Singapore Home Sales Beat Expectations and Rise to 11-Month High

Singapore home sales surged to an 11-month high in August, buoyed by demand from locals who are betting that prices will rebound as soon as next year.

The number of new units sold rose 16% to 1,256 last month from 1,080 in July, according to Urban Redevelopment Authority data released Tuesday. That’s the most since September last year and up from a near six-year low in April during the height of the lockdown.

Fears of Singapore falling into a prolonged recession are subsiding with home sales growing for the fourth-consecutive month. Singapore forecast its worst recession on record in August, with the government estimating the economy could shrink between 5% and 7% this year.

People who are buying now are betting that the economy will rebound. Prices could increase once the economy starts to recover next year, said Nicholas Mak, head of research and consultancy at APAC Realty Ltd. unit ERA. Singapore’s gross domestic product could expand by 7% next year, according to an August report by the Asean+3 Macroeconomic Research Office.

More than 80% of the buyers are locals, many of whom are upgrading from public housing to private units or investing.

“It’s definitely a positive sign. Buyers could be sending a signal that the worst could be behind us,” Mak said.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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