Low private homes sales recorded for April 2018 due to slow pick-up in launches

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The month of April saw low private homes sales due to slow pick-up in launches. Last month, developers sold 729 private residential units, just 1.2 per cent marginally higher than March and less than half of the 1,567 units sold in April last year. The tally for the first four months of the year is estimated at 2,310 units, about half of the 4,529 units which developers sold for the same period in 2017.

The low private homes sales was marked by 654 new private homes were launched during the month, continuing the leisurely pace of 614 units placed on the market in March and a mere 40 per cent of the 1,616 units launched last April. From January to April this year, an estimated 1,575 were launched for sale, 56 per cent less than 3,565 launched during the same period last year.

Three new private residential projects were launched in April. Cayman Residences placed all its 19 units on the market without selling any. Harbour View Gardens’ 57 units were available for sale and 52 units were taken up at a median price of $1,763 psf. The Verandah Residences launched all of its 170 units, selling 141 at a median price of $1,846 psf.

The top selling private residential projects in April were Park Place Residences at PLQ (166 units at median price of $2,060 psf), The Verandah Residences (141 units at median price of $1,846 psf), Harbour View Gardens (52 units at median price of $1,763 psf), The Tapestry (51 units at median price of $1,391 psf) and Parc Botannia (41 units at median price of $1,324 psf).

The launch of the 628 unit Rivercove Residences in April boosted new executive condominium (EC) sales to 596 units, more than eight times the 72 units sold in the previous month. Top selling EC projects in April were Rivercove Residences (512 units sold at a median price of $970 psf), Signature at Yishun (32 units sold at a median price of $781 psf) and Parc Life (31 units sold at a median price of $862 psf).

Mr. Ong Teck Hui, National Director of Research & Consultancy at JLL, commented: “Contrary to what was expected earlier, only a few new projects were launched for sale in April, contributing to the low sales figures. Typically, when the market is upbeat, there tends to be a pick-up in activity in April as seen last year when 1,616 private homes were launched and 1,567 sold. The 654 units launched and 729 units sold in April 2018 are in stark contrast to a year ago, despite the current buoyant market.

The low private homes sales was recorded amidst much publicity on the keen demand from buyers, strong take-up at launches and robust pricing, market interest is being drummed up to the benefit of projects awaiting launches.

The 3.9 per cent rise in the URA property price index in 1Q18 suggests the possibility of a good upside in prices which would encourage an unhurried stance towards launches in order to capitalise on the price increase. An examination of projects that were previously launched with unsold units shows many did not launch or launched judiciously in April notwithstanding the upbeat market.

Prices of private residential units increased 3.9 percent in 1st Quarter 2018

However, several private residential projects have already been launched for sale in May and this is expected to mitigate the low private homes sales and improve sales figures for this month.

In the absence of other new EC launches and existing EC projects at the tail end of their marketing, Rivercove Residences was able to capitalise on the lack of supply and dearth of competition to launch its 628 units and sell 512 at a median price of $970 psf, which is a record price for new ECs. With only the Sumang Walk EC project in the future launch pipeline and only one EC site scheduled to be out for tender in June, the EC market will remain under-supplied so the upward pressure on prices will continue.”

Table 1:Total island-wide (landed and non-landed excluding ECs) units sold by developers
Apr-17 Mar-18 Apr-18 m-o-m change y-o-y change
CCR 30 69 50 -28% 67%
RCR 567 110 459 317% -19%
OCR 970 537 220 -59% -77%
Island-wide 1,567 716 729 86% -53%
Take-up Rate 97% 117% 111%
Source: JLL, URA
Table 2: New launches (ex. ECs)
Locality Development name Lowest price

($ psf)

Median price

($ psf)

Highest price

($ psf)

Launched Sold Take-up rate
OCR Cayman Residences 19 0 0%
RCR Harbour View Gardens $1,673 $1,763 $1,832 57 52 91%
RCR The Verandah Residences $1,530 $1,846 $1,998 170 141 83%
Source: JLL, URA

The real estate market sentiment has been at the all-time high after showing 10 consecutive quarters of increases since the 4th quarter of 2015, and the low private homes sales numbers for April stacks up against this.

Real estate market sentiment at the all time high in Singapore

Crazy prices and weak fundamentals should keep savvy investors away from property market said the chief mortgage consultant of icompreloan.com, Paul Ho.

“I wonder howcurrent investors will recover their investment given the low rental yields, rising interest costs,” said Mr Ho.

Adding: “I got a sense that it is more a portfolio diversification play given that they feel bullish about the Singapore Property market – given that the malaise of over supply has been digested for many years. The situation is nowhere as dire. So, this is more about the confidence and the sentiments. The fundamentals of the Singapore property market remains weak.”

Mr Ho believes that value buys in the property market right now are are landed inter-terrace houses which’s per square feet price on the built-up area is usually less than $1000. And this may be the best time to buy inter-terrace houses.


If you are home-hunting, our Panel of Property agents and the mortgage consultants at icompareloan.com can help you with affordability assessment and a promotional home loan. Just email our chief mortgage consultant, Paul Ho, with your name, email and phone number at paul@icompareloan.com for a free assessment.