Huttons’ comments on Apr 2023 developer’s sales

15 May 2023

The launch of two major non-landed residential projects in the Rest of Central Region (RCR) in April caused a jump in developers’ sales by 80.3% month-on-month to 887 units. This was 34.2% higher year-on-year as well. A total of 779 units were launched for sale, 36% higher than March 2023 and 96.2% higher than a year ago.

Blossoms by the Park and Tembusu Grand was launched for sale in April 2023. Blossoms by the Park sold 205 units or 74.5% of its 275 units at a median price of $2,427 psf while Tembusu Grand moved 354 units or 55.7% of its 636 units at a median price of $2,463 psf. These two projects accounted for 63.0% of April’s sales of 887 units.

In terms of the number of units sold, Tembusu Grand in District 15 is the best-selling project as of Apr 2023. Projects in District 15 tend to achieve good sales numbers because of people’s desire to live in the East. There is also pent-up demand as the last project launch with a land size above 200,000 sq ft was in 2004.

By percentage, Blossoms by the Park in District 5 is the best-selling project as of Apr 2023. The excellent sales were down to a few reasons. The first being the count of properties owned by buyers. Huttons estimated more than 90% were first time buyers hence unaffected by the cooling measures. The second is the paucity of homes in the one-north area. Blossoms by the Park is one of the two sites for residential use around Biopolis and Fusionopolis. Third is the investment appeal of homes in one-north. The rents in one-north are estimated to be 20% higher than nearby non-landed projects like Dover Parkview and Heritage View and are likely to outperform given the limited supply.

These two project launches pulled up the RCR sales mix in Apr 2023 to 70.8%. The Core Central Region (CCR) sold 208 units in Apr 2023, the highest since Aug 2022 on the back of more purchases by foreigners. The number of foreign buyers almost doubled to 70 in Apr 2023. This is the highest number of purchases by foreigners since May 2022. Geopolitical tensions may have led to more foreigners buying properties in safe havens like Singapore. Projects in the CCR accounted for more than half of the Top 10 projects in Apr 2023.

Sales Breakdown by Region in Apr

Source: URA, Huttons Research as of 15 May 2023

Top 10 Projects by Sales in Apr

Project Name Region Units Sold in the Month Median Price ($psf) Lowest Price ($psf) Highest Price ($psf)
TEMBUSU GRAND RCR 354 2,463 2,280 2,708
BLOSSOMS BY THE PARK RCR 205 2,427 2,196 2,696
THE ATELIER CCR 46 2,658 2,479 2,946
THE LANDMARK RCR 20 2,689 2,453 2,856
LEEDON GREEN CCR 19 2,838 2,339 3,152
HYLL ON HOLLAND CCR 14 2,864 2,776 2,961
PICCADILLY GRAND RCR 14 2,045 1,821 2,174
MIDTOWN MODERN CCR 13 3,019 2,619 3,752
THE BOTANY AT DAIRY FARM OCR 12 2,087 1,929 2,354
IRWELL HILL RESIDENCES CCR 11 3,000 2,639 3,064
KLIMT CAIRNHILL CCR 11 3,585 3,197 3,816
RIVIÈRE RCR 10 2,954 2,811 3,266
THE GAZANIA OCR 10 1,755 1,603 2,253

Source: URA, Huttons Research as of 15 May 2023

Proportion of Purchase by Foreigners

Source: URA, Huttons Research as of 15 May 2023

Top 3 Projects Purchased by Foreigners

Project Region Units Overall Units Sold in Apr

Source: URA, Huttons Research as of 15 May 2023

The proportion of sales $2 million and above in Apr is similar to March’s level at 46.4%.

Purchases by Residential Status and Price Range in Apr

<$1.5 million $1.5 to <$2 million $2 to <$5 million >$5 million Total
Singaporeans 131 284 307 4 726
Permanent Residents 14 29 39 0 82
Foreigners 1 10 42 17 70
Companies 1 1
Total 146 323 388 22 879

Source: URA, Huttons Research as of 15 May 2023

The first launch after the cooling measures, Blossoms by the Park sold more than 200 units or almost 75% of its total units on launch day. There were 8 foreign buyers of which 4 were from China.

Similarly, the second launch after the cooling measures, The Continuum also sold more than 200 units on launch day. By and large the buyers of these two launches are Singaporeans and PRs buying their first property.

The next launch in May will be The Reserve Residences, an integrated transport hub (ITH) development set in the heart of Bukit Timah. ITH are favoured by buyers for its convenience, rarity, its capital appreciation and rentability. With its good attributes, The Reserve Residences is likely to attract both investors and owner occupiers.

The cooling measures will lead to less purchases by foreigners but the impact on overall transaction volume is expected to be minimal. Almost 95% of buyers are either Singaporeans or Permanent Residents.

Interest among foreigners in luxury homes has not declined significantly after the cooling measures. Appointments for viewing of luxury homes by foreigners are still active and interest in Singapore’s residential properties remains robust. The attractiveness of Singapore goes beyond the tax rate. The excellent living environment and education system, stable government and currency, ease of doing business and strong rule of law are some aspects attracting them to Singapore. Quite a number of foreigners have committed to a purchase immediately upon the approval of their PR. The chatter among some UHNWIs is whether the ABSD rate will go up even further and should they buy now or wait. Prices of homes in the CCR are expected to remain stable.

While past cooling measures have resulted in a dip in quarterly transaction volume, it is unlikely to happen in 2Q 2023. Based on Huttons’ ground intel, developers have sold an estimated 1,200 units in the first six weeks of 2Q 2023 which is on par with 1Q 2023’s 1,256 units.

With The Reserve Residences launching in May 2023, developers’ sales are likely to be in the range of 1,500 to 1,600 units in 2Q 2023. This will bring 1H 2023 developers’ sales close to 3,000 units. With more launches in the pipeline, developers are estimated to sell around 8,000 units with prices increasing up to 5% in 2023.