Private residential units sold by developers in December 2022
Developers and buyers sat out the primary market in December, in anticipation of 2023
SINGAPORE, 16 January 2023 - On 16 January 2023, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) released the data on developer sales for the month of December 2022.
A summary of the launches and sales is provided in the Appendix.
Ms. Chia Siew Chuin, Head of Residential Research, Research & Consultancy at JLL commented:
The slow primary market in December was expected, as it was a holiday month and most developers took a break from launching new projects, preferring to gear up in the new year. New homes buying activity was also thin as potential house hunters travelled or sat out the market in anticipation of more options from a new lineup of private residential projects in 2023, while monitoring how the market pans out. The only major fresh project launch in December was the executive condominium (EC) project Tenet, which launched 618 units and sold 451 units, which accounted for approximately 93% and 71% of all new units launched and sold (including ECs), respectively during the month.
With more projects in the launch pipeline, some developers appear keen to kick-start early to get ahead of the competition. In January to-date, Sceneca Residence in Tanah Merah has been launched and sold 60% of all units on the day of launch. A few projects are amidst final preparations slated for launch in 1Q23, e.g., The Botany @ Dairy Farm, Terra Hill, Blossoms by the Park and Lentor Hill Residences.
In 2022, developers launched 4,528 private new units (excluding ECs), less than half the tally in 2021 and the lowest annual level since launch data was made available by the URA. The plunge in launch numbers was the result of a cut in supply of private residential units on the Confirmed Lists of the Government Land Sales (GLS) programme in 2019 and 1H 2020 following the July 2018 market cooling measures, as well as in 2H 2020 due to potential impact from the COVID-19 pandemic. Developers also withheld new launches in 2022 due to market curbs implemented in December 2021 and September 2022. There were also few collective sales in the last few years. Mainly capped by limited supply from a depleting unsold inventory, and due to uncertainties arising from the recent market curbs, as well as rising borrowing costs and prices amid a dimmer economic outlook, buyers purchased 7,153 new units (excluding ECs) in the primary market in 2022, a significant drop from 2021’s 13,027 units and the lowest since 2008.
Outlook for 2023
Our outlook for Singapore’s private residential market in 2023 is one of guarded optimism. The market has been resilient but could face headwinds as housing affordability remains a concern with buyers expected to be price sensitive. Notwithstanding the potential dampening effects, several key fundamental drivers will continue to underpin the market. Singapore’s reputation as a haven for investments and the confidence in the potential for long-term capital appreciation will continue to draw both foreign and local buyers. The local population’s strong penchant for private homeownership, healthy household liquidity and a relatively tight employment market are strong underlying demand catalysts. The anticipated return of foreign buyers following the normalisation of country border controls, potentially including those from China – although the pandemic situation in the country is still evolving – also bodes well for the market.
Subject to developers’ strategies and calibration of their project launch programme in response to market demand, some 11,000 new units from more than 40 new private residential projects (excluding ECs) are potentially available for launch. This is up from 2022’s launch tally and close to the annual average of 10,908 units from 2019 to 2021.
If 2022’s new private home sales were limited by the lack of supply in 2022, the market should see homebuying demand being led by supply in 2023, and potential buyers will have more choices. Projects with attractive locational and product attributes will find favour with them as will those reasonably priced and modest-sized units with more affordable absolute price quantum. Considering the fundamental demand drivers and the possible challenges, but barring an adverse turn of macroeconomic conditions, we project 7,000 to 9,000 private (excluding ECs) new home sales in 2023.
Private home prices are expected to continue rising in 2023, as housing demand and supply dynamics largely remain supportive of the market. However, the pace of increase is projected to moderate from the 8.4% year-on-year (y-o-y) gain in 2022 (according to flash estimate) to 2% to 4% y-o-y in 2023, as economic conditions could be challenging, keeping buyers prudent amid elevated prices and market curbs. The flash estimate also showed that overall private home price increase slowed to 0.2% quarter-on-quarter (q-o-q) in 4Q22, from 3.8% q-o-q in 3Q22, which could indicate price escalation tapering off.
In December 2022, 45 new private home units were launched for sale, an 85.9% drop from the 319 units launched in the previous month. On a y-o-y basis, the number of new units launched also fell, specifically by 88.3%.
There were no fresh private project launches (excluding ECs) in December 2022. The bulk of the units launched was from previously launched projects, such as Riviere and Haus on Handy, which jointly accounted for 95.6% of the total units launched in the month.
Developers sold 170 new private homes (excluding ECs) in December 2022, a 34.6% fall from the 260 units sold in November 2022. The take-up during the month was led by the prime Core Central Region (CCR) with 89 units sold, followed by the city fringes i.e. Rest of Central Region (RCR) with 54 units sold. Meanwhile, the suburbs or Outside Central Region (OCR) saw 27 units being taken up in December 2022.
The top selling projects during the month are listed in Table A below. Riviere and The Landmark were the top-selling projects for the month of December, transacting 14 units each at a median price of SGD 2,978 psf and SGD 2,590 psf, respectively.
Table A - Top Selling Projects
|Project||Sub-market||Sold (units)||Median price ($ psf)|
|Hyll on Holland||CCR||7||$2,675|
|One Holland Village Residences||CCR||7||$2,812|
The EC market also witnessed a fresh launch last month, as Tenet launched all its 618 units, achieving a take-up rate of 73% (451 units sold) during the month of launch at a median price of SGD 1,381 psf. There remains a limited supply of ECs available in the market, and buyers remain keen on purchasing ECs due to their attractive pricing, which could partly explain the generally strong take-up rates achieved at new EC projects.
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