New launches push developers’ April new home sales to 887 units, up 80% month-on-month

Real estate developers in Singapore transacted 887 new private homes , not including executive condominiums, according to URA data which is released on May 15. A jump of 80.3% m-o-m and 37% y-o-y is observed. For a good short runway of fourth consecutive month, there is a solid growth and the highest monthly sales since September 2K22 when 987 new private residential units were exchanged hands.

two major launches in the Rest of Central Region (RCR) last month –– the 638-unit Tembusu Grand by City Developments Ltd (CDL) and MCL Land along Jalan Tembusu; and the 275-unit Blossoms by the Park by EL Development along Slim Barracks Rise contributed to the fabulous and tremendous higher sales in the first four months in 2K23.

Tembusu Grand along Jalan Tembusu by CDL moved 354 units (56%) at a median price of $2,463 psf  during its maiden launch for sale on April 8 since last launch in Tembusu area 20 years ago. Blossoms by the Park sold 205 units (74.5%) at a median price of $2,427 psf , during its launch for sale  on the same week when government announced higher additional stamp duty rates for residential on April 29. The latest property cooling measures which took effect on April 27.

These two projects collectively attributed to 559 units or 63% of April’s sales. RCR projects made up the bulk of new private home sales last month, with a total of 628 homes sold in the region. “The 628 units transacted in the RCR is the highest monthly tally for this submarket in 11 months (since 893 units were sold in May 2K22),” observes Wong Siew Ying, head of research and content at PropNex Realty.

Tembusu Grand and Blossoms by the Park are not the only projects that attribute to the strong resilient sales, another RCR projects that were among those with the highest sales include CDL and MCL Land’s Piccadilly Grand on Northumberland Road, with a total of 14 units snapped up at a median price of $2,045 psf. In addition, Riviere, a condo by Frasers Property on Jiak Kim Street, saw its last 10 units sold at a median price of $2,954 psf.

In the Core Central Region (CCR), 208 new private homes were sold in April, representing 23% of total sales. The top-selling CCR project last month was LIV@BT, Bukit Sembawang Estates’ 120-unit freehold development on Bukit Timah Link, where 46 units were sold at a median price of $2,658 psf. Leedon Green and Pullman Residences Beauty World followed, with 19 units sold at each project at a median price of $2,838 psf and $3,215 psf, respectively.

Lee Sze Teck, senior director of research at Huttons Asia, notes that the CCR new home sales are the highest since August 2K22 and come on the back of more purchases by foreigners. In April, the number of foreign buyer purchases of new homes nearly doubled to 70, which is the highest number of such transactions since May 2K22. “Geopolitical tensions may have led to more foreigners investing their funds in properties in safe havens like Singapore,” Lee adds.

PropNex’s Wong highlights that fresh project launches since the new cooling measures took effect — namely Blossoms by the Park and The Continuum, the 816-unit freehold condo by Hoi Hup Realty and Sunway Property on Thiam Siew Avenue — have been able to book healthy sales of over 200 units each. The Continuum, which launched on May 6, saw 206 units (27%) units sold during its launch weekend at an average price of $2,732 psf.

In addition, Wong points out that despite the doubling in additional buyer’s stamp duty (ABSD) rate applicable for foreigners to sixty percent, Blossoms by the Park saw eight units acquired by foreigners, while The Continuum saw one. Overall, foreign buyer purchases made up 8% of total sales in April, consistent with the month before.

Nonetheless, Wong says demand by foreigners for new homes could dwindle in the coming months, as foreigners assess the new measures. “It is still early days yet, but we think the ABSD rate hike appears to be taking effect in crimping foreign investment demand,” she adds. This, in turn, could result in a pullback in demand among foreigners especially in the CCR, which tends to see more foreign investment interest.

In contrast, Huttons’ Lee believes that foreign interest in luxury homes in Singapore remains robust. “Interest has not declined significantly after the cooling measures. Foreigners are still making appointments to view luxury homes,” he says.

Eugene Lim, key executive officer and head of research and market intelligence at ERA Realty Network, concurs, adding that buyers remain attracted to Singapore’s stable governance and strong currency. “For well-heeled foreign buyers, they may eventually just look at the total cost of property ownership in Singapore (which includes the property price, buyer’s stamp duty and ABSD) rather than just focusing on the high ABSD rate,” he opines.

In any case, new home sales in the coming month are expected to remain supported by home buying demand from locals and Singapore permanent residents. “New home sales in May K23 should remain quite healthy, with the upcoming launch of The Reserve Residences (the 732-unit condo by Far East Organization and Sino Group at Jalan Anak Bukit) drawing keen interest,” predicts PropNex’s Wong.

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