Monthly New Home Sales Tumbled To Near 15-year Low In December 2023 As The Lack Of New Launches And Seasonal Lull Put A Drag On Transactions

15 January 2024, Singapore – Developers’ sales tumbled from November to December 2023 amidst a lack of new project launches and the year-end seasonal lull. New private home sales fell by about 83% month-on-month to 135 units (ex. EC) in December, from a high base of 784 units in the previous month – contributed by the healthy sales at Hillock Green, J’den and Watten House then. On a year-on-year basis, new home sales were down by about 21% from the 170 units shifted in December 2022. Notably, this is the lowest monthly developers’ sales tally in nearly 15 years, since 108 new units were sold in January 2009.

All in, developers sold an estimated 6,452 new private homes (ex. EC) in the 2023 – marking a 9.1% decline from the 7,099 new units (ex. EC) sold in the whole of 2022.

Source: PropNex Research, URA

The Rest of Central Region (RCR) led sales in December, with developers moving 66 new units compared with 94 units sold in the previous month. Sales were down by nearly 30% MOM – marking the smallest MOM decline amongst the three sub-markets. The top two best-selling projects in December are in the RCR, namely The Continuum which sold 17 units at a median price of $2,775 psf and The Landmark where 13 units changed hands at a median price of $2,853 psf (see Table 3). Meanwhile, other RCR projects, Blossoms by the ParkGrand Dunman and Pinetree Hill transacted 6 units each during the month.

Over in the Outside Central Region (OCR), developers sold 45 new units in December – falling significantly by about 92% from the 539 units transacted in November, where J’den in Jurong East and Hillock Green in Lentor had helped to propped up sales. In December, the top-performing OCR projects included The Myst which sold 9 units at a median price of $2,182 psf, Lentor Modern which shifted 8 units at a median price of $2,119 psf, and J’den which transacted 7 units at a median price of $2,577 psf.

New home sales in theCore Central Region (CCR) also declined substantially by 84% MOM from 151 units in November to 24 units in December. The launch of Watten House in November had pushed up sales, setting up a high base for comparison. At 24 units, the monthly sales in the CCR is the lowest since 16 new units were sold in December 2018. The best-selling CCR projects in December 2023 were Midtown Modern and Watten House which sold 6 units each at a median price of $2,882 psf and $3,258 psf respectively. 

In the EC market, developers sold 17 new units in December, up slightly from 16 units sold in the previous month. North Gaia was the most popular EC project in December, moving 9 units at a median price of $1,298 psf, followed by Altura which sold 6 units at a median price of $1,490 psf. Based on URA data, there are now just 288 unsold new EC units on the market. A new EC project – the 512-unit Lumina Grand EC in Bukit Batok – is slated to be launched for sale on 27 January.

Developers placed a total of 36 new units (ex. EC) for sale in December – plunging markedly from the 970 units (ex. EC) released for sale in the previous month. This is the lowest number of new units launched since 31 units were put up in June 2023.

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

“The decline in sales in December was not unexpected, given the lack of new launches as developers held back on putting fresh projects on the market in view of the year-end festive season and the school holidays – where market activity tends to be slower. The 135 units transacted in December 2023 marked the lowest monthly sales tally since 108 units changed hands in January 2009.

Taken together, developers have sold an estimated 6,452 new private home (ex. EC) in 2023, based on URA figures and caveats lodged. This represents the lowest annual new private home sales in 15 years, since 4,264 units (ex. EC) were sold in 2008, where the global financial crisis affected market sentiment.

Despite the monthly sales figure hitting over a decade low in December, we expect new home sales to pick up in January 2024, supported by the upcoming launch of 172-unit The Arcady at Boon Keng in the RCR, and 341-unit Hillhaven in the OCR. Meanwhile, Lumina Grand EC in Bukit Batok which will also be launched in January will likely be well-received among buyers, as such housing type continues to be popular given their relatively more affordable pricing. Based on caveats lodged, the median transacted unit price of new ECs was $1,345 psf in December versus the $2,123 psf for non-landed private new homes sold in the OCR (see Table 1) – representing a price gap of about 58%.

