15 May 2018
Ms. Tricia Song, Head of Research for Singapore, Colliers International:
"Developers sold 729 new private homes (excluding Executive Condos) in April, up marginally by 1.8% from 716 units shifted in March 2018. New launches – Harbour View Gardens, The Verandah and Park Place Residences at PLQ (Phase 2) – have boosted sale and supported price growth last month.
Despite the strong take-up rates of 78-91% for the new launches, total developer sales were down sharply by 53% year-on-year from 1,567 units sold in April 2017, as only 654 units were launched in April 2018 vs 1,616 units launched a year ago.
The top selling private residential projects in April 2018 were: Park Place Residences at PLQ (Phase 2) which sold 166 units (of 212 units launched) at a median price of SGD2,060 psf; The Verandah which moved 141 units (of all 170 units launched) at a median price of SGD1,846 psf; and Harbour View Gardens where 52 units (of 57 units launched) were transacted at a median price of SGD1,763 psf.
This brings year-to-April developer sales to 2,310 units, compared to 4,529 units sold over the same period in 2017.
Although more new units were sold in April over March, the sales momentum was perhaps not as pacey as the market had expected given the rising optimism in the residential property segment. We think the relatively small project sizes of the new launches in April 2018 - coupled with raised prices in the limited remaining unsold stock – could have resulted in the slower pace of sales growth in April. Eg. Martin Modern sold two units at a median price of SGD2,957 psf compared to 20 at median price of SGD2,772 psf in March 2018.
That said, we expect sales take up to climb in the coming months as more and larger projects – including 1,052-unit Affinity and 613-unit Garden Residences - hit the market. Twin Vew, rolled out in May, has already sold 85% of its 520 apartments during its weekend launch and looks set to prop up developers’ sales this month.
Generally, prices of new private homes were firmer in April led by Rest of Central Region (RCR). The bulk of April’s developers’ sales were in RCR (459 units or 63%), compared to the usual Outside Central Region (OCR) making up the lion’s share of sales. In March 2018, OCR made up 75% of the sales as 861-unit The Tapestry at Tampines was the only major launch then.
Meanwhile, sales surged for Executive Condos (ECs) with 596 new units transacted in April – up by 727% from the 72 units sold in March. The stellar performance came on the back of brisk sales at Rivercove Residences which moved 512 units (out of 628 units) at a median price of SGD970 psf, a new high for ECs. This was the only EC launch in 2018, soaking up pent-up demand after the sell-out launch of Hundred Palms EC last year.
The robust demand for ECs, a hybrid between public and private housing, was driven by the limited supply and relatively affordable price points for the “sandwiched” class.
For the full year 2018, we forecast new home sales could rise by 19% year-on-year to 12,600 units (excluding ECs) from the 10,566 units in 2017, due to more project launches from Government land sales and collective sales."