Singapore May home sales jump 75% as virtual viewings take hold

Singapore May home sales jump 75% as virtual viewings take hold

Home sales in Singapore rebounded in May from the previous month as more buyers got used to virtual real estate viewings with the city-state still under Covid-19 lockdown.

The number of new units sold jumped 75% to 486 last month, compared with 277 in April, according to Urban Redevelopment Authority data released Monday. Sales for May were about 50% lower than the same period last year.

Following April’s dismal numbers, analysts had expected May’s transactions to plunge even lower as Singapore was still under a lockdown that’s halted viewings as people stay indoors.

Following a two-month lockdown to curb the virus spread that has pushed Singapore’s case tally past the 40,000 mark, the government started to slowly ease restrictions starting June 2. However, demonstration units remain closed and viewings are still not allowed. This could change by the end of the month as the city’s leaders plan to reopen the economy as community cases remain low.

The government has provided relief for developers by extending the sale duration period for residential units and the timeline for projects to be completed.

Even when most activities resume, analysts say home buyers will slowly return to show flats rather than being out in force as the government may limit public gatherings to a maximum of 10 people. A proper recovery in sales can only be expected from July, they added.

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