Singapore

New home sales up in January amid global economic uncertainty

Sales driven by competitive prices, spurt of buying by foreigners in prime, core central region, analysts say

New home sales held their own last month amid the volatile global economic climate and the coronavirus outbreak in the latter part of the month.

Developers sold 618 private homes - up 14.9 per cent from the 538 moved in December and 41 per cent ahead of the 437 units sold in January last year.

This made it the best performing January sales in seven years, Urban Redevelopment Authority data showed yesterday. The figures exclude executive condominiums (ECs).

Last month's sales were driven by competitively-priced existing projects and a spurt of buying by foreigners in the prime or core central region, analysts say.

There were 598 units released, up 61.6 per cent on the 370 in December, with three new high-end projects - Leedon Green, The Avenir and Van Holland - all launched in the prime district. Sales in this zone accounted for 21.5 per cent of all transactions - the highest level since January last year.

The three new launches saw a total of 74 units sold last month, said Ms Christine Sun, head of research and consultancy at OrangeTee & Tie.

Demand stayed resilient for earlier launches, driven by affordable pricing. Projects in the city fringes or rest of central region accounted for 41.9 per cent of the total sales (excluding ECs), followed by the suburban areas or outside central region at 36.6 per cent, she added.

BEST SELLERS

The top five best-selling projects were Jadescape, Treasure At Tampines, Parc Esta, Parc Botannia and Parc Clematis.

Jadescape in Shunfu Road, launched in September 2018, was the standout, with 56 units sold at a median price of $1,690 psf. The second best-seller was Treasure At Tampines, which sold 50 units at a median price of $1,371 psf.

Developers moved 638 units last month including ECs, up 15.8 per cent from December and 45.7 per cent higher than in January last year.

Whether this sales momentum can be sustained will depend on whether there is a crisis of confidence in the market due to the economic damage from the virus outbreak, said Ms Tricia Song, head of research for Singapore, Colliers International.

If the outbreak continues, some of this year's planned launches could be pushed to next year, Ms Song added.

But home buyers seem to have shrugged off virus fears for now. Realis data shows 146 new transactions recorded in the first nine days of this month, excluding ECs.

Wing Tai Asia's 522-unit The M condominium reportedly drew 1,000 visitors at its preview on Saturday.

ECs also pulled their weight, with Parc Canberra selling 64 per cent or 316 out of 496 apartments, while the 548-unit OLA at Anchorvale will launch by the end of the month.

January's sales figures also show that underlying demand is healthy, with analysts expecting pent-up demand to boost transactions in the second half of the year if the virus threat abates.

Property