News release

URA releases flash estimate of 3rd Quarter 2023 private residential property price index

Private home prices eke out a marginal rise in 3Q23

October 02, 2023

Chia Siew Chuin

+65 9695 5776

Andrew Peck

+65 9823 7917

SINGAPORE, 2 October 2023 - The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) released the flash estimate of the price index for private residential property for 3rd Quarter 2023 today.

A summary of the price trends is provided in the Appendix.

Ms. Chia Siew Chuin, Head of Residential Research, Research & Consultancy at JLL 谢岫君, 私宅市场研究部主管 (新加坡) commented:

“After the initial market reaction to the punitive increase in additional buyer’s stamp duty (ABSD) effective from April 2023, which led to the private residential property price index (PPI) from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) slipping by 0.2% quarter-on-quarter (q-o-q) in 2Q23, private home prices inched up marginally in 3Q23.

Private home prices defied the cooling measures and a weaker economic outlook to edge up 0.5% q-o-q in 3Q23. Year-to-date in 3Q23, the price index is up 3.6% and is still at an all-time high. However, the momentum of price increase in the first three quarters of 2023 is slower than the 8.2% climb over the same period in 2022 and the 5.3% rise from 1Q21 to 3Q21.

The rise in private home prices in 3Q23, which followed soon after just one quarter of dip came as a surprise in the light of prevailing weaker market sentiment that was exacerbated by the introduction of more prohibitive cooling measures in April 2023. The measures were designed to curb investment demand, prioritise owner occupation and align property prices with economic and income growth. Thus far, while prices are still on an upward trajectory, the measures appear to have been effective in moderating the pace of price increase, as well as investment and foreign buyer demand with a decline in transaction volume.

The overall gain in private home prices in 3Q23 was led by the 2.1% q-o-q improvement in the prices of non-landed private homes during the quarter, which reversed the 0.6% fall in 2Q23. Resilient demand from local owner-occupiers supported higher prices of non-landed homes in the Rest of Central Region (RCR) and Outside Central Region (OCR) and led to the price increase for non-landed properties islandwide.

In contrast, prices of landed homes decreased by 4.9% in 3Q23, following the 1.1% rise in the previous quarter.

Core Central Region (CCR)

The hike in ABSD under the April 2023 market cooling measures had a moderating effect on investment and foreign buyer demand, which resulted in a further decrease in prices of non-landed private homes in the CCR.

The price index for non-landed homes in market segment slipped by 2.6% q-o-q, a steeper slide than the 0.1% dip in the previous quarter.

This marks the sharpest quarterly fall since 3Q20 when prices in the segment fell by 3.8% as country borders were closed to foreigner buyers and investors due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Available caveat records downloaded from the URA on 29 September 2023 showed that total private homes sales in the CCR have thus far dropped by 32.6% q-o-q and by 46.3% y-o-y to 683 units in 3Q23. Homebuying in the CCR by foreigners also plummeted by a staggering 63.7% q-o-q from 102 units in 2Q23 to 37 units in 3Q23. Y-o-y, units bought by foreigners fell 73.2%.

Available transactions data for 3Q23 also indicate that the decline in median prices for some projects likely led to the sharper price drop for CCR homes, as developers actively cleared unsold units in ongoing launches. These included Park Nova, Irwell Hill Residences, Dalvey Haus, Sanctuary@Newton, Klimt Cairnhill and 15 Holland Hill.

Rest of Central Region (RCR)

Prices in the RCR or the fringe areas rose by 2.3% q-o-q in 3Q23, after posting a 2.5% fall in the previous quarter. Prices gains in the market segment were supported by new launches.

The mega project, Grand Dunman, was launched in July and has since moved 577 units or 57.2% of its total units at a median price of $2,522 psf in 3Q23. The new launch of Pinetree Hill sold 146 units (28.1% of total units) at a median price of $2,360 psf in 3Q23.

Other projects that contributed to the overall increase in median prices for non-landed homes in the RCR included Myra, One Pearl Bank, Bartley Vue, Meyer Mansion and The Landmark.

Outside Central Region (OCR)

In the OCR or the suburbs, prices were the most resilient, escalating by 5.1% q-o-q, extending the 1.2% q-o-q gain in 2Q23.

Strong demand from local buyers purchasing homes for their own occupation drove the transaction volume in the market segment up by 14.9% q-o-q in 3Q23, based on available caveat records.

The homebuyers in the OCR were drawn to new project launches, which resulted in the new sale transaction volume increasing by 6.7 times q-o-q to 709 units in 3Q23. Y-o-y, new sales were 57.8% lower.

New project launches in the OCR in 3Q23 were Lentor Hills Residences (598 units), The Myst (408 units), The LakeGarden Residences (306 units) and The Arden (105 units). The Shorefront (23 units) was also released in September. Lentor Hill Residences sold 390 units at a median price of $2,107 psf and The Myst moved 151 units at a median price of $2,065 psf in 3Q23. The LakeGarden Residences was priced at a median price of $2,100 psf and 70 units were sold. The Arden sold 37 units at a median price of $1,777 psf.

Other projects that supported the overall rise in median prices for non-landed homes in the OCR included Ki Residences at Brookvale and Sceneca Residence.

Outlook

Recent market data suggests that the April cooling measures have moderated investment and foreign buyer demand, as well as the prime CCR market segment. However, local demand, especially from first-time buyers for mass-market homes, should stay resilient. Interest from local resident buyers on the lookout for value deals in the prime markets are foreseen to support demand and prices. Buyers are also likely to favour new projects over resale homes.

In October and November, transaction volumes should be supported by the potential launches of several new projects, such as Watten House, The Hill @ one-north, Hillock Green in Lentor Central and J’Den, which is the redevelopment of Jcube in Jurong East.

Nonetheless, with 19 projects already launched in 2023 and pent-up demand is likely to be mostly satiated, prospective buyers will have ample options to pick from. Developers are anticipated to be cautious and realistic in their project pricing strategies to drive sales, as buyers remain price-sensitive in a weaker economic environment with inflation and elevated interest rates.

However, significant price corrections are not expected unless there is widespread retrenchment and a prolonged economic recession. The high land costs previously committed by developers for upcoming projects, combined with the current low inventory of unsold homes and the overall healthy financial position of households should support price points.

Past data also indicate that recent market cooling measures prior to April 2023 did not have permanent effects on stabilising the residential market. They resulted in just brief slips in prices or moderated price growths extending one to two quarters before demand and price increases picked up pace again. For instance, the cooling measures implemented in July 2018 saw prices falling in just two quarters by 0.1% q-o-q in 4Q18 and by 0.7% q-o-q in 1Q19. Private home prices also held up despite the Covid-19 pandemic as well as the new rounds of cooling measures in December 2021 and September 2022.

Taking these factors into consideration, private home prices, which recorded a net price increase of 3.6% over the first three quarters of 2023, are likely to remain relatively stable in the next few quarters. This aligns with JLL Singapore Research's projection of a moderate 2% to 4% price gain for the whole of 2023, slower compared to the significant 8.6% increase in 2022.

Appendix

The changes in the price indices for the different market segments between 2Q23 and 3Q23 are tabulated below:

2Q23 3Q23 (Flash estimates)
Overall -0.2% 0.5%
Non-landed -0.6% 2.1%
Core Central Region (CCR) -0.1% -2.6%
Rest of Central Region (RCR) -2.5% 2.3%
Outside Central Region (OCR) 1.2% 5.1%
Landed 1.1% -4.9%

Source: URA, JLL Research


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