In February, new private home sales in Singapore dropped 60.5 percent due to fewer launches.

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SINGAPORE: Following January’s strong numbers, sales of new private homes dropped by around 60.5 percent in February, as developers held off on new home launches during the Chinese New Year season.

According to data released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Monday, developers sold 645 units last month, compared to 1,632 units in January, except executive condominiums (Mar 15).

Last month, only 167 units were issued, compared to about 2,600 in January.

New home sales were led by the Rest of Central Region (RCR), which sold 325 units, followed by the Outside Central Region (OCR), which sold 262 units, and the Core Central Region (CCR), which sold 58 units.

In contrast to the same month last year, when 976 new private homes were sold, February’s sales were down 33.9 percent.

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“Over the Chinese New Year season, the property market became more cautious last month as developers delayed launches and sales slowed,” said Christine Sun, senior vice president of research and analytics at OrangeTee & Tie.

People may be wary of possible property curbs, she said.

“Both consumers and developers took heed of the government’s advice to exercise greater prudence in light of the current macroeconomic uncertainties,” said Ms Sun.

“Developers and home buyers were told to be wary of the euphoria in the property market and were warned that the government may step in if the market overheats.”

According to PropNex CEO Ismail Gafoor, another explanation for the slow sales is that many of the mega projects have steadily reduced their unsold stock.

“We do not think that February’s sharp decline in new home sales is in any way an indication that the primary market is losing steam,” he said. “But rather, it illustrates the fact that the presence of fresh launches has played an instrumental role in stimulating demand and boosting sales in the past months.”

According to Huttons Asia research director Lee Sze Teck, developer sales in February were on par with a year earlier.Demand for homes is still healthy in the market,” he said, adding that sales in March are expected to be higher with the launch of new developments The Atelier and Midtown Modern.

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