New launches drive sales of new homes to 15-month high

Sales of new private homes hit a 15-month high in October, thanks to strong demand for units at newly launched projects.

Developers sold 1,252 units last month, more than double the 509 transacted in September, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said yesterday.

It was the highest monthly sales since July last year, when 1,655 units were sold. The surge in sales – up 128 per cent from last October – came despite property-cooling measures and a weaker economic outlook.

PropNex Realty chief executive Ismail Gafoor noted: “The combination of more new units launched for sale and reasonable prices in the increasingly price-sensitive market drew bargain-hunting home buyers back to the showflats.”

Brisk sales at two new projects launched during the month – City Developments’ Forest Woods in Serangoon Central and MCC Land’s The Alps Residences in Tampines – accounted for 55.7 per cent of sales.

Forest Woods was the top-selling project last month, with 364 units sold at a median price of $1,412 per square foot (psf). The Alps Residences was next, with buyers snapping up 334 units at a median price of $1,078 psf.

Mr Desmond Sim, CBRE Research head for Singapore and South-east Asia, said: “Buyers have been motivated by value buys in terms of competitive pricing and palatable quantums, as smaller units seem to be gaining the most traction.”

Forest Woods sold 237 one-bedders with study, and various two-bedroom apartments last month; The Alps Residences moved about 280 one- and two-bedders.

Finance manager Eunice Ang bought a 517 sq ft one-bedroom plus study unit at Forest Woods for $721,000.

“This location is good and I think it is value for money,” she said.

Savills Singapore research head Alan Cheong told The Straits Times that shoebox apartments remain attractive to investors as they still generate a “decent” average yield of 3.3 per cent to 3.5 per cent in the city fringe and suburban areas.

He said: “We are seeing those who had held back their purchase return to the market because prices haven’t dropped sharply… and perhaps some investors have lost faith in other financial products and have turned to property.”

The URA said 58 new private homes were sold in the core central region, 151 units in the city fringe and 1,043 units in the suburbs.

Apart from Forest Woods and The Alps Residences, demand for units at previously launched projects also improved, with Stars of Kovan, The Trilinq and Kingsford Waterbay all selling 30 units each.

Said JLL national director of research and consultancy Ong Teck Hui: “Stability in sales volume would eventually lead to stability in prices and pave the way for a recovery in the market.”

There were 288 new executive condominium (EC) units sold last month, higher than the 260 transacted in September, taking total sales of new homes to 1,540 for the month.

Developers launched 1,467 new units for sale last month, up from 479 in September. No new ECs were launched in either month.

Analysts say new home sales will likely be robust this month as well, buoyed by two new projects: Queens Peak in Queenstown and Parc Riviera in West Coast Vale.