News: Developer sales up 11.9% in Q3 2020, Huttons

Oct 21, 2020

Sales have been on the uptrend since the Circuit Breaker in April, with September marking the fifth consecutive month of increase in monthly sales. The average size of units purchased has also steadily increased over the last few months. Photo: Penrose condo

Singapore developers sales continued to scale new heights during the third quarter of 2020, rising 11.9% year-on-year to 3,670 units, revealed Huttons Asia.

It noted that sales have been on the uptrend since the circuit breaker on 7 April, with September marking the fifth consecutive month of increase in monthly sales. 

“Ever since physical viewing of sales galleries was allowed from 19 June 2020, prospective buyers have been scheduling appointments non-stop and many sales galleries were fully booked,” it said.

Forett at Bukit Timah and Penrose, for instance, witnessed overwhelming requests to view their sales galleries prior to sales booking day.

The new project launches for Q3 were Forett at Bukit Timah, Myra, Mooi Residences, Penrose, Noma and Verdale. As at end-September, Noma and Penrose shifted over 60% of their available units, making them the best-selling projects launched following the Circuit Breaker.

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Huttons attributed the robust set of numbers to genuine buying demand generated by “the low interest rate environment, lack of alternative stable investment asset, the fear of missing out and entering the market on the back of positive news in the economy”.

Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic led to more people working from home, triggering buyers’ desire for more space. In fact, an analysis of caveats showed that the average size of units purchased since April have steadily increased over the last few months.

Over at the resale market, sales volume have also been strong, jumping over three times from Q2 2020 and increasing by over 30% from Q3 2019.

The executive condominium (EC) market also posted a jump in transactions, with sales volume doubling to around 169 units in Q3 2020 from 71 units in the previous quarter.

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Huttons noted that Singaporeans accounted for over 80% of acquisitions in Q3 2020. Despite travel restrictions, acquisitions by foreign buyers doubled to 225 in Q3 2020 from 119 in Q2 2020.

“They were probably drawn to the strong economic fundamentals and stable political environment. The low interest rates could be another pull factor,” said Lee Sze Teck, Head of Research at Huttons.

Looking ahead, Huttons expect new sales to moderate to between 600 and 700 units per month in the fourth quarter of 2020. For the whole 2020, it expects new sales to stand at 9,000 to 9,500 units, slightly lower than the 9,912 units sold in 2019. 

“While there will be an initial knee jerk reaction to the new policy by the Controller of Housing on the reissue of options, this will ensure a stable and sustainable market which is beneficial to the industry in the long term,” it said.

“More buoyant conditions in the resale market will help the owners to sell their existing properties faster and move on to a new property.”

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