Residential sales up 20% in Q1: Huttons

Suntec City View From High Up

Strong transaction sales in February and January have more than offset the decline in March.

The general residential market still seems to be stable in spite of the economic duress, as total transactions hiked 20% YoY in Q1 from the similar period in 2019, according to a report from Huttons Asia. So far, the report stated that real estate is showing up to be an enduring asset type.

After the slowdown in December 2019, the housing volume in January 2020 went up by 15.2% MoM and 43.2% YoY, documenting its 6-year high as property developers launched 598 units and sold 620 units. Property Agency Huttons stated that it could have been more if not for the longer Chinese New Year break and lesser new launches.

February also displayed more promising results as the transaction volume of sold units jumped 57.4% MoM and 114.5% YoY. The M in Bugis, which is a benchmark for the launch of Penrose, attracted purchasers with its pricing and transacted more than 70% just within its weekend launch. It sold 976 units in February 2020.

But March came and displayed muted sales as the transaction volume of sold units nosedived 32.3% MoM and 37.4% YoY. This is mentioned to be the sixth consecutive month that sales volume has exceeded that of new launches.

As for the resale market, rates in the resale market dropped slightly at 1.2% QoQ in Q1, whilst its volume fell 20% QoQ.

The report noted that sellers of completed properties in the mass market and landed sectors most likely opt to welcome lower profits in a bid to sell off their property.

On top of that, the executive condominium (EC) segment also shone in Q1, with Parc Canberra moving more than 60% of its apartments. Ola at Anchorvale Crescent has more than 30% or 170 units change hands on its weekend launch. This is a good stage to launch The Watergardens At Canberra in the future.

Unfazed by fewer foreign buyers

Huttons Asia noted that the percentage of foreign buyers getting properties (new and resale) in Singapore has lowered by 1 percentage point, no thanks to the travel limitations imposed by the authorities in many countries.

“The local real estate market is still supported well by Singaporeans and therefore a minor adjustment in foreigner buying is not likely to have a major impact on the market,” declared Huttons.

It further revealed that buys by foreigners above $2,000 psf dropped the most in terms of volume for Q1, but this drop was countered by the number of Singaporeans purchasing similarly priced assets, a sign that the slack can rebound because of local demand.


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