New Home Sales Subdued In October But Set To Rebound In November As New Launches Inject Buzz

15 November 2023, Singapore – Private new home sales remained subdued in October, extending the slow sales in recent months. Developers sold 203 new homes (ex. EC) in October, marking a 6.5% decline from the 217 units shifted in the previous month, and sales were down by 35.4% year-on-year from 314 units sold in October 2022. The tepid sales came amid a dearth of new projects being launched during the month.

At 203 units, October’s sales tally is the lowest in 2023, since 170 units were transacted in December 2022. This takes the number of new private homes sold (ex. EC) to 5,532 units in the first 10 months of 2023. Given the limited number of new launches till the end of the year, it looks quite certain that developers’ sales in 2023 will underperform the 7,099 units (ex. EC) sold in 2022. 

Source: PropNex Research, URA

The Rest of Central Region (RCR) led sales in October, with developers selling 82 new units – up by 15.5% from the 71 units sold in the previous month. Sales in this sub-market were mainly driven by The Reserve Residences which sold 23 and Grand Dunman which moved 15 units at a median price of $2,361 psf and $2,452 psf, respectively. Pinetree Hill, The Landmark, and Liv @ MB also contributed to RCR sales in October. With the selling out of the final two units at the 774-unit One Pearl Bank in October, more buyers could turn towards the nearby The Landmark (which is 77% sold as at end-October) for available units. In addition, The Landmark is located within the Pearl’s Hill sub-zone, which will see more homes and amenities being added in the future, as per the recent announcement by the URA. The 85-unit Myra in Meyappa Chettiar Road also sold its last four units during the month.

New homes sales also rose in the Outside Central Region (OCR) where 76 new units were sold in October, representing an 8.6% increase from September. Lentor Hill Residences was the best-seller in October (see Table 2), selling 24 units at a median price of $2,116 psf. As at end-October, the 598-unit Lentor Hills Residences – which was launched in July 2023 – is about 70% sold. Other popular OCR projects in the month included Lentor Modern which transacted 13 units at a median price of $2,075 psf, The Arden which shifted 12 units at a median price of $1,816 psf, and The Lakegarden Residences where 9 units changed hands at a median price of $2,160 psf. Sales in the OCR is expected to surge in November on the strong sales at J’den and units sold at Hillock Green in Lentor Central which were put on the market recently.

 In contrast, developers’ sales in the Core Central Region (CCR) fell by 40.8% from September to October to 45 units – the sub-market’s lowest monthly sales in more than 3 years since 41 new units changed hands in May 2020. The top-selling CCR project in October was Klimt Cairnhill which sold 11 units at a median price of $3,509 psf. Some key reasons for the slower sales in the CCR include the paring down of unsold stock on the market, and limited new projects as developers have largely held back on launching fresh CCR projects following the hike in the additional buyer’s stamp duty (ABSD) rates in April 2023. Watten House, which is expected to be launched later in November, will offer some additional options to buyers in the luxury homes segment.

Over in the EC market, developers sold 21 new ECs in October, falling sharply from the 118 units sold in the previous month, where Altura had boosted sales. In October, North Gaia transacted 18 units at a median price of $1,295 psf, while Altura shifted 3 units at a median price of $1,429 psf.

 Developers placed a total of 54 new units (ex. EC) for sale in October – down from the 68 units (ex. EC) launched in the previous month. There were no new units put on the market in the RCR as well as the EC segment during the month.

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

New home sales were once again lacklustre in October, as transactions fell for the third consecutive month to 203 units, following the blockbuster sales performance in July where 1,413 new homes were sold. Although the buying sentiment has been fairly tentative in the past couple of months, we witnessed healthy turnouts at recent previews, and new launches J’den in Jurong East and Hillock Green in Lentor Central collectively sold more than 450 new units when they were put on the market over the weekend.

Specifically, J’den booked robust sales, shifting about 88% of its total 368 units at an average price of $2,451 psf, while Hillock Green sold more than 27% of its 474 units at an average price of $2,108 psf – an encouraging performance in the Lentor area which has ample upcoming housing supply. Going by buyers’ response and recent government land sales tenders, it seems that the residential property market is still relatively resilient and market confidence remains intact even though sales have been muted in the past months. In addition, the tepid primary market sales could be partly due to the paring down of unsold stock and limited number of smaller units available.

 Our observations suggest that while buyers are cautious, they are also open to considering projects that are well-located, within walking distance to the MRT station and amenities, are sensitively-priced, and could offer potential upside in the future. With more new launches slated to come on in 2024, some buyers may be saving their bullets for upcoming projects. Based on our preliminary estimates, some 20 new projects could be rolled out in the first half of next year, including Hillhaven in Hillview Rise, The Arcady at Boon Keng, The Hill @ One North, Lentoria, Marina View Residences, and Lumina Grand EC amongst others.

Table 1: Proportion of non-landed new private home sales (ex. EC) by nationality by residential status by month

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

The proportion of non-landed new private home sales (ex. EC) to foreigners (non-PR) rose to 7% in October from 5.8% in the previous month (see Table 1). In absolute terms, there were 14 transactions to foreigners in October, up slightly from 12 transactions in September. The number is still substantially below the average of about 52 transactions to foreigners per month in the first four months of 2023. The government had hiked the ABSD rates from 27 April 2023, which in our view has been effective in taming foreign investment demand. There was an average of 16 non-landed new private home sales transactions to foreigners per month between May and October (both months inclusive). Meanwhile, the proportion of new non-landed private homes purchased by Singaporean buyers rose to more than 84% in October – local demand will continue to account for a lion’s share of home sales.

In November, developers’ sales are expected to spike due to the transactions at J’den and Hillock Green, and it would likely be the strongest month of sales in Q4 2023 where the primary market is concerned. For now, we are not anticipating any further major project launches in December, in what is typically a seasonal lull for property sales given the school holidays and year-end festivities. We project that new private home sales (ex. EC) in the full-year 2023 could come in at around 6,500 to 7,000 units (ex. EC), though it is likely to be nearer to the lower end of our forecast.”

Table 2: Top 10 Best-Selling Private Residential Projects (Ex. EC) in October 2023

S/NProjectRegionUnits Sold in Oct 2023Median Price in Oct 2023 ($PSF)
 LIV @ MBRCR6$2,206
 THE MCCR5$2,992

Source: PropNex Research, URA            

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