Singapore witnessed a surge in new private home sales during August, primarily attributed to the introduction of an executive condominium (EC) development in Bukit Batok. This increase came despite a decline in overall sales due to a shortage of new property launches and the lunar seventh month.
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Altura at Bukit Batok West Avenue 8, the first EC project in the region in over two decades since The Dew in 2001, achieved remarkable success during its launch month in August. Out of a total of 360 units, 225 were sold, representing 62.5% of the entire project.
Altura is the only EC launched in the entirety of the year. Buyers have eagerly anticipated its arrival for 22 years, said Huttons Asia’s senior director, Lee Sze Teck.
“Buyers appreciate the quality finishes and facilities in Altura which are comparable to private residential homes but at a more affordable price,” said Lee.
Christine Sun, Senior Vice President of Research and Analytics at OrangeTee & Tie, echoed this sentiment, highlighting the strong reception Altura received as the first new EC project in the area in two decades. She also underscored the enduring popularity of ECs due to their affordability and investment value.
Additionally, Eugene Lim, Key Executive Officer of ERA Realty Network, noted the resilience of EC demand, resulting in robust take-up rates during launch weekends despite higher prices.
For example, Copen Grand and Tenet launched in 2022 were completely sold out, and there are no additional EC launches anticipated for the remainder of the year.
Decline in private home sales
August saw a dip in the private home sales market, following a good performance in July, according to Lee.
Data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) revealed that, excluding ECs, the number of units sold decreased by 72.1%, dropping from July’s one-year high of 1,412 units to 394 units in August. This also represented a 10% decrease compared to the 438 units sold during the same month in the previous year.
The decline in new home sales in August was attributed to the absence of major project launches, according to Sun.
Although five new projects, including the Bukit Batok EC, were launched for sale, none featured more than 500 units.
Lee further pointed out that project launches were limited to the first half of August, with no launches in the latter half.
As a result, only 590 units were launched in August, excluding ECs, marking a 72.6% decline from July but a substantial 340.3% increase compared to the same period a year ago. He noted that there were no launches during the lunar seventh month in 2022, which extended throughout most of August.
Comparatively, the number of transactions for new launches between January and August was only 5.8% lower than the same period the previous year, according to Mr. Lim.
“Well-located projects continue to see demand from buyers looking for homes,” he said.
“But notably, there are emerging signs of ‘buyers’ fatigue’ in the face of the higher number of project launches in recent months. The number of new sale units launched in the first eight months of 2023 has more than doubled (117.6%) compared to the same period last year.”
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Image Source: Housing & Development Board