SINGAPORE - Subdued sales in new residential launches in June resulted in more than 40 per cent fewer homes being sold by developers than a month ago.
Buyers took up 654 new private residential units in June, 41.7 per cent fewer than a month ago and 20.2 per cent less than a year ago, according to preliminary data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Monday (July 16).
More than half of the sales took place in the suburban area, or Outside Central Region zone, the latest figures by URA show.
Including another 52 executive condominium (EC) units sold last month, developers' total sales tally for June was 706 units - making for a 43.9 per cent decline from a month ago and a 33.6 per cent drop from June 2017.
Based on URA's June preliminary estimates, developers sold a total of 4,090 private homes and 1,046 EC units in the first half of this year. This is fewer than the 6,039 private homes and 2,026 EC units sold in the first half of 2017.
But while the month-on-month decline in developers' sales for June was in tandem with a 31.5 per cent fall in the number of new units launched in June, the year-on-year fall came in the face of a 4.6 times surge in the number of units launched in June compared with a year ago. No EC was launched in the month-ago or year-ago period.
Among the five launches last month, the Oxley-led consortium moved 107 units at Affinity at Serangoon at a median price of $1,584 per sq ft (psf) and MCL Land sold 121 units at Margaret Ville at a median $1,873 psf. Keppel Land and Wing Tai Holdings sold 64 units at The Garden Residences at a median $1,662 psf in June.
Two other smaller projects - One Draycott by Champsworth Development (unit of SDB International) and 33 Residences by Macly Group - sold one unit at $2,599 psf and six units at a median $1,629 psf in June.
Mr Desmond Sim, who heads research at CBRE for Singapore and South-east Asia, noted that sales at Affinity at Serangoon and The Garden Residences were subdued because of several reasons, including the proximity between the two projects, lack of MRT connectivity, as well as increased options available with impending new launches in the area.
"In the light of the introduction of new cooling measures which led to last-minute transactions, July sales are expected to surpass June sales and this will be the calm before the storm," he said, adding that momentum for new sales for 2018 would still ease to 8,000 to 10,000 units.
Mr Lee Sze Teck, head of research at Huttons Asia, noted that there were buyers who were holding back in June so that they could compare projects in the same district before making a decision, while the World Cup was another distraction.
Developers' July sales figures are expected to be bolstered by the flurry of last-minute sales on July 5 at Riverfront Residences, Park Colonial and Stirling Residences, where more than 1,000 units were snapped up in one night to beat the deadline for the new government cooling measures.
"Double-digit sales continued to be registered at these three projects after July 5, a testament to the adequate liquidity and fundamentally healthy demand in the market," Mr Lee said.