New private home sales plunge 60.5% in February amid CNY freeze on launches

SINGAPORE – Sales of new private homes tanked in February following January’s stellar performance as developers slashed new project launches by a whopping 94 per cent due to the Chinese New Year holidays, official figures showed on Monday (March 15).

A mere 645 new private residential units were transacted in February, down 60.5 per cent over January’s 1,632 homes, as only 167 new units were launched last month, compared with 2,600 in January.

In comparison, new private home sales notched the highest January figure in eight years as developers went all out with new launches, including the mega Normanton Park and The Reef at King’s Dock, both of which accounted for more than 50 per cent of all units sold that month.

With that, developer sales in the first two months of 2021 came to 2,277 units, 42.7 per cent higher than in the same period last year before the  Covid-19 pandemic became a serious economic threat.

Year on year, February sales dropped 34 per cent from the 976 transacted in February 2020. It is also the lowest sales for the month of February since 2018 when 384 units were booked.

Sales in the primary market is very much supply-led, Huttons Asia research director Lee Sze Teck said.  Sales in March should be higher with the expected launch of The Atelier and Midtown Modern, he said.

The 167 units launched for sale in February was the lowest since February 2018’s 201 units. Developers launched 82 per cent fewer new units last month, compared with a year ago.

The figures from the Urban Redevelopment Authority exclude executive condominium (EC) units, which are a public-private housing hybrid.

Including ECs sold, developers moved 756 new homes in February, down 64 per cent from January and 42.5 per cent less than a year ago. Developers sold 111 ECs last month, compared with 489 units in January.

Last month’s top-selling project was the Reef at King’s Dock, followed by Normanton Park, Treasure at Tampines, Midwood and Amber Park.

New homes in District 15 saw a spike in interest in February, Mr Lee noted.

“We believe that some buyers are beginning to appreciate that supply in District 15 will be constrained in the future as a result of tighter government rules on the average size of dwelling units and are stepping in to buy a seaside living lifestyle,” he said.

This version of article written by Grace Leong and first appeared at The Business Times.

ST Photio: Lim YaoHui