Business

New private home sales enjoy best September in seven years

13% rise from August makes it best September for private home sales in 7 years

New private home sales enjoyed their best September in seven years, reaching heights not seen since the cooling measures were imposed in July last year.

The sales surge - 1,270 new private homes were sold, up 13 per cent from August - came as developers revved up launches after the Hungry Ghost month, with some in the city-fringe area proving catnip for buyers.

Four of five new launches last month - Avenue South Residence, Meyer Mansion, The Antares and Uptown@Farrer - were in the city fringe. Cuscaden Reserve is in prime district 10.

Nearly 60 per cent of September's sales were in the city-fringe, known in the industry as the rest of central region (RCR).

Avenue South Residence rode on the hype around the future Greater Southern Waterfront development announced in August to make top seller last month, with 361 units moved at a median price of $1,941 psf.

"But Meyer Mansion, The Antares, Uptown@Farrer and Cuscaden Reserve did not fare so well, moving between 5 and 31 units in their first month," noted Ms Tricia Song, head of research for Singapore at Colliers International.

The 1,270 new private homes bought last month was also 36 per cent more than the 932 units sold in September last year, according to Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) data yesterday. The figures exclude executive condominiums.

The last time new sales in September were higher was in 2012, when 2,621 units were sold.

September's figure brings the number of new private homes sold in the third quarter to 3,572 units - 19 per cent higher than in the third quarter last year, JLL senior director of research & consultancy Ong Teck Hui said.

Developers launched 1,714 private homes in September, up 69 per cent from 1,015 units in August, and nearly 47 per cent more than the 1,169 units in September last year.

Ms Christine Sun, head of research and consultancy at OrangeTee & Tie, noted that September's new-sales volume was driven mainly by Singaporeans and Singapore permanent residents.

"This indicates that many Singaporeans remain confident about the long-term prospects of private properties here. Many investors have reassessed their risk appetite... possibly turning to safer investment assets like real estate in Singapore," she added.

Analysts believe private new home sales will exceed 9,000 this year and beat 2018's 8,795 units.

But some maintain the market isn't overheating.

Even though the URA's flash estimate for the third quarter indicates that private home prices rose 0.9 per cent over the previous quarter, the rate of growth is decelerating, noted Mr Nicholas Mak, head of research and consultancy at ERA Realty.

This followed the 1.5 per cent quarter-on-quarter increase in the second quarter.

Property