New home sales more than double in May with 1,356 units sold

By Atiqah Mokhtar / EdgeProp Singapore | June 15, 2022 5:13 PM SGT
Piccadilly Grand was the best-selling project in May (Picture: Samuel Isaac Chua/The Edge Singapore)
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SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - Property developers sold 1,356 private residential units (excluding executive condominiums or ECs) in May, a 105.5% m-o-m surge from April’s 660 units, according to data released by URA. On a y-o-y basis, it is a 51.5% hike from 895 units sold in May of last year. Including ECs, new home sales clocked in at 1,376 units, a 62.6% m-o-m jump from 846 units in April.
Last month’s sales excluding ECs were the highest May sales since 2014 when 1,488 homes were sold, says OrangeTee & Tie’s senior vice president of research and analytics Christine Sun. It also marks the highest monthly volumes since November last year, and signals a return by buyers to the market after property cooling measures were implemented last December, she adds.
The higher sales in May were supported by a higher number of launches, with a total of 1,240 new private homes put on the market across four new projects — Piccadilly Grand, Liv@MB, Atlassia and Baywind Residences. This is more than three times the number of units released in April, says ERA Realty’s head of research and consultancy Nicholas Mak.
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Table 1: Residential projects launched in May 2022

Residential projects launched in May 2022 - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
Two of the new launches — the 407-unit Piccadilly Grand in Farrer Park and the 298-unit Liv@MB, which is located in the Mountbatten Road area — saw especially brisk take-up. Lee Sze Teck, senior director of research at Huttons Group notes that the two projects, both located in the rest of central region (RCR) made up over 40% of total sales during the month.
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Piccadilly Grand, the first joint project by City Developments and MCL Land, saw 318 units (78%) sold in May, making it the top-performing project of the month. Units were sold at a median price of about $2,175 psf. Meanwhile, Bukit Sembawang Estates’s Liv@MB was the second best-selling project, moving 236 units (79%) at a median price of $2,405 psf.
top 10 selling projects - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
The successful launches of the two projects are “very encouraging”, says Wong Siew Ying, head of research and content at PropNex Realty, suggesting that demand and liquidity are still intact amid global economic headwinds. “The supply crunch and absence of new launches in the OCR (outside central region) mass market could also have channelled some buyers into the RCR segment, boosting sales in the two projects,” adds Wong.

RCR dominates sales

The strong performance at Piccadilly Grand and Liv@MB resulted in the RCR dominating sales in May. A total of 893 units were sold in the region, up 207% m-o-m and accounting for 66% of overall sales. New home sales in the OCR also rose in May with 247 units sold, up 53% m-o-m. Meanwhile, sales in the core central region (CCR) came in at 216 units, rising 4.3% m-o-m.
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Median prices of new sales across all regions have continued to rise, says Wong Xian Yang, head of research, Singapore at Cushman & Wakefield. On a year-to-date basis, prices in the RCR have grown the most to $2,197 psf, up 12% from 2021, followed by the OCR at $1,702 psf (+5.4%) and the CCR at $2,761 psf (+3.9%).
“The increase in prices could be attributed to resilient buying demand and the launches of projects with strong locational attributes which can command higher prices,” he says. Heightened construction costs and low unsold inventories have also prompted developers to hold firm to their asking prices.
The OCR, in particular, saw several higher-priced transactions. A monthly record of 22 units in the OCR transacted at above $2,200 psf, observes OrangeTee & Tie’s Sun. 10 of units, all from freehold projects The Gazania and The Lilium, breached $2,400 psf
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Higher number of purchases by foreigners

May saw a higher number of purchases of new homes by foreigners, with Huttons’s Lee estimating a total of 84 units sold to non-Singaporeans (i.e. buyers who are not Singapore citizens or Permanent Residents), up from 53 units in April and representing 6.2% of total sales new home sales excluding ECs in May.
The increase in purchases by foreigners comes despite the higher Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) applicable to them. "This illustrates the diminishing effectiveness of the cooling measures if the government continues to use the same methods of raising ABSD and reducing the LTV ratio to cool the property market,” says ERA’s Mak.
The jump in foreign transactions came from the reported sale of 20 units at CanningHill Piers, located in the CCR, to a Chinese national for $87.57 million. Ten of the units were sold at more than $5 million each, says Mak, while the other ten units were sold at between $3.1 million and $3.4 million each.
Knight Frank Singapore’s head of research Leonard Tay observes that the return of foreign buyers is also helping to sustain performance in the CCR, which saw a consecutive month of sales above the 200-unit mark despite a lack of launches in the region. “It is no coincidence that high net worth individuals from around Asia are now looking towards Singapore for private home investment opportunities, especially for luxury properties in prime areas as characterised by the CCR,” he adds.

Outlook

Sales are expected to remain healthy in the coming months, bolstered by positive sentiment coming off of Piccadilly Grand and Liv@MB’s strong performance, says CBRE head of research for South-east Asia Tricia Song. “Highly-anticipated launches in the months ahead include mass-market projects AMO Residences (372 units) at Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1 and Lentor Modern (605 units) at Lentor Central, which are expected to see steady interest from upgraders and first-time homebuyers, who are largely unaffected by the recent round of cooling measures,” she adds. The projects are expected to launch in 3Q2022.
However, Huttons' Lee is expecting a quiet month in June, as no major launches are planned. "With depleting unsold units, sales may go below 600 units," he comments.
Meanwhile, a rotation in demand from the RCR to the OCR could be on the cards in the coming months given the share price increase in the RCR, says Colliers Singapore head of research Catherine He. The upcoming launches of OCR projects Sceneca Residence (268 units), Lentor Modern and AMO Residence are also expected to divert demand to the region.
Despite the resilient market, He is projecting new home sales in 2022 to moderate by 30% to 40% to around 8,000 units, due to macroeconomic uncertainties and rising interest rates, which may deter likely buyers. “The steep hike in borrowing rates may also price some upgraders out of the market in terms of their mortgage eligibility,” she says.

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