Developers sold only 170 houses for new construction (excluding executive condominiums, or ECs) in the month of December 2022. an increase of 34.6% plunge from the 250 units sold one month prior. In a year-over-year basis the number of new homes sold fell by 73.8%.
It’s the lowest volume of sales per month in the main market since January 2009 at which time developers sold more than 108 new houses, according to Nicholas Mak, head of research and consultancy for ERA Realty Network. At the time the market was struggling to recover from the aftermath on the Global Financial Crisis.
It also marks the third consecutive drop in the number of homes sold. Similar to the two previous months, the sluggish results in 2022’s December fueled by the absence of any new residential launches by private companies, with just 45 homes (excluding ECs) launched for sale — the lowest amount since URA began reporting figures in June 2007 is the opinion of Lee Sze Teck, Huttons Asia’s director of research.
The ERA’s Mak is also adamant that the slow sales to the slowdown. “Many market-related decision makers, such as brokers, buyers and sellers utilized the vacation to travel abroad after not being able travel abroad for the past three years due to the pandemic” Mak adds.
However, Tricia Song, head of research Southeast Asia, at CBRE says that cooling policies are scheduled to roll out on Sept . 30 2022. She also notes that the a “deteriorating economic environment” and the rising rates for mortgages, caused the drop in sales.
The sale of EC units saw an increase in December 2022, growing from the 186 units sold at the end of November, 2022. This was increased to 468 units in the last month. This comes after the introduction in the year 2022 of Tenet, a 618-unit EC located in Tampines from Qingjian Realty, Santarli Realty and Heeton Holdings. The EC was a huge success, with 451 or 73% in units selling for the median price of $1,381 per sq ft in December 2022. This makes the project the highest-selling of the month of December. On January 7th, the joint developers revealed that Tenet had reached an average take-up of 93% (576 units) following the release of the remaining units on sale were handed over to buyers who had previously purchased the unit.
With ECs including ECs, home sales totaled 638 units last month which was up from the 446 units that were sold on November 20, 2022.
OrangeTee & Tie’s Sun points out that the popularity of Tenet mirrors the success of Copen Grand (the 639-unit EC that was launched in Tengah. After its debut in the month of October, 2022 Copen Grand saw a huge response, with sales of around 75% of its units within the first month, but the left units sold by the following month. “The strong selling performance for both of these projects suggests that demand is robust for ECs even with the recent measures to cool the market and increasing rates of interest,” she comments.
CCR transactions are the top-selling sales
Excluding ECs and ECs, all three regions which include Core Central Region (CCR), Rest of Central Region (RCR) and Outside Central Region (OCR) experienced a drop in sales of private homes for new construction in the month of December 2022.
In the CCR the month of March, 89 new private houses were sold, making 52% of the total monthly sales and 40% reduction of the 149 homes that were sold in the month prior to. The most sought-after project within the CCR is Leedon Green, where 11 units were sold for a median cost of $2,886 per square foot.
In the RCR the RCR, 54 new homes built by private homeowners were sold between December 2022 and 2023 which accounted for 32% of monthly sales and 26% decrease in m-o-m sales from the 73 units that were sold in the month of November 2022. The most sought-after RCR project are Riviere along with The Landmark, which moved 14 units per. The units in Riviere were sold for an average price of $2,978 per sq ft as opposed to the units of the Landmark was sold for $2,590 per sq ft. The Landmark was not included in the sale. Tenet both developments also ranked as the top-performing projects in the month of.
In addition, only 27 homes for sale were sold in the OCR decreasing 29% in m-o-m sales from 38 homes that were sold the previous month.
Leonard Tay, Knight Frank Singapore’s head of research notes that for the third time in a row that the CCR has recorded the highest volume of private home sales. “These constant numbers indicate that home buyers with high net worth who have private capital seeking safe investment opportunities , and not as dependent on financing via debt, could be beginning to buy houses in prime regions within the CCR,” he elaborates.
CBRE’s Song notes that the increased home sales within the CCR could indicate that buyers value CCR homes as the cost difference between new homes in the CCR as compared to OCR and RCR shrinks, in conjunction with the depletion of homes that are not sold in the latter regions.
Foreign buyers’ purchases increased in December 2022, taking the up of 37 transactions, which is 22% of the new home sales as compared the 18.8% the month before. This is the largest percentage of monthly purchases by foreign buyers over the course of the year.
New homes sold for sale total 7,153 units in 2022.
According to the December 2022 numbers new home sales (excluding ECs) totalling 2022 will total 7,153 units. This is a 45.1% y-o-y decline from 13,027 units in 2021. As per Christine Sun, senior vice head of research and analysis for OrangeTee & Tie, this is the lowest year-on-year number of new homes sold since the year 2008 which saw the sale of 4,264 units. Knight Frank’s Tay says that the year-long number is less than his initial estimate of 8,000-9000 units in 2022. He attributes the drop in y-o-y in sales of new homes to a lack of notable launches in specific months, especially towards the beginning and the at the end in the calendar year. “In the 1Q of2022, developers were hesitant to begin new projects due the cooling measures announced in December 2021 as in the fourth third of this year’s calendar, buyers in the area took revenge trips and vacations following two decades of being held to the pandemic,” the author states.
Mohan Sandrasegeran, senior analyst for research and content creation for One Global Group, adds that, excluding ECs aside from large launches like The 407-unit Piccadilly Grande or the 605-unit Lentor Modern, the majority of new launches in 2022 were smaller or boutique projects. Developers have launched 4,528 private housing units in 2022, less than half of the units launched in 2021 and the smallest annual amount of units launched since data was released by URA.
Sandrasegeran also reveals that foreign buyers purchased 502 brand-new homes in 2022. This is 7% of the new private sales of housing for the year. By contrast foreign buyers purchased new homes in 540, which is around four% from the overall in 2021. “The Singaporean property market has been a draw for foreign buyers, despite the increased prices of stamp duty for foreign buyers, which raised by 20% to% up to% by December 20, 2021.” he says.
New launches will help 2023 sales
Over the next couple of months, home sales may be slow according to CBRE’s Song. “Home buyers as well as developers will likely continue taking a wait-and-see attitude during the first quarter of 2023, in spite of a negative economic outlook as well as that Chinese New Year seasonal lull.”
But sales for January will likely to be helped through Sceneca Residence, the 268-unit residential project located within Tanah Merah Kechil Link by MCC Singapore, Ekovest Development and The Place Holdings. The project was the first ever new project to launch in the year, had the sale of 160 units (about 60%) sold for the average price of $2,072 at the time of its day of launch. “This positive result will help to eliminate doubts about the viability of this market, and also set the scene for future launches that will be announced in February and March 2023.” Lee says. Huttons’ Lee.
The Tay of Knight Frank note that 12,000 new homes for private buyers could be built during the year, which could provide some relief to the oversupplied market, as well as more options for homeowners. However, the economic uncertainty like the rise in interest rates as well as employee cuts, could dampen the mood. The economist expects lower private home sales between 7,000 and 8,000 by 2023. Prices are projected to rise up to 5-% up to 7%.
The ERA’s Mak has an optimistic approach and believes that more buyers will be attracted back to the market in light of coming launches, assuming no an increase in the economy environment. “Developers may sell anywhere from 10,000-9,000 housing units. Thirteen houses in Riviere were sold for an average price of $2,978 in the month of December 2022,” he estimates.