Resale prices and volumes of condominiums continued to rise in March, supported by healthy demand for units in the Outside of Central Region (OCR).
Overall resale prices were up 1.4 per cent month on month and rose 8.6 per cent from the previous year, based on flash estimates from SRX and 99.co released on Tuesday (Apr 25).
This comes as buyers return to the market after the year-end holidays and Chinese New Year period. Property analysts also noted a rise in purchases by foreigners.
“Demand from HDB (Housing and Development Board) upgraders and foreign ultra-high-net-worth individuals who are relocating to Singapore may underpin demand in the resale condo market,” said Huttons Asia chief executive Mark Yip.
The number of resale condo transactions during the month rose 53.9 per cent to 1,133 units from 736 units resold in February 2023. Year on year, volumes inched up 0.2 per cent, and were 13.9 per cent higher than the five-year average volumes for the month of March.
Almost half of all resale condo deals occurred in the OCR, followed by 28.8 per cent in the Rest of the Central Region (RCR) and 21.4 per cent in the Core Central Region (CCR).
The OCR registered the highest resale price gain of 2.1 per cent, followed by the RCR, which rose 1.6 per cent. This was in contrast to resale prices in the CCR, which dipped by 0.7 per cent.
Year on year, resale prices in all regions rose, with the OCR, RCR and CCR increasing 11 per cent, 9.4 per cent and 4.1 per cent, respectively.
While the OCR netted the most deals, there were proportionately more resale transactions in the other regions during the month, with CCR deals seeing the largest jump in volume, observed Eugene Lim, ERA’s key executive officer.
“Buyers with the cash and liquidity are taking the opportunity to pick up prime homes for their own stay or as longer-term investments,” he added.
Christine Sun, OrangeTee & Tie’s senior vice-president of research and analytics, said that some buyers may have turned to the secondary market as the price gap between resale and new condos has widened further.
Citing the Urban Redevelopment Authority Realis data, Sun noted that median prices of non-landed new sales (excluding executive condos) were 67.1 per cent higher than their resale equivalents. This is higher than the 46 per cent difference measured in the year-ago period.
The prices of new condos also rose faster by 30.5 per cent year on year in the first quarter of 2023, compared to resale condos which had a price increase of 14.1 per cent over the same period.
SRX and 99.co said that the most expensive unit resold was a unit at Nassim Park Residences which went for S$22 million. In the RCR, the highest transacted price was S$17 million for a Reflections At Keppel Bay unit, and S$4.1 million for a unit at The Trilinq in the OCR region.
The overall median capital gain for resale condos was S$311,000 in March, up S$13,000 from February. District 11 (Novena, Newton and Thomson) posted the highest median capital gain at S$654,000, while District 2 (Chinatown, Tanjong Pagar) posted the lowest capital gain at S$43,000.
Property analysts are mixed on the impact high interest rates will have on the resale market.
Wong Siew Ying, PropNex’s head of research and content, said that there would be a larger impact. She noted that resale home buyers are not shielded from potential exposure to high rates the way buyers of new launches are, who benefit from progressive payment schemes.
Progressive payment schemes allow buyers of new uncompleted homes to make mortgage payments that increase gradually over time when certain construction milestones for the project are met.
Hutton’s Yip noted that Singapore Overnight Rate Average (Sora) rates have largely stabilised after the US Federal Reserve indicated that hikes are nearing an end. This may support the resale market in the coming months.
Credit: The Business Times