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Private home demand seemed unfazed by the global economic uncertainties and the Chinese lunar seventh month as more than 1,000 new homes were sold last month. Developers moved 1,122 new homes in August, 4.8 per cent lower than the 1,179 units sold in the preceding month. August is traditionally a quieter period for the property market with fewer launches and slower sales activities. Compared to last year, new home sales surged 81.8 per cent from the 617 units sold in August 2018. Including executive condominiums (EC), developer sales fell 25.0 per cent month-on-month (m-o-m) to 1,167 units last month. The dip in sales volume is within expectation as no new EC projects were launched in August, whereas a large-sized 820 unit-EC project, Piermont Grand, was launched in July.
Private home demand is considered strong as last month’s sales volume (excluding EC) was one of the highest numbers registered for the month of August in recent years (see Table 1), and is also above the monthly average sales of 805 units for the first seven months of this year. August’s sales volume was almost on par with July 2019’s figure, which was the highest sales volume for this year.
Last month, Parc Clematis was the only project that was launched. Developers released a total of 979 new units including ECs for sale. The best-selling projects were Parc Clematis (316 units sold), The Florence Residences (122 units sold), Treasure at Tampines (93 units sold), Parc Botannia (61 units sold), Parc Esta (47 units sold) and Piermont Grand (44 units sold).
Buying sentiment has remained largely sanguine despite the global market uncertainties and escalating trade tensions. Rising fears of the US-China trade war morphing into a full-blown currency war may have bolstered demand for properties here, where Singapore is widely regarded as a safe haven for long term investments. While Singapore is highly internationalised and performs a lot of trade with other nations, the Singdollar has been kept relatively stable with modest and gradual appreciation in line with its international trading partners. The low-volatility and strength of our currency, undergirded by sound fiscal policies and a stable financial system, have boosted investors’ confidence that their property investments in Singapore will continue to hold value despite the current economic headwinds. Property investors here are likely to preserve their wealth and enjoy a return on their investment in the long term.
This month, the government has announced additional grants and new incentives for first-timers purchasing HDB resale flats. The policy change may boost upgrader demand for private homes. Flat owners who have planned to buy a new private condominium may now find it easier and faster to offload their HDB resale flats with a larger pool of potential flat buyers.