The Singapore property market has always been known as one of the most resilient in the world. Although it is one of the most expensive markets, Singapore is considered a safe haven for investors due to its strong and stable political climate. With limited land and a strong demand from foreign investors, the Singapore real estate market is viewed as a good investment choice for both local and foreign investors.
According to the URA, home prices in Singapore rose 8.4% in 2022, despite two rounds of cooling measures, high interest rates and uncertainty in the economic outlook. In today’s article, we look at some factors that could shape the property landscape in 2023.
Prices Continue to Increase
In 2022, prices for new launch condominiums outside the CCR such as AMO Residences and Lentor Modern were in the $1,900 to $2,400 psf range and yet it sold 98% and 84% respectively during their launch weekend. According to industry experts, buyers seem to have accepted that $2,000 psf or higher will be the norm moving forward. So will prices continue to increase? The answer seems to be yes - but at a slower pace as compared to the past few years due to high interest rates for mortgage loans, the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, as well as tensions in the Taiwan Straits and the Korean Peninsula.
In 2022, less than 20 new private residential projects were launched. In 2023, according to property agency Huttons, there could be more than 40 new launches, yielding between 10,000 to 12,000 units spread across the CCR (20%), RCR (50%) and OCR (30%). As seen in the 2022 new launches, buyers can be expected to pay new benchmark prices. Among the first projects launched this year was Sceneca Residence which drew nearly 3,000 visitors on the first day. Indicative prices for this project start from $958,000 for a 463 sq ft (1 bedder) and $2.98m for a 1518 sq ft (4 bedder). Other new launches to expect in Q1 are The Botany, Newport Residences, Blossoms by the Park and Terra Hill. After a somewhat muted 2022 for new launches, 2023 is looking much more colourful with options.
According to HDB flash estimates, prices of HDB resale flats rose 10.3% with 11 consecutive quarters of increase. However, total resale volume was 27,773, which is lower than the 30,769 transactions recorded in 2021. With the latest cooling measures and the ramping up of BTO flats, HDB resale prices are likely to rise at a slower pace compared to 2021 and 2022. In 2021, HDB announced that it will ramp up the supply of BTO flats by 35% in 2022 and 2023 and to expect 100,000 new flats by 2025. With the increase in the completion of new homes with more units set aside for first-time applicants along with more choices in the private condo new launches, demand for resale flats may face some downward pressure.
The Rental Market
The rental market in Singapore has been on fire for the past 2 years with both private condo and HDB flats flat rentals increasing for 23 and 29 consecutive months respectively as of November 2022. This was mainly due to delays in the construction of BTO flats and private residential properties.
Will this trend continue in 2023? As more construction workers return to work here, completion of delayed projects can be expected sooner. In the first 6 months of 2022, HDB completed 7,219 flats which is 15% higher compared to the same period in 2021. With the introduction of the September cooling measures that affect private homeowners renting HDB flats after having sold their property, demand for rental is expected to remain strong.
However, with more new homes expected to be completed, industry experts are predicting that increases in prices will not be as robust as they were the past 2 years.
As we move into 2023, all eyes will be on the US Federal meeting on 1st February with interest rates expected to go up again. With much uncertainty in the Korean peninsula and US-China relations, it will be interesting to see how the property landscape unfolds.