Huttons’ comments on May 2023 developer’s sales

15 June 2023

Two major non-landed residential projects in the Rest of Central Region (RCR) were launched for sale in May. The number of units launched in May almost doubled month-on-month to 1,595 units. This is 99.9% higher than April 2023 and 28.6% higher year-on-year.

The Continuum, an 816-unit freehold project along Thiam Siew Avenue sold 225 units at a median price of $2,720 psf in May 2023. This is the first freehold project launch with a large land size above 200,000 sq ft since Haig Court in the Katong area in almost 20 years. Developed over two parcels of land, The Continuum will be a landmark project in Katong with an iconic bridge connecting two sites together. Quality fittings, a freehold tenure, proximity to good schools and the Paya Lebar sub-regional centre are other reasons drawing buyers to the project.

The Reserve Residences sold 523 units in May at a median price of $2,461 psf, making it the best-selling project by units sold in 2023 and in the RCR. This is the second highest monthly sales by number of units after Normanton Park in Jan 2021. It is the first and only integrated transport hub (ITH) development in Bukit Timah. Usually there is only 1 ITH in a district. ITHs are favoured by buyers for its convenience, rarity and its capital appreciation and rentability. The fear of missing out on a good development is a decisive push for many, as long as they have sufficient cash on hand and bank mortgages are approved.

Almost 99% of the buyers in these two projects are Singaporeans and Permanent Residents. Only 3 and 5 units were sold to foreigners in The Continuum and The Reserve Residences, respectively.

Together these two projects accounted for 72.1% of May 2023’s sales. Developers sold a total of 1,038 units in May 2023, 17% higher month-on-month but 23.4% lower year-on-year. Sales in the Core Central Region in May dropped by 26.9% compared to April 2023. Part of the reason could be due to the cooling measures on April 27.

Sales Breakdown by Region in May

Sales Breakdown by Region in May

Source: URA, Huttons Research as of 15 June 2023

Top 10 Projects by Sales in June

Project Name Region Units Sold in the Month Median Price ($psf) Lowest Price ($psf) Highest Price ($psf)
THE RESERVE RESIDENCES RCR 523 2,461 2,197 2,790
THE CONTINUUM RCR 225 2,720 2,573 2,972
THE LANDMARK RCR 25 2,610 2,494 2,879
THE ATELIER CCR 22 2,685 2,564 2,877
PICCADILLY GRAND RCR 18 2,083 1,951 2,161
THE BOTANY AT DAIRY FARM OCR 16 2,125 1,917 2,402
TEMBUSU GRAND RCR 15 2,436 2,325 2,709
LEEDON GREEN CCR 14 2,898 2,546 3,214
HYLL ON HOLLAND CCR 13 2,914 2,821 3,059
MIDTOWN MODERN CCR 10 2,850 2,661 3,198
THE AVENIR CCR 10 3,112 3,068 3,192

Source: URA, Huttons Research as of 15 June 2023

The proportion of purchase by foreigners dropped significantly in May. This is partly due to the recent cooling measure where the ABSD was doubled to 60% for foreigners. However there was a transition provision to allow the exercise of option to purchase on or before 17 May 2023 to fall under the previous ABSD of 30%. The full effect of the cooling measure will be evident in June. Huttons estimate the proportion of purchases by foreigners to be around 1% moving forward. The top nationality purchasing residential properties in Singapore moving forward could be the USA as their Nationals are accorded the same tax treatment as Singaporeans.

Proportion of Purchase by Foreigners

Proportion of Purchase by Foreigners

Source: URA, Huttons Research as of 15 June 2023

Top 3 Projects Purchased by Foreigners

Project Region Units Overall Units Sold in May

Source: URA, Huttons Research as of 15 June 2023

The proportion of sales $2 million and above in May is similar to April’s level at 46.2%.

Purchases by Residential Status and Price Range in May

<$1.5 million
$1.5 to <$2 million $2 to <$5 million >$5 million Total
Singaporeans 159 338 384 4 885
Permanent Residents 14 33 61 6 114
Foreigners 8 24 4 36
Companies 0
Total 173 379 469 14 1,035

Source: URA, Huttons Research as of 15 June 2023

There will be no launches planned for the month of June due to the school holidays. Sales in June may be similar to the monthly sales of 200 to 400 in the last 3 months of 2022 due to the absence of launches and low volume of unsold units in the market.

Upcoming launches in July include Altura (EC), Grand Dunman, Lentor Hills Residences, Mattar Residences, Orchard Sophia, Pinetree Hill, The Lakegarden Residences and The Myst.

There had not been an EC in Bukit Batok for 22 years. Furthermore, ECs are given upfront remission on ABSD hence Altura is likely to see strong interest from first time buyers and HDB upgraders.

Grand Dunman will be the first and only mega launch in 2023 and in District 15. It is a mere 2-minute walk to Dakota MRT station.

The strong sales seen for Lentor Modern indicates buyers’ interest in the Lentor private residential enclave and Lentor Hill Residences should see good response.

Mattar Residences is a freehold bespoke development within walking distance to Mattar MRT station. Buyers who are looking for a ready to move-in new home will be attracted to Mattar Residences as it will obtain its TOP in July 2023.

Orchard Sophia is a freehold project in the private Sophia Road residential enclave in District 9. It is within walking distance to Dhoby Ghaut MRT interchange.

Pinetree Hill is an exclusive residential sanctuary nestled in the highly coveted Mount Sinai landed enclave with 88% of the site area dedicated to landscaping. Furthermore, there had not been a launch in the area since 2009 and the pent-up demand will drive sales for Pinetree Hill.

The Lakegarden Residences will be the first private residential launch besides Jurong Lake and the rarity of living besides Jurong Lake will pique buyers’ interest.

The lush greenery creating a private and exclusive living and residential services for residents will wow buyers for The Myst. It is a short 5-minute walk to Cashew MRT station.

The recent lowering of interest rate for fixed rate housing loans may be an indication of lower rates moving forward. Projects which are completing within the next 1 to 2 years may see more interest as buyers can opt to switch to a fixed rate loan upon TOP. This may give a slight boost to the property market.

Developers are estimated to sell more than 2,000 units in 2Q 2023 and more than 3,000 units in 1H 2023. With more launches in the pipeline, the market is on track to sell around 8,000 units with prices increasing up to 5% in 2023.