Subsales of condos reach 10-year peak amid price rise

URA Realis data show that in this time period, subsales generated an average profit greater than S$252,800 each transaction. This equates to an average annualised gain of more 20 percent.

Subsales in suburban condominiums have increased as buyers are taking advantage of a rise in property prices.

The Outside Central Region (OCR), or suburbs, accounted for more than 60 percent of subsale transaction in Q3, whereas 36 percent came from Rest of Central Region. The Core Central Region made up the remainder.

A subsale can be defined as the sale to a different buyer of a condominium purchased directly by the developer before the completion date.

In the third quarter of the year 2023, the Urban Redevelopment Authority reported that 355 transactions were subsold. The number of transactions was at its highest since the first quarter of 2013, when 395 were recorded.

In 2018, the number of private residential units is expected to reach 19,050 (excluding executive apartments). This is the highest amount since 2016.

Subsale sales that were high in the last quarter have been traditionally attributed to speculative sales or distressed purchases. However, some market observers attribute this to a rush to complete projects by 2023 as Covid-19 has caused delays. They also attribute it to opportunistic transactions as market conditions improve.

Many of those who sold their subsale units in Q3 did so between 2018-2020, and therefore would have been able benefit from the buoyant property markets of the last two years.

URA’s residential property index for private homes has risen about 43,5% in total between Q3 2017-Q3 2023.

The median transaction price of non-landed new private homes in OCR, except executive condominiums (psf), has increased by $2,080 per square foot in Q3 2020.

The figure includes the projects that had been scheduled for completion earlier but have been delayed due to pandemic.

Sellers Stamp Duty is not payable by private property purchasers if their homes are sold within three years of purchase. If a home is sold in the first three months after purchase, SSD can be as high as 12 per cent.

The market for property has grown substantially over the past two years. This may have caused some owners of unfinished homes to consider selling them.

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Buyers may have also chosen to make more money than to hold on to their property despite rising interest rates.

Interest rates have increased significantly and will continue to increase throughout 2022. There may be buyers who are not self-users but are investors and have to start paying high mortgages. Some people might have been scared by the idea of mortgage payments, and so decided to sell.

The three-month Singapore overnight rate average (Sora), from approximately 1.5 per cent, in January 2019 rose to around 3.8 percent in November.

Riverfront Residences includes Treasure at Tampines as well as Parc Esta in the list of 10 best-selling projects.

As a result of the record-breaking subsales of Q3, the total for the three first quarters of 2022 has now reached 883 transactions, which is higher than the 765 that were recorded in 2020. Nevertheless, the number of subsales is still way below what was recorded in 2022. Subsales peaked at 4,863 in 2007, the highest figure since 1996.

A lot of owners want to capitalize on their gains, and so they decide to sell the home on the market secondary as a subsale.

Taking into account no transaction costs, taxes or other expenses, 99 % of subsales made in 2023 are profitable.

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