Condo resales recover slightly in October


Cost constraints: Residential property under construction in Singapore. Observers say buyers are resisting higher prices and being more selective. — Bloomberg

SINGAPORE: The resale-condo volume recovered slightly in October, with prices rising marginally for the third consecutive month.

From September to October, prices inched up by 0.4%, lower than the 0.8% in September and 0.9% in August, according to flash data released by real estate portals 99.co and SRX on Nov 28.

The resale-condo volume was up 14.7% between September and October.

The report by the property portals showed that prices grew by 1.9% in the rest of central region (RCR) and 2.5% in the outside central region (OCR), but fell 1.5% in the core central region (CCR).

Overall prices climbed by 7.5% compared with October 2022.

Luqman Hakim, chief data and analytics officer at 99.co, said the sustained strong growth in OCR and RCR sectors seemed to indicate strong demand for resale condos in these areas despite overall pessimistic market conditions and high prices.

He expects prices to reach a ceiling soon as market supply increases with vacancy rates reaching their highest levels in five years.

PropNex head of research and content Wong Siew Ying said the hike in additional buyer’s stamp duty (ABSD) likely continued to weigh on the CCR segment among investors and foreign buyers.

Huttons Asia chief executive Mark Yip said: “Buyers of resale condos are resisting higher prices and adjusting their budget as the mortgage interest rates continue to stay high. Year to date, resale-condo prices have increased by 6.3%.”

Citing the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s Realis database on caveat data, Wong pointed out that the average unit prices of resale-condo transactions expanded across all regions in October.

The RCR saw average unit prices rise by 4.7% to S$1,788 per sq ft, from September to October.

In the CCR, resale condo prices grew by 1.8% to $2,068 per sq ft, while OCR logged a 2.3% expansion to S$1,418 per sq ft, she said.

Wong noted that about 95.5% of CCR resale condos were transacted at below S$5mil in October, up from 90.4% in September.

“With CCR home prices staying relatively flat, more opportunistic buyers have been entering the market to pick up reasonably priced CCR homes, spurring some momentum in the segment,” she added.

Yip noted that “some astute buyers are taking this opportunity to hunt for a CCR home, and that has pushed up the volume by 25.4% in October”.

According to the flash report, an estimated 838 resale units were transacted in October, up from 731 in September. About 51.8% of the units were from OCR, 29.4% from RCR, and 18.8% from CCR.

Compared with October 2022, the volume is lower by 9.2%. It is also 12.7% lower than the five-year average volume for October, noted the report.

The top transaction for the month was a 6,082 sq ft ground-floor unit at Bishopsgate Residences in the CCR that fetched S$22mil.

The overall median capital gain for resale condos rose by S$6,000 from September to S$350,000 in October, with districts 15 and 20 posting the highest at S$667,000 and district one the lowest at minus S$98,000.

Of the nine transactions linked to foreigners, seven involved buyers from the United States, and one each from Switzerland and Oman, Wong noted.

Under existing free trade agreements, buyers from the United States and Switzerland do not need to pay ABSD for their first residential home in Singapore.

“We expect Singaporean and Singapore permanent resident buyers to continue to dominate ... In October, (they) accounted for 98.9% of non-landed private home resale transactions,” said Wong.

Analysts anticipate moderate growth in resale home prices in the coming months, given the restrictive ABSD rates for investors and foreigners, elevated interest rates and macroeconomic uncertainties. — The Straits Times/ANN

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Singapore , resalecondo , prices , marketconditions , ABSD , CCR , OCR , RCR

   

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