June developer sales reflects homebuyers’ pent-up demand

The increase in June developer sales despite the absence of major new project launches may reflect buyers’ pent-up demand from the Circuit Breaker period

Data released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority on Wednesday (15 July) showed that 998 new private homes, excluding Executive Condominiums (EC), were sold in June, up by 104.9% from the 487 units that were shifted in May 2020. On a year-on-year (YOY) basis, developers’ sales increased 21.6% from the 821 units (excl. ECs) transacted in June 2019.

This brings private home sales (excl. ECs) in Q2 to 1,762 units, down 25.0% compared to the 2,350 sold in Q2 last year. However, year-to-June or first half 2020 new home sales (excl. ECs) came up to 3,911 units, just 6.6% lower than the 4,188 units in first half 2019.

In June, developers sold 33 ECs – which are a hybrid of public and private housing – also higher than the 23 ECs sold in May. This brings total developer sales (including ECs) in June to 1,031 units, up 102.2% MOM and 25.4% YOY.

Tricia Song, Head of Research for Singapore at Colliers International, said, “June developer sales more than doubled month-on-month (MOM), hitting the highest monthly sales since November 2019 and the highest June sales since June 2013. We believe this reflects pent-up demand from the two-month circuit breaker period.”

June developer salesShe added, “The circuit breaker was lifted on 19 June and showflat viewings had resumed. While there was no major new project launch, buyers snapped up more private homes from earlier launches, also partly attracted by discounts dangled and lower borrowing costs.”

There was only one new project launch – 18-unit Parkwood Residences at Yio Chu Kang, which sold one unit at S$1.74 million or S$1,323 psf. The bulk of the sales in June still came from earlier-launched projects.

The top three selling projects in May remained the most popular in June. The best-selling private residential projects in June were:

  • Treasure at Tampines, which moved 104 units at a median price of S$1,348 psf;
  • Parc Clematis which sold 90 units at a median price of S$1,637 psf; and
  • The Florence Residences which moved 89 units at a median price of S$1,522 psf.

June developer sales in these three mega projects, with 1,410 to 2,203 units each, have crossed the 50% sales mark.

Top 10 Selling Projects in June 2020 (including EC)
Project Name Street Name Locality Units Sold in the Month Median Price ($psf) in the Month % sold to date (of total)
Treasure At Tampines Tampines Lane OCR 104 1,348 57%
Parc Clematis Jalan Lempeng OCR 90 1,637 52%
The Florence Residences Hougang Avenue 2 OCR 89 1,522 53%
Parc Esta Sims Avenue RCR 82 1,671 92%
Stirling Residences Stirling Road RCR 74 1,945 84%
Jadescape Shunfu Road RCR 56 1,738 69%
The Tapestry Tampines Street 86 OCR 41 1,349 93%
Kent Ridge Hill Residences South Buona Vista Road RCR 37 1,784 64%
Daintree Residence Toh Tuck Road RCR 35 1,681 43%
Avenue South Residence Silat Avenue RCR 27 2,032 47%
Source: Colliers International, URA
* CCR: Core Central Region; RCR: Rest of Central Region; OCR: Outside Central Region 
One New Launch in June 2020
Project Name Street Name Locality Total Number of Units in Project Units Launched in the Month Units Sold in the Month Median Price ($psf) in the Month % sold (of launched)
Parkwood Residences Yio Chu Kang Road OCR 18 18 1 1,323 6%
Source: Colliers International, URA
* CCR: Core Central Region; RCR: Rest of Central Region; OCR: Outside Central Region 

In her analysis on June developer sales, Ms Song said:

“The MOM increase was still surprising, given that the economy is going through its worst recession in history. Advance GDP estimates show Singapore’s Q2 GDP shrank 12.4% YOY, and an unprecedented 41.2% quarter-on-quarter (QOQ), seasonally adjusted annualised. Nonetheless, we recognise not all buyers are affected equally and some jobs are relatively resilient.

Buyers are generally still price sensitive – we estimate 86% of the total developer sales in June 2020 were priced at the median price of S$1,000-2,000 psf, similar to May 2020.

Interest in the high-end segment also increased in tandem. In the luxury segment, 15 Holland Hill sold two units for S$7.7 and S$15.0 million each, or a median price of S$2,914psf, while Boulevard 88 sold two units for S$6.3 and S$10.2 million each, at a median price of S$3,621psf.”

In projecting the outlook for the rest of the year from the June developer sales, Colliers International said:

“With this encouraging rebound in sales, developers may launch more projects going forward. Major projects that could be launched include 633-unit Forett@ Bukit Timah, 566-unit Penrose at Sims Avenue and 640-unit Clavon at Clementi Avenue 1.

After the initial pent-up demand, we expect the sales could start to slow down, as job losses and economic realities sink in. We expect 2020 developer sales to fall 29% to 7,000 units from the 9,912 units in 2019.

With home prices highly correlated to household income and job security, we expect private residential prices could decline 5% in 2020, in line with the economic contraction.”

Mr Desmond Sim,CBRE’s Head of Research, Southeast Asia, commenting on June developer sales said:

“With the easing of restrictions and the reopening of sales galleries from 19 June 2020, new home sales picked up in June 2020. A total of 998 new homes (excluding ECs) were sold for the month, following only 277 and 486 units in April and May 2020, respectively. This is an encouraging number, given that new home sales volume in June exceeded pre-circuit-breaker period levels, which was averaging at 716 units per month in Q1 2020.

There was an absence of major project launches as most developers chose to defer their launch dates. Parkwood Residences, a small project with only 18 units, was the only development that launched in June 2020.

Deals continued to flow from balance units from prior projects, such as Treasure at Tampines (104 units), Parc Clematis (90 units), Parc Esta (82 units) and The Florence Residences (89 units). There were also buyers looking for opportunities in the high-end market with 16 units sold at KOPAR at Newton. Sales have also been motivated by some developers offering discounts and incentives. The low interest environment is also one of the biggest sales motivator.

To date, new home sales figures from the first half of 2020 totalled at 3,911 units, representing a decline of 6.6% y-o-y. CBRE Research believes that sales momentum may be impacted amid slower economic growth. According to MTI advance estimates, Singapore’s GDP fell by 12.6% y-o-y in Q2 2020 and recovery is likely to be slow. That said, with a slew of projects expecting to launch in Q3 2020, buyers’ interest may be piqued especially if developers become more competitive in their pricing. While property sales volume may not match up to previous years, there will still be an underlying demand to help soak up balance units.

Taking into account these factors, new home sales volume is forecasted to fall between 5,000 and 6,000 units (excluding ECs) for the whole of 2020.”


Written by Ravi Chandran

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