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Last Hurrah for the Residential Property Market in 2023



Introduction


The transaction volume in the Singapore private housing primary market jumped in November 2023 before the year-end holiday season starts.


Property developers launched 970 private units last month, 18 times more than the 54 units released in October. Due to the increase in the number of units launched last month, the primary market sales more than tripled to 784 units in November, compared to October’s sales.


New launches in November


Three new residential projects were launched in November, namely J’den, Hillock Green and Watten House. (See Table 1) A total of 570 units in these three projects were sold last month, which made up 72.7% of the 784 units sold in November.


J’den was the best-selling project last month. Due to its proximity to the Jurong East town centre and the pent-up demand in that location, 89.4% of the 368-unit J’den was sold in November at the median price of $2,475 psf. The median price of J’den set a new high benchmark price for private housing in the Jurong area, which would be hard to match in 2024.


Table 1: New residential projects launched in November 2023

Project name

Market Segment

Total no. of units in development

Units launched (Nov 2023)

Units sold (Nov 2023)

Median price ($psf)

J'den

OCR

368

368

329

$2,475

Hillock Green

OCR

474

460

132

$2,110

Walten House

CCR

180

109

109

$3,199

Source: MOGUL.sg, URA


If it was not for the launch and subsequent sales of these three projects, the primary market would suffer another quiet month in November. Table 2 shows the five best-selling residential projects in November. Other than the three new launches, fewer than 20 units were sold in each of the other projects last month.


Table 2: Best-selling residential projects islandwide in November 2023

Project Name

Street Name

No. of units sold (Nov 2023)

Land tenure

Planning area

Median price ($psf)

J'den

Jurong East Central 1

329

99 years

Jurong East

$2,475

Hillock Green

Lentor Central

132

99-years

Ang Mo Kio

$2,110

Walten House

Shelford Rd

109

Freehold

Bukit Timah

$3,199

Grand Dunman

Dunman Rd

17

99 years

Marine Parade

$2,567

Pinetree Hill

Pine Grove

17

99 years

Bukit Timah

$2,446

Source: MOGUL.sg, URA


The last hurrah


The residential primary market appears to remain subdued in December due to the traditional year-end lull period. Hence, the surge in the number of housing units launched and sold in November is the last hurrah for this year.


An estimated 6,500 to 6,700 private housing units are sold by developers this year, fewer than the 7,099 units sold in 2022.


Last year, developers sold 1,479 Executive Condominium (EC) units. This year, the developers’ sales of EC units is projected to half to about 730 to 750 units due to the limited number of new EC projects available for sale.


Chart 1: Private housing monthly launch volume

Source: MOGUL.sg, URA


Chart 2: Private housing monthly primary market sales volume

Source: MOGUL.sg, URA


Outlook


Twelve months ago, there were more than 30 residential projects slated to be launched in 2023. Some commentors were painting a very bullish forecast that developers could sell more than 10,000 units in 2023. Today, the facts point to a very different picture. This is because housing supply does not generate its own demand.


Some developers held back the launches of their projects in 2023, hoping that the market would be more sanguine next year. Hence, there is a sense of déjà vu, as there are several residential projects that are slated to be launched in 2024. 


The current weak sentiments in the property market, partly contributed by the soft employment market, would delay the launches of most of the upcoming projects to the second quarter of 2024 and beyond. In addition, some developers would also avoid launching their project around the holiday season of the Lunar New Year in February.


Furthermore, the expected decline in residential rental rates, the higher property taxes in 2024 and the existing property curbs would weigh down investment demand for residential properties in the coming year.


The good news on the horizon is that interest rates could ease in the coming months, which would reduce borrowing costs for homebuyers. The performance of the private housing market in 2024 would hinge on the Singapore economy and especially the employment market and wage growth. If the outlook for the Singapore economy and employment market were to improve significantly next year, it would give a shot in the arm to housing demand. Otherwise, we can expect a repeat of the subdued sales volume of 2023 next year. That would be déjà vu… again.


Table 3: Best-selling residential projects in Core Central Region in November 2023

Project Name

Street Name

No. of units sold in Nov

Land Tenure

Planning Area

Median price ($psf) in Nov

Watten House

Shelford Road

109

Freehold

Bukit Timah

$3,199

19 Nassim

Nassim Hill

5

99 years

Tanglin

$3,396

Orchard Sophia

Sophia Hill

4

Freehold

Rochor

$2,789

10 Evelyn

Evelyn Rd

4

Freehold

Novena

$2,839

Midtown Modern

Tan Quee Lan Street

4

99 years

Downtown Core

$2,965

Source: MOGUL.sg, URA


Table 4: Best-selling residential projects in Rest of Central Region in November 2023


Project Name

Street name

No. of units sold in Nov

Land Tenure

Planning Area

Median price ($psf) in Nov

Grand Dunman

Dunman Rd

17

99 years

Marine Parade

$2,567

Pinetree Hill

Pine Grove

17

99 years

Bukit Timah

$2,446

The Continuum

Thiam Siew Ave

16

Freehold

Geylang

$2,791

The Reserve Residences

Jalan Anak Bukit

13

99 years

Bukit Timah

$2,576

The Landmark

Chin Swee Rd

9

99 years

Outram

$2,663

Source: MOGUL.sg, URA


Table 5: Best-selling residential projects Outside Central Region in November 2023

Project Name

Street Name

No. of units sold in Nov

Tenure

Planning Area

Median price ($psf) in Nov

Hillock Green

Lentor Central

132

99 years

Ang Mo Kio

$2,110

J'den

Jurong East Central 1

329

99 years

Jurong East

$2,475

Lentor Hills Residences

Lentor Hills Rd

16

99 years

Ang Mo Kio

$2,084

The Lakegarden Residences

Yuan Ching Rd

15

99 years

Jurong East

$2,080

The Myst

Upper Bukit Timah Rd

10

99 years

Bukit Panjang

$2,060

Source: MOGUL.sg, URA

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