Developers in Singapore sold 486 non-landed private homes in May, up 75 per cent from 277 private homes in April, despite a full month of the circuit breaker and a weaker economic outlook underscored by layoffs and wage cuts.
But May's sales does not mean the property market is near recovery or back to normal as evidenced by a nearly 49 per cent plunge in new home sales from 952 a year ago.
Developers were expected to launch between 40 and 50 new projects this year but, so far, only 12 have been launched.
Fewer new private homes were launched for sale: 615 in May, slightly lower than 640 units in April, and down nearly 56 per cent from 1,394 a year ago.
The figures, released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority on Monday (June 15), exclude executive condominium (EC) units, which are a public-private housing hybrid. There were no new EC projects launched in May.
New sales were propped up mainly by Treasure at Tampines, Parc Clematis, The Florence Residences, Parc Esta and JadeScape.
May's sales appear to be largely driven by locals and investors, noted Ms Christine Sun, OrangeTee & Tie's head of research & consultancy.
According to URA Realis data on Monday, the number of non-landed homes bought by Singaporeans jumped 81.1 per cent to 402 units last month from 222 units in April. Purchases by foreigners also strengthened, with the number of non-landed new homes bought by Singapore permanent residents and non-permanent residents rising 71.4 per cent to 72 units in May from 42 units in April .
There are also some encouraging signs in June's new home sales numbers.
According to URA Realis data, 155 new homes excluding ECs have already been sold in the first seven days this month, which is more than half the 277 units inked in April.
As Singapore moves into the next phase of opening up, property sales may continue to be a hybrid of physical and online viewing of show galleries, Mr Lee Sze Teck, Huttons Asia, director for research, said.