15 May 2023, SINGAPORE – Developers’ sales hit a 7-month high in April 2023 as two fresh project launches – Tembusu Grand and Blossoms by the Park – powered an 80% surge in new home sales. Developers sold 887 new homes (ex. executive condos) in the month, rising from the 492 units shifted in March. This is the strongest monthly performance since September 2022, where 987 new homes were transacted. On a year-on-year basis, sales were up by 34% from April 2022.
April’s new home sales were supercharged by the Rest of Central Region (RCR) which saw 628 new homes sold in the month, with Tembusu Grand and Blossoms by the Park collectively accounting for 89% (559 units) of the RCR’s sales. Overall, the two new projects made up 63% of the overall monthly home sales in April. The 628 units transacted in the RCR is the highest monthly tally for this sub-market in 11 months (since 893 units were sold in May 2022). Meanwhile, the 455-unit Riviere sold 10 units at a median price of $2,954 psf in April and it is now fully-sold.
There were two new projects launched in April. Tembusu Grand sold 354 out of its total 638 units (55% take-up) at a median price of $2,463 psf, while Blossoms by the Park moved 205 out of its 275 units (75%) at a median price of $2,427 psf in April. In May 2023, apart from freehold development The Continuum which has been launched, another project is slated to hit the market – namely the integrated development The Reserve Residences in Jalan Anak Bukit which was opened for preview last week (May 12).
The Core Central Region (CCR) transacted 208 new private homes in April – up by 5.6% from the previous month. The Atelier in Makeway Avenue in Newton was the best-selling CCR project in April, shifting 46 units at median price of $2,658 psf. Meanwhile, Pullman Residences Newton (19 units at a median price of $3,215 psf) and Leedon Green (19 units at a median price of $2,838 psf) continued to book steady sales.
New home sales in the Outside Central Region (OCR) declined by nearly 78% to 51 units from March to April, owing to the absence of new launches and limited unsold stock in the sub-market. The top-seller in the OCR in April was The Botany at Dairy Farm where 12 units were sold at a median price of $2,087 psf. This was followed by The Gazania which transacted 10 units at a median price of $1,755 psf.
In the EC segment, developers sold 22 new units in April, relatively on par with the 21 units that changed hands in March. North Gaia EC in Yishun topped EC sales, selling 18 units at a median price of $1,271 psf. Sales at North Gaia – which was launched in April 2022 – could continue to pick up as more buyers turn to the project amid the paring down of unsold EC supply. There were no new EC launches in April.
Developers placed 779 new units (ex. ECs) for sale in April (mostly from Tembusu Grand and Blossoms by the Park) – up from 573 units that were put on the market in the previous month. This is the highest number of units launched for sale in a month since 913 units were launched in September 2022.
Wong Siew Ying, Head of Research & Content, PropNex Realty:
“Another salvo was fired by the government when it tightened the additional buyer’s stamp duty (ABSD) rates from 27 April 2023. The pre-emptive move was aimed at curbing investment demand for private residential properties, particularly among foreigners who are now facing a 60% ABSD rate.
As the dust settles on the new cooling measures, fresh project launches (Blossoms by the Park and The Continuum) in the subsequent weeks have booked good sales – selling over 200 units each – drawing mostly Singaporean and PR buyers. Based on caveats lodged, eight foreigners bought units at Blossoms by the Park (data up till 7th May), while 25 of the buyers are PRs and 173 buyers are Singaporeans. Meanwhile, freehold development The Continuum which was launched on 6 May, sold a commendable 26% of its 816 units. URA caveat data showed that out of the 211 units transacted at The Continuum, there is only one foreigner among the buyers (with others being 23 PR and 187 Singaporeans).
Meanwhile, feedback from our luxury home sales team indicates that while the number of viewings among foreigners generally remains steady, such investors are less forthcoming about buying right now particularly for big-ticket homes, following the latest ABSD hike. It is still early days yet, but we think the ABSD rate hike appears to be taking effect in crimping foreign investment demand. Foreigners are taking a backseat for now, as they assess the impact of the latest cooling measures and perhaps consider other investment options.
Despite the easing in foreign demand, we expect private home prices could remain sticky, as transactions are predominantly supported by local buyers who have ample liquidity, as well as those who are not affected by the cooling measures, in the case of first-time homebuyers. Private home prices in the RCR and OCR – where the unsold supply of launched units is tighter and cater to a bigger pool of owner occupiers – will likely stay relatively resilient, while the CCR which tends to see more foreign investment interest may see marginal price growth this year. A potential pullback in investment demand among foreigners, especially for CCR homes could present more buying opportunities for Singaporeans and PRs.
In April, Singaporeans and PRs made up about 92% of the new private home sales (ex. EC) – relatively on par with that of March (see Table 1). We anticipate that the proportion of sales to local buyers could increase further in May, with the impact of the ABSD hike (introduced from 27 April) taking effect over the entire month of May.
In the first four months of 2023, developers sold 2,143 new private homes (ex. EC), and we expect developers’ sales to likely hover at closer to the upper end of our projection of 6,500 to 7,500 units for the whole of 2023. New homes sales in May 2023 should remain quite healthy with upcoming launch The Reserve Residences drawing keen interest.”