Due to the slower transaction volume and lack of new launches, the median transacted unit prices softened across sub-markets, with the exception of RCR where prices climbed by 2.1% MOM to $2,614 psf. The CCR and OCR saw the median unit price fall by 7.3% MOM and 9.1% MOM respectively, as new launches in November (e.g. Watten House and J’den) had pulled prices up.

Table 1: Median unit price ($PSF) of new Non-landed private homes by Region and new EC sold by Month

CCRRCROCRNew EC
Jan-23$2,884$2,589$2,083$1,389
Feb-23$2,943$2,688$2,120$1,385
Mar-23$2,920$2,614$2,065$1,375
Apr-23$2,890$2,461$1,993$1,291
May-23$2,919$2,525$2,154$1,274
Jun-23$2,902$2,615$1,989$1,305
Jul-23$2,902$2,499$2,087$1,322
Aug-23$2,857$2,610$2,068$1,475
Sep-23$3,115$2,525$2,070$1,468
Oct-23$3,242$2,414$2,077$1,298
Nov-23$3,195$2,559$2,335$1,368
Dec-23$2,962$2,614$2,123$1,345
DEC-23 MOM % change-7.3% 2.1% -9.1% -1.7%

Source: PropNex Research, URA Realis (retrieved on 15 Jan 2024)

In terms of buyers’ profile, the proportion of non-landed new private home sales (ex. EC) to foreigners (non-PR) came in at 3.0% in December (see Table 2); it is higher than the 1.8% in November mainly due to the thin transaction volume in December. In absolute terms, there were only 4 transactions to foreigners (NPR) in December, compared with the 14 caveats lodged in the previous month. Since the tightening of the ABSD measure in April 2023, the number of transactions to foreign buyers (NPR) had ranged from 4 to 29 units per month – markedly lower than the 66 new non-landed private home sales transactions in April. Meanwhile, the proportion of non-landed private new home sales to Singaporean buyers inched up further to 88% in December, from 86.4% in November.

PropNex expects developers’ sales to perform better in 2024 owing to more ample supply of new launches, which will give buyers more options. Meanwhile, the prospects of interest rate cuts and the projected improvement in the economy could also boost buyers’ confidence. We anticipate that new home sales could come in at 7,000 to 7,500 units (ex. EC) for the whole of 2024.”

Table 2: Proportion of non-landed new private home sales (ex. EC) by nationality by residential status by month

Nationality by Residential StatusDec-22Jan-23Feb-23Mar-23Apr-23May-23Jun-23Jul-23Aug-23Sep-23Oct-23Nov-23Dec-23
Company0.5%0.5%0.1%
Foreigner (NPR)22.1%14.6%12.6%8.9%7.9%3.0%4.7%1.3%2.5%5.4%6.4%1.8%3.0%
Singapore Permanent Residents (PR)11.7%14.6%17.3%13.7%9.7%10.4%12.1%9.9%16.5%11.8%9.0%11.8%9.0%
Singaporean66.2%70.3%70.2%77.0%82.3%86.6%83.2%88.8%81.0%82.8%84.6%86.4%88.0%

Source: PropNex Research, URA Realis (retrieved on 15 Jan 2023

Table 3: Top-Selling Private Residential Projects (Ex. EC) in December 2023

S/NProjectRegionUnits Sold in Dec 2023Median Price in Dec 2023 ($PSF)
1THE CONTINUUMRCR17$2,775
2THE LANDMARKRCR13$2,853
3THE MYSTOCR9$2,182
4LENTOR MODERNOCR8$2,119
5J’DENOCR7$2,577
6GRAND DUNMANRCR6$2,524
PINETREE HILLRCR6$2,423
BLOSSOMS BY THE PARKRCR6$2,489
MIDTOWN MODERNCCR6$2,882
LENTOR HILLS RESIDENCESOCR6$2,033
WATTEN HOUSECCR6$3,258

Source: PropNex Research, URA            

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