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Property News: New Private Home Sales Slow Down Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

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Written by: Syasya Nur

New private home sales saw a five-year low in April 2020. This downward trend is expected to continue in June as sales galleries remain closed in accordance to the extended circuit breaker rules. Additionally, new launches may also be delayed for up to several months.

New Private Property Sales Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

Lowest private property sales in 5 years

This month’s sales were the lowest since December 2014 when developers sold 230 units. Only 277 private homes were sold in April 2020, down 58% from the 660 homes sold in March 2020. That’s also a decrease of 62.4% year on year as the property market lays dormant.

According to the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), poor sales persisted despite having as many as 640 new private homes launched for sale in April, which is a 10.7% increase from the 578 new launches in March. In addition, there were 44% more launches in April 2020 than in April 2019. These figures do not include executive condominium (EC) units, which are a public-private housing hybrid.

However, the worst performing month on record is still January 2009 during the global financial crisis, when only 108 private units were sold.

Carryover sales due to sales galleries opened before the circuit breaker period

Out of the 277 private home units sold in April, about 100 units were transacted after the circuit breaker period began on 7 April. Analysts identified these transactions as carryover sales from previous months when buyers visited sales galleries before the circuit breaker measures took effect.

Kopar At Newton, the best performing private estate with 83 units sold in April, could be a prime example of this. The sles gallries were launched within the first week of April, right before the circuit breaker measures were enforced.

Before COVID-19, June was traditionally a slow month for launches due to the school holidays. During the holiday season, there will be a smaller turnout of buyers at the condo launch, leading to lower sales and buyer turnout rates.

This year, however, the annual sales dip in new launches might be mitigated as June holidays were brought forward to 5 May instead. Schools islandwide have since reopened since 2 June

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