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Singapore's New Private Home Sales Cool in February Amidst Sparse Launches

Singapore's New Private Home Sales Cool in February Amidst Sparse Launches.

Singapore's New Private Home Sales Cool in February Amidst Sparse LaunchesFebruary's Sales Hit a Record Low Not Seen Since 2008. PHOTO: YEN MENG JIIN, BT

Singapore's new private home market experienced a lull in February, with sales dipping significantly as developers paused new launches during the Chinese New Year celebrations.

Market analysts anticipate a more telling gauge of consumer interest in March, following the anticipated roll-out of key property launches. Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) data revealed a 47% decrease in sales from January, with 149 private homes sold in February. This figure, not including executive condominiums (ECs), represents roughly a third of the 433 units sold in the same month last year and is the lowest for February since 2008, when 174 units were sold, according to Christine Sun of OrangeTee Group.

Including ECs, February saw 183 units sold, a stark contrast to the 929 units launched and 588 sold in January. Lee Sze Teck of Huttons attributes the decline primarily to the absence of significant non-landed project launches, with only 45 units introduced compared to January's 417.

The subdued sales trend aligns with previous years, notes Tricia Song of CBRE, with 2023 witnessing a 15-year low in new home sales due to various market cooling measures, economic uncertainties, and rising interest rates. Consequently, buyers are becoming increasingly discerning amidst a plethora of new launch options and price sensitivities.

Most February sales stemmed from projects launched earlier, such as the Lumina Grand EC in Bukit Batok, which topped sales charts with 16 units sold at a median price of S$1,497 psf. The Botany at Dairy Farm led non-EC sales with 15 units at S$2,018 psf.

The majority of purchases were made by locals, with a notable dip in foreign buyers, marking the lowest since the Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) was raised to 60%, as pointed out by Eugene Lim of ERA.

Sales distribution was relatively balanced across market segments, with the Outside Central Region (OCR) and Rest of Central Region (RCR) each accounting for 38.9% of sales, and the Core Central Region (CCR) comprising 22.1%.

Despite the current slowdown, market analysts predict a rebound in March with the launch of significant projects like Lentor Mansion and Lentoria in the Lentor Hills estate. The latter has already seen a positive response, selling 50 units during its launch weekend.

March's performance is expected to offer a clearer picture of market sentiment, with CBRE's Song forecasting 7,000 to 8,000 new homes sold in 2024. While this marks an improvement from 2023's figures, it remains below the five-year average. The market outlook for the second half of 2024 is cautiously optimistic, with hopes for a recovery if interest rates soften and economic conditions improve.

Adapt from The Business Times

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