Singapore Property

In April, sales of new private homes leveled off, with sales of luxury homes going up and the number of foreign buyers going up, despite measures to cool the market.

Buyers bought 653 new private homes in April, which is the same number as in March. This is according to data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) that came out on Tuesday (May 17).

But sales fell by 48.6% from a year ago, when there were 1,270 units sold.

Last month, builders put up 397 new homes, which is 28.5% more than in March, when they only put up 309. From a year ago, when there were 1,038 new units, there were 618 less this year.

In April, 186 executive condominiums (EC) were sold, up from 48 in March. This was helped by the launch of North Gaia EC in Yishun, which sold 166 of its 616 units.

Based on data from URA’s Realis, the number of luxury homes sold for at least $3 million rose in April, from 89 in March to 115.

In April, 35 units were sold for at least $5 million each. In March, only 24 units were sold for that much.

Three units in the luxury Les Maisons Nassim development on Nassim Road sold for more than $35 million each. Christine Sun, senior vice president of research and analytics at OrangeTee & Tie, said that an 8,633-square-foot unit sold for $49 million.

Last month, foreign buyers bought more than twice as many non-landed private homes (excluding executive condominiums) as they did in March (25 units). The average number of units sold each month over the past year was 40.

Most of the units that were sold to people from other countries were in the central core and on the edge of the city.

Last month, private homes on the edge of the city made up 44.3% of the total number of sales. 31.5 percent of the homes in Singapore were in the city center, and the other 24.2 percent were in the suburbs.

Ms. Sun said that the rise in luxury home sales and foreign buyers shows that investors still like Singapore real estate despite the cooling measures.

For foreigners buying any residential property, the additional buyer’s stamp duty (ABSD) is 30%.

“With the speed of our economic recovery and change to endemic (Covid-19) living, Singapore has gotten ahead of many other countries. These things have made investors more likely to put their money here for the long term “Ms Sun added.

Lifting of travel restrictions put in place to stop the spread of the coronavirus has given foreign buyers more confidence.

“However, it might be too soon to say if foreigners are buying again or if it was just a one-time thing,” he said.

He said that recent market instability, like the volatile stock markets and the volatile cryptocurrency market, has probably led foreigners to look into the Singapore real estate market.

Tricia Song, who is in charge of research for CBRE in South-East Asia, said that sales in the core central area were higher than those in the suburbs, even though property curbs had a bigger effect on the high-end market.

“This could be because there are fewer units on the mass market that haven’t been sold. Some core projects in the central region have also increased their marketing efforts by offering discounts “she said.

Wong Siew Ying, the head of research and content at PropNex Realty, said that developers’ sales were hurt by the fact that they didn’t have any big mass market launches at a time when ABSD rates and interest rates were going up.

She said, “If mortgage interest rates go up as expected, smart homebuyers might choose smaller units with more manageable prices.”

But Colliers Singapore’s head of research, Catherine He, said that the private housing market still had a healthy demand, which was helped by Housing Board upgraders and strong HDB resale prices.

“Buyers also want to lock in their mortgage rates before rates go up even more,” she said.

The property analysts said that new launches like Piccadilly Grand in Farrer Park and LIV @ MB in East Coast could boost demand in May.

Ms. Song of CBRE said that Piccadilly Grand sold 315 of its 407 units during its launch weekend in early May. This shows that people are interested in mixed-use projects and have more faith in Singapore’s economy and housing market.

She thinks prices will stay the same or go up by 3% this year.