170 private new homes sold in December 2022, lowest since January 2009
Analysts said that the underwhelming sales are due to a scarcity of new launches and latest property cooling measures.
In December 2022, developers sold only 170 new residences (excluding executive condos, or ECs).
That is a 34.6 percent decline from the 260 units sold during the previous month. Sales of new private homes have also plunged by 73.8 percent year-on-year.
This is the lowest number of units sold in a month within the new launch segment since January 2009, when developers only sold 108 new launch residential units.
At that time, the effects of the 2008 Global Financial Crisis were still being felt on the market, but it was close to getting better.
This is also the third consecutive month-on-month fall in new house sales.
Analysts have said that the slow sales in December 2022 were made worse by the fact that there weren’t many new launches.
There were only 45 units (not including ECs) launched for sale, and it was the lowest total since URA began collecting the data in June 2007.
Another reason for the low sales volume could also be due to the end-of-year seasonal slump.
Many prospective homebuyers, sellers, and real estate brokers took advantage of the year-end holiday season to travel abroad after being unable to do so for the previous 3 years owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
CBRE believes that the property cooling measures implemented on September 30, 2022, together with a muted economic environment and rising mortgage rates, have all contributed to the lackluster sales.
On the other hand, EC unit sales increased in December 2022.
It rose from 186 units sold in November 2022 to 468 units in December 2022.
This comes on the heels of the opening of Tenet, a 618-unit executive condominium in Tampines developed by Qingjian Realty, Santarli Realty, with Heeton Holdings.
The EC had tremendous demand, with 451 units (or 73 percent of the total available) sold at an average per square foot (psf) price of $1,381 in December 2022. That has made Tenet the month’s best-selling property.
The joint developers say that 576 of the remaining units at Tenet were sold to second-timers on January 7. This means that 93 percent of the units were taken up.
With new EC units included, the number of new homes sold in December 2022 was 638, up from 446 units in November 2022.
Tenet’s success resembles that of Copen Grand, a 639-unit executive condominium project in Tengah.
Copen Grand received a great response after its October 2022 launch, selling over 75 percent of its units in its 1st month before selling all of the remaining units in the following month.
Market watchers say that the huge success of both EC projects shows that the demand for executive condos is still strong, even though there have been new rules to slow down the housing market and mortgage rates are going up.
CCR transactions outnumber sales
With ECs excluded, new private home sales in all 3 regions — Core Central Region (CCR), Rest of Central Region (RCR), and the Outside Central Region (OCR)—fell in December 2022.
In the CCR, 89 new launch units were sold. This was 52 percent of the total for the month and a 40 percent drop from the previous month when 149 residential units were sold.
Leedon Green was the most popular project in the CCR, with 11 units sold at an average price of $2,886 psf.
In the city fringe or RCR, a total of 54 new private homes were sold in December 2022, accounting for 32 percent of monthly sales.
It represents a 26 percent decrease from the 73 units sold in November 2022.
Riviere and The Landmark were the most well-received RCR projects, each selling 14 units.
Riviere units sold for an average psf price of $2,978, while The Landmark units sold for an average psf price of $2,590.
The 2 developments were also the best-performing private residential projects for the month, excluding Tenet.
In the meantime, only 27 new launch residential units were sold in the OCR, a 29 percent decrease from the 38 units that were sold in the previous month.
This is the 3rd month in a row that the CCR has recorded a high number of new private homes sold in a month.
These consistent numbers show that high-net-worth property buyers with their own money may be starting to buy homes in the CCR. These buyers may be looking for a safe place with investment opportunities and are less likely to use any kind of financial leverage.
CBRE says that the increase in sales in the CCR may mean that buyers do see the value of new homes in the CCR.
This is because the price difference between homes in the CCR and those in the OCR and RCR has shrunk, and there are fewer brand-new private residential units left unsold in the OCR and RCR.
Foreign buyers have been on the rise, and in December 2022, they made up 22 percent of new home sales or 37 deals. This is up from 18.8 percent the month before.