SINGAPORE, 17 July 2023 – Mr Lam Chern Woon (蓝振文), Head of Research and Consulting at EDMUND TIE comments on URA’s announcement on developer sales in June 2023.
New private home sales (excluding ECs) plunged by 73% mom to 278 units in June 2023, down from 1,039 units in May, marking the first decline in the year. The substantial decline in sales volume can be attributed to a high base effect, where two major project launches (The Reserve Residences and The Continuum) drove May 2023 sales to a 12-month high. In contrast, June saw only one new project launched, the 17-unit Lavender Residence in the RCR. Homebuying demand remained sustained, given that sales volume in the month was ninefold of the launch volume of just 31 units. The RCR segment saw the greatest decline of 83% mom in sales volume to 147 units, the CCR moved 112 units, while OCR saw 19 new homes sold.
In June, 79 new homes or 28% of the month’s tally were contributed by The Reserve Residences. Within the RCR, over half (54%) of units moved were attributed to this project, which saw sustained interest due to its strong attributes – being the first mixed-use project linked to a transportation hub in the area and its convenient proximity to amenities and well-known schools such as Pei Hwa Presbyterian Primary School and Methodist Girls School.
CCR and OCR performance
In the CCR, projects such as Leedon Green (14 units), Van Holland (13 units) and The Atelier (12 units), contributed to 35% of the segment’s sales. In the OCR, almost three-quarter of the segment’s sales in the month were contributed by Lentor Modern (5 units), The Botany at Dairy Farm (3 units), Ki Residences at Brookvale (3 units) and Pollen Collection (3 units).
Price pressures were broadly balanced among the top 10 best-selling projects islandwide in June. Six of the top ten best-selling projects islandwide were in the CCR, while four projects were in the RCR.
The Reserve Residences in the RCR posted an increase in median price of 2.2% mom in June. In contrast, seven of the best-selling projects saw an average decline of 3.1% mom in median prices. Take-up rates continued to climb in June for these seven projects to levels of 88% or more (with one project, Van Holland, being fully sold). We expect prices to hold fairly steady in the coming months with limited inventory.
From a broader perspective, median home prices continued to climb in June by 5.1% mom to $2,686 psf and 0.3% mom to $1,622 psf in the primary and secondary market, respectively.
The cooling measures announced in April (doubling of ABSD rates for foreign buyers to 60%) continued to weigh on foreign demand. In June, overall (new and secondary) non-landed home sales to foreigners fell by 70% to 21 units in June, from 71 units recorded in May. As a result, the share of overall non-landed home sales to foreigners, continued to trend downward post-cooling measures from 5.4% in April to 3.7% in May and 2.7% in June.
The respectable performance of three new project launches in July (Lentor Hill Residences, Grand Dunman and Pinetree Hill) continued to attest to latent demand in the housing market, especially in the mass market segments, which is relatively insulated from recent measures that saw buyer stamp duties and additional buyer stamp duties being raised. However, the economy continues to face external headwinds which has largely impacted the export and manufacturing sectors. The unemployment rate has also ticked up to 1.9% in May, although it remains at low levels. Interest rates could resume trending north later this year as Fed policy normalisation continues and households are advised against overextending themselves. The uplift from upgrading demand is also expected to moderate as sales activity and price growth has softened in the public resale market this year.
With a tally of about 3,460 new home units sold for the first half of the year, we maintain our new home sales forecast of 7,000 to 8,000 units for this year and expect overall home price growth of 3-5% amid a mildly positive price trajectory.
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Seah Li Ching (Ms)
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