Flash Estimates: Growth In Private Home Prices Slowed In Q1 2024 Amid Weaker Sales Volume Hdb Resale Flat Prices Found Renewed Strength As Transactions Picked Up

Flash estimates released today showed that home prices in both the private residential property and HDB resale flat segments rose in Q1 2024, though at varying pace. Overall private home prices grew at a slower clip in Q1 2024 due to the weaker sales volume and the higher base in the prior quarter, while HDB resale flat prices found some renewed strength as healthy demand and more high value transactions put an upward pressure on resale flat prices in Q1 2024. The flash estimates tracked transactions up till mid-March; the final print for the entire quarter will be published on 26 April 2024.

Q1 2024 URA Private Residential Property Index (Flash)

Flash estimates from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) showed that overall private home prices climbed by 1.5% QOQ in Q1 2024, easing from the 2.8% QOQ increase in the previous quarter (see Table 1). The moderation in prices can be attributed to the relatively listless sales in Q1 amid the festive seasons, and tentative buying sentiment following slower transactions in 2023.

In Q1 2024, several residential projects including an EC development (The Arcady at Boon KengHillhavenLentoriaLentor MansionKoon Seng House, Ardor Residence, and Lumina Grand EC) were put on the market in, with no launches in February, in view of the Lunar New Year holidays. 

Table 1: URA Private Property Price Index

Price IndicesQ1 2023Q2 2023Q3 2023Q4 2023Q4 2023Q1 2024(Flash)
(QOQ % Change)(YOY % Change)(QOQ % Change)
Overall PPI3.3-
·        CCR0.8-0.1-
·        RCR4.4-2.52.1-
·        OCR1.

Source: PropNex Research, URA

In the non-landed private homes segment, prices grew by 1% QOQ in Q1 2024, following the 2.3% QOQ increase in the previous quarter. The price growth was mainly driven by the Core Central Region (RCR) which saw prices rise by 3.1% QOQ in Q1 2024, slowing slightly from the 3.9% QOQ increase in the previous quarter, where the sales transactions at Watten House had helped to lift prices. In Q1 2024, the top non-landed home transactions in the CCR were the resale of two units at The Ritz-Carlton Residences Singapore Cairnhill which fetched $16.5 million ($5,397 psf) each. It is possible that the CCR property price index could see a slight increase when the final print is released later in April, when further transactions at Cuscaden Reserve during its relaunch are factored into the data. PropNex sales team said that Cuscaden Reserve has so far sold 80 units at an average price of slightly above $3,000 psf, since its sales relaunch on 16 March 2024.

Meanwhile, non-landed private home prices in the RCRticked up by 0.2% QOQ in Q1 2024, reversing the 0.8% QOQ decline in Q4 2023. New launch freehold project The Arcady at Boon Keng which sold 49 units at an average price of $2,575 psf (based on caveats lodged as at 17 March), along with higher transacted average unit prices at other RCR projects during the quarter (including at Pinetree HillThe Reserve ResidencesThe ContinuumGrand Dunman, and Blossoms by the Park) have helped to support home prices in the RCR.

Over in the OCR, non-landed home prices inched up by 0.4% QOQ in Q1 2024, following the 4.5% QOQ price rise in the previous quarter, where the launch of J’den at benchmark prices and transactions at Hillock Green had helped to push up prices in Q4 2023.  The major OCR projects launched in Q1 2024 included Hillhaven, Lentoria, and Lentor Mansion, which became the best performing new launch project this year when it transacted 75% of its 533 units at an average price of $2,278 psf. Among the new projects in the Lentor area, Lentor Mansion has fetched a higher overall average price on $PSF basis, as it is the first project to be affected by the guidelines on harmonistion of gross floor area definitions. The 0.4% QOQ price growth is the slowest quarterly increase in the OCR in five quarters.

In the landed homes segment, prices climbed by 3.4% QOQ in Q1 2024, compared with the 4.6% QOQ increase in Q4 2023. The price growth came despite a decline in transaction volumes across all landed property types – detached, semi-detached, and terrace – from Q4 to Q1. According to caveats lodged, there were 281 landed home transactions in Q1 2024 – down by about 15% from 330 transactions in the previous quarter.

