(Bloomberg) -- Singapore home sales remained high in August as the government took a cautious approach toward reopening the economy in the wake of soaring virus cases.
Purchases of new private apartments fell 24% to 1,215 units last month from 1,591 in July, Urban Redevelopment Authority figures showed on Wednesday. That’s still higher than the five-year average of about 900, according to Bloomberg calculations.
The sales signal resilience in Singapore’s property market despite the city-state enduring multiple stop-start social-distancing measures in recent months. Repeated outbreaks have disrupted Singapore’s policy of learning to live with Covid-19 by treating it as endemic.
The property market has been one of the economy’s brightest spots, generating $24 billion in sales in the first half, double that of Manhattan. Though Singapore is trying to contain the virus spread, authorities have said they don’t plan to either tighten measures or relax them for the time being.
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One reason sales remained solid last month is that buyers are fearful of being priced out given rising values, said Christine Sun, senior vice president of research and analytics at OrangeTee & Tie.
“If there are no further tightening measures, then I think the sales momentum may continue to improve,” Sun said. “Our country is progressing toward an endemic path and a return to normalcy, therefore some buyers may feel that the economy will strengthen further and may have more confidence to enter the market.”
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