Executive Condo Transactions Hit Highest Level in May This Year

SINGAPORE — Executive Condo and luxury segments transactions rose to their highest level last month this year though sales of new private homes nearly halved from the previous month as no major new projects were put on the market. Upcoming executive condo includes The Brownstone EC at Canberra Link and Signature At Yishun EC at Yishun St 51.

Developers sold 638 homes in May, down 45 per cent from 1,167 in April, data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority showed today (June 15). Property analysts said this was not surprising as the monthly data showed a 64 per cent fall in the number of units launched last month from the previous month, to 499 homes.

“When there are no new projects being launched, buying activity typically slows down. I personally think it is not bad to have more than 600 units sold this time in the absence of major new launches. Buyers are still price-sensitive, but we have seen developers offering discounts, enticing agents to bring in more sales for better commissions so the strategy probably worked,” said Mr Chris Koh, director of property firm Chris International.

The two best-selling projects in April continued to top the chart last month. Botanique at Bartley in Upper Paya Lebar Road came in first after 94 more units were sold at a median price of S$1,292 per square foot (psf), bringing its total sales to 345 units. North Park Residences in Yishun Central followed with 59 units sold at a median price of S$1,397 psf. Its total sales now stand at 538 units.

The two projects helped the Outside Central Region (OCR), or suburbs, maintain its dominant market share, with 469 homes sold last month. This was followed by the 100 transactions in the Rest of Central Region (RCR), or city fringes. Meanwhile, the Core Central Region (CCR), or city centre, registered its highest sales of the year with developers offloading 69 units in the affluent neighbourhoods.

Analysts said the pick-up in activity in the high-end segment was largely due to the substantial savings CCR home buyers now enjoy after prices fell as a result of cooling measures and property loan curbs such as the Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty and Total Debt Servicing Ratio framework.

Marina One Residences in Marina Way, which registered 10 sales in the first three months of this year and none in April, saw 12 units sold last month at a median price of S$2,391 psf. Sophia Hills at Mount Sophia and Leedon Residence at Leedon Heights each sold seven units at median prices of S$1,908 psf and S$1,890 psf, respectively.

However, Dr Chua Yang Liang, JLL’s head of research and consultancy said property measures and the impending rise in interest rates will continue to keep buyers cautious.

“Although recent preliminary data suggests that some segments of the housing market are experiencing an increase in activity, this is to be expected. The price correction so far has incentivised some buyers to come back into the market, especially given Singapore’s strategic position and role within ASEAN and Asia-Pacific. However, this doesn’t signal a market recovery,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Executive Condominiums segment also recorded its best performance this year after sales jumped 64 per cent to 207 units last month. The increase was due to the month’s sole new project launch — Westwood Residences executive condo in Westwood Avenue, where 118 out of 480 units were sold at a median S$803 psf.

Analysts said that the sales of new private homes would continue to be driven by new launches with attractive attributes and reasonable pricing. In the absence of any major project launches this month and during the school holidays, overall sales would likely be lower than last month’s, they added.

“Primary developers’ sales of above 1,000 units, within any given month, is likely to be an exception rather than the norm,” said Ms Chia Siew Chuin, director of research and advisory at real estate firm Colliers International, who expects this month’s new home sales to be at around 500 units.

Mr Nicholas Mak, executive director for research and consultancy at property firm SLP, said the number of launches is also set to fall for the rest of the year given that the Government has scaled back land supply in its land sales programme.

He expects new private-home sales to range between 6,500 and 9,000 units for the whole of this year.