Based on URA Realis caveat data, developers sold 1,030 new private homes (ex. EC) in Q1 2024 (till 17 March) – with the final figure likely to be relatively on par or a touch higher than the 1,092 new homes (ex. EC) shifted in the previous quarter. In Q1 2023, there were 1,256 new private residential units sold.

Meanwhile, 2,072 units (ex. EC) were transacted on the private residential resale market in the quarter (till 19 March) – in what could mark the slowest quarterly resale market activity since 933 units were resold in Q2 2020, when the Circuit Breaker kicked in during the Covid-19 pandemic. In Q4 2023, 2,831 private homes were transacted on the resale market.

Please attribute the comments below to Ismail Gafoor, CEO of PropNex Realty.

“The private home sales market got off to a slow start in 2024, but we are seeing some signs of rekindling interest in home purchase, particularly in March where the launch of Lentor Mansion saw 75% of the total units transacted in a single weekend. The relaunch of Cuscaden Reserve recently also raked in sales at the CCR project, with Singaporeans accounting for a big chunk of the transactions.

These are encouraging signs and we hope that they could help to lift market sentiment ahead, following a lackluster 2023 which saw developers’ sales hit a 15-year low. Other factors that could help to support the housing market later in the year include the potential easing of interest rates and prospects for improvement in the Singapore economy.  

From our observations, there is resilience and ample liquidity in the market, but buyers are perhaps holding back, waiting for the right projects that are sensitively-priced and that the price quantum will sit well within their housing budget. It is telling that the attractive price quantum at Lentor Mansion, and the price adjustment at Cuscaden Reserve have pulled buyers in. Following a few years of price increase, buyers will be keen to see some stability in prices, and that is where we think the market is headed. With developers managing launch prices carefully to garner sales momentum at the initial stage of the launch, we think new home sales could improve further in the rest of the year as more new projects come on.

Looking at the median transacted unit prices of new and resale non-landed private homes (ex. EC) sold, we note that prices are stabilising, particularly in the RCR and OCR – with new sales hovering at around $2,500 psf and resale at about $1,700 psf in the RCR, and around $2,200 psf and $1,400 psf for new and resale OCR homes respectively (see Table 3), according to caveats lodged. Meanwhile, the median unit price gap between new and resale non-landed homes sold in Q1 2024 ranged from about 46% to 58% across the three sub-markets.

Table 3: Median transacted unit price of non-landed private home new sales and resales (ex. EC) by region by quarter

New saleResaleGap %New saleResaleGap %New saleResaleGap %
QOQ %0.3%-0.9%2.0%-0.1%-1.5%-1.0%

Source: PropNex Research, URA Realis (*new sale data up till 17 March, resale data up till 19 March 2024)

In Q1 2024 (till 19 March), foreigners (non-PR) accounted for 1.2% of the total new sale and resale non-landed private home transactions (ex. EC), based on URA Realis caveat data (see Table 4). This represents a dip from 1.7% in Q4 2023 and it is the lowest proportion of new and resale non-landed private homes purchased by foreigners on record since 1995. The proportion of Singaporean buyers, meanwhile, rose to 83% in Q1 2024 from 81.9% in the previous quarter, while Singapore PRs made up 15.6% of the transactions.

Table 4: Non-landed new private home sales and non-landed resales (ex. EC) by nationality by residential status by Quarter

Nationality by Residential Status2022Q12022Q22022Q32022Q42023Q12023Q22023Q32023Q42024Q1
Foreigner (NPR)3.1%4.9%4.7%7.2%7.2%4.2%1.8%1.7%1.2%
Singapore Permanent Residents (PR)18.0%17.1%15.9%20.8%19.9%16.1%16.7%16.3%15.6%

Source: PropNex Research, URA Realis (*new sale data up till 17 March, resale data up till 19 March 2024)

We expect home sales to continue to be driven predominantly by Singaporeans and Singapore PRs. Hence, developers will need to consider the budget and needs of these local buyers when they price and design their projects – so as to better cater to the local market. Overall, we expect that private home prices could rise by a slower 4% to 5% in 2024, while new private home sales could possibly come in at 7,000 to 7,500 units (ex. EC), and private resale volume may hover at around 13,000 to 14,000 units.”

