Developers' sales decline due to Lunar New Year, lack of project launches | Real Estate Asia
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Developers' sales decline due to Lunar New Year, lack of project launches

Still, the experts anticipate a potential rebound in March sales.

The decline in new private home sales in February was attributed to the Lunar New Year holiday and limited launch opportunities.

Huttons, in a statement, said that the absence of major non-landed launches compounded the decline, along with subdued buyer activity typical during the Chinese New Year celebrations. 

“The extended break for Chinese New Year usually sees quite a number of buyers going overseas for a short break thus making it not ideal for a project launch,” it said.

OrangeTee echoed these sentiments, noting that many potential buyers were either on holiday or preoccupied with festive celebrations during this time.

“Moreover, February is a shorter month than others, resulting in fewer opportunities for developers to launch new projects,” the expert said.

Similarly, PropNex acknowledged that new home sales remained slow, continuing the trend from the previous month. 

“The Lunar New Year effect and a lack of new launches had weighed on transactions in February,” said Wong Siew Ying, head of research and content at PropNex Realty.

He also pointed out that multiple rounds of cooling measures since December 2021, high interest rates, uncertain market sentiment, and buyer fatigue all contributed to the sluggish sales performance.

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Looking ahead, the experts anticipate a potential rebound in March sales with the launch of projects such as Lentor Mansion and Lentoria. 

“The market performance in March may provide a more accurate reflection of buyers' sentiment when compared to February since the latter is a shorter month with a lack of new launches,” OrangeTee said.

“We think it is possible that some prospective buyers are patiently taking a watch-and-wait approach, with a view to entering the market perhaps in Q2 or closer to the second half of the year, as they track the property market’s performance and potentially hold out for any interest rate cuts, which may transpire later in the year,” added Ying, head of research and content at PropNex Realty.

Huttons is also projecting that the developers’ sales for March 2024 will rebound to between 400 and 600 units.

“Barring unforeseen circumstances, developers may sell up to 7,000 new homes while prices are expected to be stable, increasing up to 5% in 2024,” said Huttons.

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