Sales of new homes in January were the lowest since 15-years.

URA Realis revealed that 19 new apartments were sold last month in North Gaia EC at Yishun for a S$1,306 psf median price. Altura EC was also selling 14 new units in Bukit batok for a price of S$1,500 psf.

Due to limited supply, affordability, and investment opportunities of ECs the demand will continue to be stable.

It is possible that private home sales will only increase in an important way after March when new projects are placed on the market.

The macroeconomic scenario also improved at the end of 2023. The first indication of possible rate cuts that are expected to occur during the course the year could just be what drives homebuyer interest back into the marketplace. In 2023, the economy is expected to be tepid but employment levels and wealth will remain stable.

Developers expect to sell 7000 to 8000 new homes in this year.

Singaporean private home sales increased by two-thirds last month after the holiday season. Analysts, however, noted that sales volume was low. They were at the lowest level for 15 years due to buyers’ reticence.

According to the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s (URA) data released on Thursday (15th Feb), developers moved a total 281 homes in January. This represents an increase by 108.1% over the previous month, when 135 units were sold.

The latest January sales figure excludes executive condos (ECs) and is 28,5% lower than 393 units in the same month of 2023.

Lee Sze Teck Huttons Senior Data Analyst Lee Sze Teck stated that this is the lowest sales for January since 2009 when developers only sold 108 homes. The low numbers reflect the cautious attitude of buyers.

The January boost was a result of three launches – the 172-unit, freehold condominium The Arcady located at Boonkeng, the Hillhaven 99-year Leasehold in Hillview, and 512 units Lumina Grand EC situated in Bukit batok.

The Arcady, Hillhaven, and Boonkeng are both below 30 per cent.

Nearly 73% of all new homes sold fell in the price range from S$1 million up to S$2.5 millions. 22.9% of the deals were priced between S$2.5 million and S$4,000,000, while the remaining 5.4% were for transactions worth S$4,000,000 or more.

In January, the overall primary market take-up rate was still low. About 63 percent were new units that were launched during the month. This is in stark contrast with the year 2022, where numbers sold outnumbered units launched most months.

Following a fairly uncertain year in 2023 it’s possible that many potential buyers are waiting to see more clarity about the market.

The current market remains active, despite the fact that higher stamp duties will continue deterring foreign buyers. Local buyers who are looking to buy their own home have been driving the current market. There are plenty of options among the roughly 12,000 units scheduled to be released this year. Buyers will pay attention to pricing and specific attributes.

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In January alone, 588 units including ECs were sold and 929 launched. In December, only 36 units were introduced and 152 sold.

The number of unsold private housing units increased from 6,246 (excluding EC) in December 20,23 to 7,936 last month. This could cause concern as the home-buying demand could be modest this year.

The Arcady Boon Keng sold over 90% of its units, and all the units at Hillhaven were sold within the S$3m limit. This indicates that home buyers are being prudent in their decisions.

Outside Central Regions (OCR) accounted 51.2 percent of the non-landed unit sale in January. Rest of Central Region represented 39.9% of all new sales while Core Central Region only made up 8.9%.

Lumina Grand EC at the OCR had 271 units that were sold for a median price S$1,525 a sq. foot. The price tag sets a new benchmark for new ECs, and may have boosted sales at other ECs because they are now more competitive.

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