Sales of new private homes, including executive condominiums (ECs), climbed to a high of 12,408 units last year compared to the 9,026 and 10,199 units transacted in 2014 and 2015 respectively, with ECs accounting for 32.6 percent of the overall figure, according to PropNex Realty citing data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).
PropNex CEO Mohamed Ismail revealed that one factor behind the high transaction volume last year was the greater affordability of new projects. In fact, sales in the Core Central Region (CCR) spiked by around 67.2 percent, after developers slashed prices at some projects by 20 to 25 percent from their peak to avoid paying extension fees.
In agreement, real estate consultancy JLL said a more realistic pricing for ECs, with median prices falling by around five percent between Q1 2015 and Q4 2016, contributed to a pick-up in transaction volume. In fact, developers moved 4,018 EC units last year, up 57.6 percent from the 2,550 units transacted in 2015.
Desmond Sim, CBRE’s Research Head for Singapore and Southeast Asia, added: “Palatable quantums for both first-time owners and investors have been the key driver for healthy home sales over the past 24 months.”
Excluding ECs, private home sales rose by 9.4 percent to 8,136 units for the whole of 2016 versus the 7,440 units seen in the year before. However, the number of units sold in December slumped by 57.3 percent to 367 units versus November’s 860 units. While transactions during the Christmas month are traditionally slow due to the year-end festivities, it was 4.4 percent lower than December 2015.
“The top-selling private residential projects in December were The Santorini (26 units at a median price of $1,047 psf), Queens Peak (25 units at a median price of $1,652 psf), Parc Riviera (22 units at a median price of $1,240 psf), Riverbank @ Fernvale (17 units at a median price of $964 psf) and The Alps Residences (16 units at a median price of $1,020 psf),” noted JLL.
Meanwhile, the best-selling EC project last month was Sol Acres, with 66 units taken up at a median price of $789 psf. Other EC projects that sold fairly well include The Terrace (33 units at a median price of $790 psf), The Vales (17 units at a median price of $805 psf), Westwood Residences (17 units at a median price of $786 psf) and The Visionaire (14 units at a median price of $814 psf).
Looking ahead, Ismail predicts that developer sales for 2017 are likely to remain similar to last year, with approximately 12,000 units (including ECs) to be sold.
However, Sim reckons it will be slightly lower, given the weak economic outlook coupled with rising interest rates.