Singapore

Defying outbreak, new home sales soar 114% in February

Defying virus outbreak, Singapore sees second strongest February sales performance in 8 years

Singapore's new home sales in February surged more than 114 per cent from a year ago, defying the coronavirus outbreak and a looming global recession.

Posting the second strongest February sales performance in eight years, developers moved 975 private homes - up 57.3 per cent from the 620 units the month before, driven by competitively priced new projects.

The latest figure is also 114 per cent higher than the 455 units developers sold in February last year.

The data excludes executive condominium (EC) units, for which there was pent-up demand, with Parc Canberra in Sembawang the only new EC launch so far this year.

Including ECs, which are a public-private housing hybrid, developers found buyers for 1,314 units last month, up 105.3 per cent from the 640 units they sold in January and 187.5 per cent more than the 457 units sold in February last year.

"While we remain cautiously optimistic about home sales, much would depend on the economic fallout from the outbreak and whether there are large-scale job losses, widespread retrenchments," said Ms Tricia Song, head of research for Singapore at Colliers International.

"Mortgage rates based on the Singapore Interbank Offered Rate, on which most home loans are priced, have come off 30-40 basis points (bps), since the first 50 bps rate cut by the Fed and should come off further."

TOP SELLERS

Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) data yesterday showed the number of units launched jumped 56 per cent to 933 in February, from 598 the previous month.

February's top sellers included new launches The M, which sold 380 of the 522-unit condo project in Bugis, and the 496-unit Parc Canberra EC, which moved 324 units.

Many buyers were drawn to The M's location near the Bugis MRT station and Suntec City.

"Price quantum continued to be a driver, with 97.9 per cent of all sales in The M below $2 million," said CBRE head of research for Singapore and South-east Asia Desmond Sim.

Other top sellers include existing projects such as Treasure at Tampines (97 units), Parc Esta (53 units), Jadescape (46 units) and Parc Botannia (40 units).

Orange Tee & Tie head of research and consultancy Christine Sun said: "The increasing volatility of the financial markets may continue to propel investors to real estate as properties are regarded as safe-haven assets."

According to URA Realis data, Singaporeans snapped up 812 non-landed homes excluding ECs last month, up from the 413 units in January and 351 units in December last year.

The number of foreign buyers also rose, to 149 last month from 116 in December last year.

Property