Sales of private apartments in Singapore jumped 13% in September to the highest in more than a year even as home-price growth moderated.
Developers in the city-state sold 1,270 apartments last month versus a revised 1,123 in August, according to data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority released on Tuesday. That’s the most since July 2018, when the government shocked the market by introducing curbs to take the heat out of residential real estate.
While home prices took a breather for a few quarters after that, they’ve begun to rise again.
Private residential prices increased 0.9% in the three months ended on September 30 versus a 1.5% rise in the second quarter, URA figures released earlier this month showed.
There’s also a supply glut — Singapore has some 24,000 vacant units and another 44,000 in the pipeline, data released in June showed.
The excess prompted the government to cut the supply of private residential units under its land sales programme in the second half.
September’s robust sales come “on the back of developers releasing more units, so buyers have a lot of choice and can take their time,” said Nicholas Mak, the Singapore-based head of research at APAC Realty Ltd unit ERA. “It shows underlying demand is strong.”
Mak said that baring any market shocks, private home sales should average around 1,000 units a month going forward. He forecasts home-price growth will continue, but at sub 1% levels.
Additional cooling measures would be “detrimental because there’s a lot of supply and the government should let the market absorb that,” Mak said. Separately, a consumer sentiment survey showed that eight in 10 people in Singapore still feel property is too expensive.
The study, by PropertyGuru Pte, found 58% of respondents think the government should control prices of newly launched apartments, up from 49% last year.