Normanton Park sees encouraging sales despite tighter COVID-19 measures

In May, developers in Singapore sold fewer houses because the government imposed stricter restrictions during Phase 2 (Heightened Alert), which began on 16 May.

“In response to a resurgence in virus infections, stricter measures have been imposed on property sale galleries and house viewings such that there can be no more than two people per group (including salespersons) for property viewings,” stated Christine Sun, Senior Vice President of Research and Analytics at OrangeTee & Tie.

“Firms were encouraged to use electronic methods to deliver marketing materials rather than physical copies, and to adopt esigning for all documents.”

Annually, sales of new homes, excluding ECs rose 83%.

Developers sold 1,230 units including ECs, down 8.8% month over month but up 141.2% year over year.

Pearl Lok, Colliers International’s Director for Capital Markets in Singapore, stated that the EC market was performing well with the launch of Provence Residence EC. This saw a strong take up of 55%. She disclosed that 339 EC units were sold by developers in May, an increase of 323.8% over the 80 units she reported in April.

At 45%, the Outside of Central Region (OCR), accounted for most of last month’s new homes sales. The Core Central Region (CCR), 33.6%, and the Rest of Central Region (33.6%) accounted for 21.4%.

Only three projects were launched in May: One Bernam, Park Nova, and Provence Residence EC.

Provence Residence EC was the top-selling project in last month’s market, followed closely by One Bernam (Treasure at Tampine) and Treasure At Tampine.

The top ten lists also included Normanton Park and Parc Central Residences as well as Midwood, Midwood, Affinity At Serangoon, Midwood, Midwood, Affinity At Serangoon, The Florence Residences and OLA EC.

Huttons Asia observed that there was no significant difference in sales between the prior and the after-effects of Heightened Alert.

It stated that caveats were analysed using before and after tighter measures. The split was 55.3% for the period 1-15 May, and 44.7% for the 16-31 May period.

“Adjusted for One Bernam’s launch and Park Nova’s launch, the sales split was 51.2% in May’s first half and 48.8% at May 2nd.”

Sun stated that the sales drop was not as severe as the one last year during the circuit breaker period.

“Only 277 transactions (excluding EC) were made in April 2020 during the first month of movement restrictions. This is a 58% drop from the March 2020 660 units. She shared that last month’s new home sales excluding ECs were 221.7% higher than the 277 units sold April 2020.

This year’s stronger sales performance is due to the fact that the property sector was “more prepared for business continuity and more flexibility when changing its customer engagement mode”.

Sun observed that many sales representatives and developers were able to quickly switch to remote viewings.

She said that buyers were becoming more comfortable with the virtual reality and augmented reality, which has digitalized the home-buying experience and made online searching more accessible.

Sun anticipates that new home sales will pick up once restrictions on movement are lifted, as the number of cases in community has stabilized.

Huttons stated that sales could match May’s numbers in June because of the Covid-19 relaxed measures, which allow up to five people to be in a group. This may help to translate pent-up demand into sales.

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