New private home sales rise 20.7% MoM in March

The improved sales were on the back of easing of safe management measures.

New private home sales still rose 20.7% MoM in march with 654 units sold, excluding executive condominiums (ECs).

Including ECs, new home sales grew 22.3% MoM to 702 units.

Property experts, Ohymyhome and Huttons, said the growth last month was likely on the back of the relaxation of the safe management measures and buyers and investors returning after the Chinese New Year festivities.

The improved sales in March despite a lack of major project launches and watch-and-wait rection of the market to the colling measures show that "underlying demand remains strong should buyers be able to find suitable homes," according to Knight Frank.

"In Q2 2022, underlying fundamental buyer demand is expected to re-establish itself, especially when a substantially sized project that captures the public imagination is launched," Knight Frank added.

According to Huttons and Ohmyhome, there will be three major launches in April and May 2022, namely North Gaia (EC), Piccadilly Grand, and LIV @ MB.

Meanwhile, across market segments, the Core Central Region (CCR) saw the highest increase in sales, up 39.1% MoM. This is because there were more units launched in the area, with a total of 154 units in March, Huttons explained.

This likely provided buyers with more options to consider in the segment," Huttons added.

While CCR had the highest increase in sales, it had the lowest contribution to total sales, comprising only 23.4%. 

The sales lag in the segment was "probably due to a lack of launches this year, and investors sitting by the sidelines post-cooling measures and budget," according to Colliers. Looking ahead, Colliers said the segment will see improved sales following border reopening.

Despite a good start, Colliers said new home sales for the entire year would likely moderate by 20% to 30% to around 10,000 units due to higher additional buyer stamp duties.

"Potential buyers might also be motivated to lock in rates now before mortgage rates see a significant increase," Colliers added.

This was echoed by OrangeTee who said "some on-the-fence buyers plan to lock in home loans before they climb higher, as a steep hike in borrowing rates may price some upgraders out of the market."

"The Federal Reserve made its first-interest rate increase in more than three years to alleviate inflationary pressures. The upward adjustment of mortgage rates seems to be spurring more buyers to return to the market," OrangeTee explained.

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