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Singapore home sales rise most in four months on launches

Residential buildings in Singapore, on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024.
Residential buildings in Singapore, on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024. (Bloomberg)

By Low De Wei

(Bloomberg) — Singapore home sales rose the most in four months, rebounding from a lull after the launch of a range of suburban projects fueled purchases.

Developers sold 718 private residential units in March, the most since November, figures from the Urban Redevelopment Authority showed on Monday. That’s more than the number of new homes sold in the previous three months combined.

The question remains whether the recovery will be sustained in a market that has been cooling in recent months, hurt by high interest rates, an influx of supply and curbs that have curtailed demand from foreign buyers. The prospect of borrowing costs remaining higher for longer is likely to weigh on sales this year, according to real estate consultancy Knight Frank.

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“Much of 2024 might be characterized by muted sales with spikes of buying activity” when compelling projects are introduced, Leonard Tay, head of research at the firm in Singapore, wrote in a note.

Source: Urban Redevelopment Authority

New launches were a key driver of sales in March, with a suburban condominium project, Lentor Mansion, making up more than half of transactions.

Citigroup Inc. has said the strong take-up of the project is likely a “one-off,” while developers of high-end properties are increasingly introducing large discounts to sell off their inventories. That includes a condo on Sentosa, a resort island in Singapore’s south, where units are being offered at discounts over 40% from their initial launch price.

Local demand has helped to prop up residential values. Private home prices climbed 1.5% in the first quarter from the previous three months, preliminary estimates showed earlier this month.

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.