SINGAPORE: Sales of new private homes rose to its highest this year in July, as more buyers returned to the market after the June holidays and developers rushed to release their projects ahead of the inauspicious Hungry Ghost Festival in August.

A total of 1,178 new private homes, excluding executive condominiums (EC), were sold in July – the highest number of transactions for the year so far.

This is up 43.5 per cent from June’s 821 units, but down 31.2 per cent from July last year, when panic buyers rushed to snap up properties the night before new cooling measures took effect.

Last month also saw the launch of Singapore first executive condominium (EC) this year, Piermont Grand, which is located in Punggol. Including the 378 units sold at Piermont Grand – July’s top-selling project – developers moved 1,556 apartments, up 89.3 per cent from June.

“The last time developers sold more than 1,500 new homes was in July 2018, when buyers flocked to showflats on Jul 5 for their home purchases before the higher ABSD (Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty) kicked in the following day,” said Mr Ong Teck Hui, senior director of research and consultancy at JLL.

READ: One Pearl Bank condominium to go on sale with prices starting at S$970,000

In all, five new private condominiums were launched last month: Dunearn 386, Haus On Handy, Jervois Treasures, One Pearl Bank and View At Kismis. Collectively, they made up 441 units, or 48.5 per cent, of the private homes launched (excluding ECs) in July.

“The market continue to be launch driven. Projects with good attributes and are attractively priced will continue to find favour amongst buyers,” said Mr Eugene Lim, Key Executive Officer at ERA Realty Network.

“Most buyers are buying for the longer term as there is no more speculative buying given current market conditions. As such, they consider the ‘resaleability’ of the project before making their purchase commitments,” he added.

In the non-EC market, One Pearl Bank topped sales with 197 units, followed by two mass-market developments launched earlier this year, which saw sales of more than 100 units each.

“The continued momentum of mass-market developments such as Treasure at Tampines and The Florence Residences have remained as anchors in attracting buyers and investors. Hence, demonstrating market resilience through buyer’s appetite for projects that are rightly priced at the right locations,” said PropNex Realty CEO Ismail Gafoor.

July private home sales table Propnex best-selling condos

Source: PropNex Research, URA

Ms Christine Sun, head of research and consultancy at OrangeTee, noted that the jump in July’s sales can be attributed to more buyers resuming their househunting after the June holidays and developers fast-tracking their project launches ahead of August, which is traditionally slow because of the Hungry Ghost Festival.

Foreign buyers also streamed back to the market last month, said Ms Sun.

According to URA data, 82 units or 7.1 per cent of non-landed new homes were snapped up by foreigners last month, higher than the one-year average of 39 units, according to analysis by OrangeTee.

Private home sales July foreigners OrangeTee

Foreign buyers have also bought pricier homes this year, noted Ms Sun.

In all, 27 per cent of the 311 non-landed new homes bought by foreigners in the first seven months of this year were valued at more than S$3 million, the highest percentage achieved since the 30.5 per cent record in 2007, according to analysis by OrangeTee.

“The growing global economic uncertainties may see more investors parking their funds here as Singapore’s property market is known to be a safe and stable haven for capital preservation and appreciation,” said Ms Sun.