Singapore private home sales defy Ghost Month lull

Developers enjoy highest annual growth in years for traditionally slow period

Photo of Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. venesa williams/Shutterstock

The Singapore private residential property market has enjoyed one of its more sanguine lunar seventh months in years, new data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority showed.

New home sales, excluding executive condominiums (EC), hit 1,122 units in August, a staggering ascent of 81.8 percent from the 617 units moved by developers a year prior.

While the figure is lower than the 1,179 units sold in July, the August sales is relatively strong showing for a traditionally quiet period for the property market.

“Private home demand is considered strong as last month’s sales volume [excluding EC] was one of the highest numbers registered for the month of August in recent years, and is also above the monthly average sales of 805 units for the first seven months of this year,” noted Christine Sun, head of research and consultancy, at OrangeTee & Tie Pte Ltd.

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“August’s sales volume was almost on par with July 2019’s figure, which was the highest sales volume for this year,” she added.

Including executive condominiums (EC), new home sales last month reached a volume of 1,167 units or 83.3 percent higher than that of August 2018. This represents a month-on-month dip of 25 percent, which is “within expectation” because no new EC projects were launched in August, Sun noted.

Private home demand seemed unfazed not only by seasonal taboos, but also by the instabilities besetting the city.

“Buying sentiment has remained largely sanguine despite the global market uncertainties and escalating trade tensions. Rising fears of the US-China trade war morphing into a full-blown currency war may have bolstered demand for properties here, where Singapore is widely regarded as a safe haven for long term investments,” according to Sun.