Q1 2024 HDB Resale Price Index (Flash)  

Flash estimates released by the Housing and Development Board (HDB) indicated that resale flat prices rose by 1.7% QOQ, accelerating from the 1.1% QOQ increase in the previous quarter (see Table 5). This marks the 16th straight QOQ growth in the HDB Resale Price Index. The HDB said there were 6,928 HDB flats resold in Q1 2024 (up till 27 Mar 2024) – up by 5.5% from the same period last year (up to 27 Mar 2023, 6,567 flats resold).

Table 5: HDB Resale Price Index

QuarterQOQ % changeYOY % change
Q1 20213.0%8.1%
Q2 20213.0%11.0%
Q3 20212.9%12.5%
Q4 20213.4%12.7%
Q1 2022 2.4%12.2%
Q2 20222.8%12.0%
Q3 20222.6%11.6%
Q4 2022 2.3%10.4%
Q1 20231.0%8.8%
Q2 20231.5%7.5%
Q3 20231.3%6.2%
Q4 20231.1%4.9%
Q1 2024 Flash1.7%5.7%

Source: PropNex Research, HDB

Please attribute the comments below to Wong Siew Ying, Head of Research and Content, PropNex Realty.

“Flash estimates showed that HDB resale flat prices found some renewed strength in Q1 2024, rising by 1.7% QOQ – the highest quarterly price gain since Q4 2022 (+2.3% QOQ). The price growth is likely supported by several factors, including healthy resale flat demand, a higher number of flats resold for at least $1 million, a slightly larger proportion of flats sold at a higher price range, as well as a steady proportion of relatively newer resale flats sold in the quarter which supported prices.

Chart 1: Number of HDB resale flats sold for at least $1 million by quarter

Source: PropNex Research, data.gov.sg (data till 31 March 2024)

According to transaction data, the number of HDB flats resold for at least $1 million has risen for the fifth straight quarter in Q1 2024, with 185 such flats sold. This is also the highest number of million-dollar resale flats transacted on a quarterly basis – boosted by the record-breaking 74 deals done in January 2024 (50 units in February; 61 units in March).

During the quarter, two DBSS 5-room flats in Toa Payoh fetched more than $1.5 million each – smashing the previous record price set by an adjoined flat in Moh Guan Terrace in Bukit Merah which was resold for $1.5 million in June 2023. The top HDB resale transaction in Q1 2024 – and now a record high price – was for a 117-sq m 5-room flat located on the floor ranging between 40 and 42-storey at 139A Lorong 1A Toa Payoh, which garnered a price of about $1.569 million when it was resold in January 2024. 

The million-dollar resale flat transactions accounted for about 2.7% of the sales volume in Q1 2024 – up from 2.1% in the previous quarter. We note that the proportion of resale flat transactions priced at between $600,000 and just under $1 million has also ticked up in Q1 2024 to about 40% of the quarter’s deals, compared with 37% in Q4 2023 (see Chart 2).

Chart 2: Proportion of HDB resale transactions by price range by quarter

Source: PropNex Research, data.gov.sg (data till 31 March 2024)

Another factor that could have help to prop up prices could be the relatively steady proportion of newer flats resold in Q4 2023 and Q1 2024 as such flats tend to command higher prices in view of their longer remaining lease. Based on transaction data, about 27% of the resale flats sold in each of the two quarters had a lease balance of 90 years or more.

Overall, we expect the HDB resale market to remain stable this year, with resale prices projected to rise at 5% to 6% for the whole of 2024. We estimate that HDB resale volume could come in at around 26,000 to 27,000 units this year.”  

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