New private property launch sales fell in April compared to the previous month, although they have increased by more than fourfold since the Covid-19 circuit breaker shut down all showflat back last year in April 2020.
Last month, about 1,262 new houses were sold, the most since 2017, although down 2.6% from March. Sales increased by 356% as compared to 2020.
According to JLL, there’s a total of 4,755 new private condo sold in the first four months of this year, substantially double the 2,426 units sold in the same time last year.
However, experts cautioned that this pace may not last, as some customers are likely to be wary after the spike in unrelated Covid-19 community cases.
Mr Ong Teck Hui, senior director of research and consulting at JLL, said, “An early control of the infections would restore trust and support sales take-up, but a protracted spread might reduce market activity.”
More house purchasers may resort to the resale market as a result of predicted building delays after an entrance restriction on long-term pass holders from India and Bangladesh, according to Ms Catherine He, director of research, Southeast Asia, CBRE.
In addition, there are no new launches scheduled for the second half of May and the whole month of June, after about 8 launches in the first 4.5 months of this year, according to Mr Mark Yip, of Huttons Asia.
The new phase two (heightened alert) limitations, which were implemented in response to an upsurge in unrelated community illnesses from May 16 to June 13, might temper the market, he warned.
“The reduction in capacity in showflat to one person per 16 sq m and two per group will extend buyers’ decision-making process and reduce transaction volumes in May and June,” he added.
According to Ms Christine Sun, OrangeTee & Tie senior vice-president, IT infrastructure has been improved after last year’s circuit breaker.
“Virtual property viewings through videos and live broadcasts are becoming increasingly common among agents and purchasers. As a result, the industry is more prepared as compared to a year ago “she said
In the meanwhile, developers offered 1,038 homes for sale in April, up from 959 units in March. They launched 62% more units than the previous year.
The data released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority yesterday do not include executive condominium (EC) units, which are a mix of public and private housing.
Last month, developers sold 1,342 new houses, down 2.3 percent from March but up 358 percent from the previous year. Last month, no new ECs were released.
Despite the drop in April sales, Ms Sun observed that a higher percentage of higher-priced residences were sold.
She said that the percentage of non-landed properties (excluding EC) that sold for more than $2,000 per square foot (psf) increased from 38.8% in February to 55.4 percent in April, showing increased consumer confidence.
The majority of April sales (excluding ECs) were at the city edge or the remainder of the central area, bolstered by One-North Eden, which sold over 85% of its units on its debut weekend.
The prime or core center area (35.2%) was followed by Irwell Hill Residences, the best seller in April, with 58 percent or 315 units sold at a median price of $2,628 per square foot. The project’s selling qualities, according to PropNex, are its closeness to the forthcoming Great World MRT station and the Orchard Road retail area.
Outside the center area, or suburbs, accounted for 24.6 percent of total sales.
In April, developers sold 80 additional apartments in the EC market, up from 77 in March. Parc Central Residences, which opened in January and sold 37 apartments at a median price of $1,169 psf, was the top EC seller.