December sales slump brings 2023 new home sales down to lowest level since 15 years

In the first months following their launch, the average take-up rate for new (at least 100 unit) projects also slowed. It went from 64 percent in 2021 to 72 per cent by 2022.

Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), Monday (Jan. 15), released data showing 135 developers sold units in December of 2023.

December’s results were 83.3% lower than sales of 784 units in November 2023. They were also 21% lower compared to the 170 units purchased in the preceding month.

In January 2009, the number of units sold was 108. This month’s sales were the lowest since then.

The Myst, with nine units sold for S$2,199, was the top performing suburban OCR project. J’den followed, with seven apartments selling at S$2,577, a price that is median.

Midtown Modern (six units) and Watten House (six units), which were both sold at a median S$2,882/sq.ft. and S$3,258/sq.ft. respectively, were the top-selling CCRs for December 2023.

Last year, the number of homes sold was also at its lowest level in 15-years since 2008 (when 4,264 new homes were sold).

Sales last year were down due to a variety of factors. This includes the property cooling measure in April 20,23, the lack of project launches and macroeconomic uncertainty.

Experts see the year-end figures as a positive set of statistics, considering that all stamp duties except those for Singaporeans who make their first purchase will increase in April 20,23.

Mattar Residence

In the Outside Central Regions (OCR) & Rest of Central Regions (RCR), 45 & 66 units were purchased in December respectively.

Industry experts have estimated that 20 new government-awarded projects, which will bring 10,000 new units onto the market in 2019, will be launched. URA figures showed 7,911 new units including ECs were launched last.

Approximately 7,000 – 8,000 private homes to sold in the year 2024. This represents an increase of 6,452 from 2023. But, it is below the five-year median of new developer sales of 9,763 housing units.

The Continuum, which sold 17 units for a S$2,775 median price per square foot, and The Landmark with 13 units changing hands at S$2,853 psf in December were the two top-selling developments on the RCR fringe areas.

For the whole year, RCR had the highest share of sales in new private homes with 3,040 (47.1%). This was followed closely by OCR (1,953 (30.3%) and CCR (1,459 (22.6%).

The RCR recorded a new-sales total in 2023 that was 11.3 percent higher than the previous year. Meanwhile, sales in the OCR & CCR were down by 21 percent and 23 percent, respectively.

About 32.4 percent of the new houses sold in 2023 would be priced between S$1.5m and S$2m, around 20.8 percent were between S$2m and S$2.5m, while 18.2 were within S$1m and S$1.5m.

Even in the future, buyers are still cautious because of high interest rates.

Lower liquidities and smaller budgets

Foreign purchasing demand has remained muted. In November, there were 14 caveats and only four foreigners bought properties.

The decline in sales is not surprising, given that developers held back from launching any new projects last year after successive market cooling and weak buying confidence.

For the entire year, the share of new private residences bought by non-permanent occupants (foreigners), fell from 7,1 percent in 2022 down to 5 percent in 2023.

URA Realis Data showed that six homes sold for at minimum S$5,000,000 in December of 2023.

HDB flat sales have experienced a decrease in cash value over the valuation. This may lead to a decline in demand from HDB upgraders for private housing.

Lower liquidity and smaller spending budgets would restrict demand for private homes from upgraders.

The sentiment may improve in H2 2020 if rates drop and the recovery of the economy occurs.

In the first three months, about 3,300 housing units from 13 different projects will be on sale.

There were 235 foreigners who bought goods from January 2023 to May 2023. Lee reported that from June 2023 to December 2023 there were only 80 transactions. He claimed that the higher ABSD on non-Singaporeans did remove a significant portion of demand from market. The additional buyer’s stamp tax payable by foreigners of residential property was doubled in April from 30% to 60%.

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