Property Market Review 2021 for New Launch Condos

Depleting inventory and developers' hunger are set to steer prices of new homes to new heights.

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2021 has been a relatively “interesting” year for Singapore’s property market.

Everything seemed slow and underwhelming – especially for the 1st half of 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Just when we thought it’s going to be doom and gloom, 1 new launch project has reignited the market…

Yes, it was Pasir Ris 8 – a new launch integrated development in the eastern region of Singapore.

85% of units were all snapped up within the first weekend of the launch – AVERAGE $1,617 PER SQUARE FOOT!

Pasir Ris 8 sells 85 percent of units on launch day

That’s a ‘crazy’ price point for a property within Outside Central Region or OCR.

Many thought it was totally absurd and the market was going nuts.

Indeed!

It has caused a ripple effect across all market segments as a buying frenzy began over the next few months.

This has injected new life into the primary homes market and property developers have regained their confidence.

As the number of unsold condo units gradually depletes, developers have also started to raise prices for the existing stock.

What’s next?

As stock runs low, developers are getting hungrier as the day goes by and have to be aggressive when competing for land supplies.

Hence, they have started setting new price points with the recent land bids and en bloc acquisitions.

Here are some of the most recent significant land sales in 2021:

2021 URA Government Land Sales Tender Results

As you can see, these sites drew interest with around 10 developers’ bids on average.

This is a clear indication of the level of their hunger.

Moving on to the most recent news which sees the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) listing 2 residential sites at Pine Grove for sale under the Reserve List.

As I’ve previously shared with my friends and clients, the unsold inventory for new homes has been on a steady decline.

With the aggressive land bids and depleting inventory, it has come to a point where developers are really hungry for land.

We just need to take note that, the recent lowest point of unsold inventory was 16,929 back in 2017. 

It looks like a big number but in reality, there is no way this unsold inventory can go down to 0.

Total Number of Unsold Condo Units in Singapore till 2025
Total Number of Unsold Condo Units in Singapore till 2025

We need to understand that developers are in the business of developing land and selling the units for profits. 

It is the same as any departmental store. There is no way that it can sell everything off the shelf and store and then replenish their inventory thereafter). 

This will create havoc and panic in both scenarios.

Coming back to the two Pine Grove sites under the Reserve List. 

Do note that land parcels under the reserve list system will only be released for sale if it receives an offer of a minimum price that is acceptable to the government, while confirmed list sites are launched according to schedule regardless of demand.

Most people on the ground will be asking the following questions and here are my personal thoughts: 

Will it be triggered? 

It’s anyone’s guess.

Looking at how hungry the developers are, I personally think it’s possible. However, some other market watchers have diverse views on this.

As a matter of fact, the more important point to note is – if it is ever triggered, what is the kind of expected bid prices? 

Expected price bid between from $920psf to a high of $1400psf  – What does that translate to? 

  • At $920psf land bid —> Expected launch price of the Pine Grove Sites will be $1,9xx psf upwards
  • At $1,400psf land bid —> Expected launch price of the Pine Grove Sites will be $2,4xx psf upwards

Using the Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1 government land sale as a reference for the other done deals and future ones.

Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1 GLS Tender Breakeven
Source: SquareFoot Research

It was sold at $1,118 psf just 5 months ago and based on the estimated cost to be incurred, the breakeven price would be $1,822 psf.

In other words, it would be almost impossible for the developer to sell at less than this price as it would be a clear loss.

Even just a mere 10 percent profit, the future new launch at Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1 would easily be selling at an average of $2,000 psf.

And don’t forget, this site is in the OCR.

This cement a new floor pricing of $2,xxx psf for future launches across all regions – just like how Pasir Ris 8 has set a new benchmark price for all existing launches.

Let’s be realistic here.

Property developers are not running charitable organizations. They are all profit-driven.

Losses can only bring them a bad reputation and cause shareholders to lose confidence (and it’s clear the share prices will plummet too).

If you do not wish to start paying more for a new launch property in the future (which in fact is just next year), I would strongly urge you to start exploring your options in the current market. 

Right now, there are very limited sweet spot units in the current market – VERY VERY LIMITED. 

Hence, buying into a wrong development will be detrimental to your portfolio. 

Once this wave is over, the new floor price for OCR and RCR in the next wave of new launches in 2022-2023 will start from $1,9xx psf MINIMALLY.

Hard to Find Underpriced Condos in Singapore Property Market Review

It’s just going to be like the $1,000 psf floor price was set back in 2012-2013 with the new wave of new launch at that time frame 8-10 years ago). 

I hope you’ve found my insights on the New Launch Property Market Review for 2021 useful.

If you need a chat/advice, just drop me a WhatsApp message or use the form below and I can share more with you.

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