, given its appeal to upgraders in the vicinity, notes Colliers' He.
The launch of major projects in the RCR, such as the 407-unit Piccadilly Grand on Northumberland Road, and the 298-unit LIV@MB located near the upcoming Katong Park MRT station are also expected to lead to increased sales and higher transaction prices in the coming months.
Colliers expects new home sales in 2022 to moderate 20% to 30% to around 10,000 units, while private home prices are expected to grow by 3% to 5% for the full year.

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