Huttons’ comments on URA 1Q 2024’s flash estimates

1 April 2024

Price gains in the property market moderated to 1.5% in 1Q 2024, easing from the 2.8% gains in the previous quarter. This is the slowest quarterly gains since 3Q 2021, pointing towards stability in the housing market.

The property market has seen gains of close to 50% since bottoming out in 2Q 2017. The current market upcycle is 27 quarters which is the longest ever since the start of the price index in 1995.

The CCR saw another quarter of strong gains in 1Q 2024. 19 Nassim which obtained its TOP recently saw strong interest from buyers who are looking for large units and keen to stay in the prestigious Nassim enclave. Watten House continued to attract buyers and is 74% sold since its official launch on 2 Mar.

Transaction volume is 1Q 2024 is lower by about 20% quarter-on-quarter, largely pulled down by the resale and subsale market.

The large completion of private homes in 2023 led to more supply in the resale and subsale market.

However in the resale and subsale market, the high interest rates are causing some buyers to pause and see if interest rates will ease. That led to a plunge in resale and subsale volume by almost 30% in 1Q 2024 from the previous quarter.

At the same time, the high interest rates dampened buyers’ willingness to pay more for a resale private home. Overall, this led to a slower pace of price gains in 1Q 2024.

Private Homes Launch and Sales

Huttons Data Analytics estimate developers launched between 1,300 and 1,400 private residential units and sold between 1,100 and 1,200 private residential units in 1Q 2024.

This is close to 1Q 2023’s 1,312 launched units and sales of 1,256 units.

Figure 1: Developer’s New Sales Volume

Source: URA, Huttons Data Analytics as of 1 Apr 2024

The number of launches in 1Q 2023 and 1Q 2024 were similar at 6.

Project launched in 1Q 2024 include Ardor Residence, Hillhaven, Koon Seng House, Lentor Mansion, Lentoria and The Arcady at Boon Keng.

Major non-landed projects like Hillhaven, Lentoria and The Arcady at Boon Keng together sold more than 150 units on launch day. The 1- and 2-bedroom units were popular with most of the buyers due to the quantum and smaller family unit sizes. All buyers at these three projects were Singaporeans and PRs.

The market may have started the year on a slower note due to cautious sentiments among buyers. However, the market received a strong confidence booster in March when Lentor Mansion sold 400 units on launch weekend.

Buyers were drawn to the attractive quantum of below $2 million and the efficient and compact layouts in Lentor Mansion. The stronger sales at Lentor Mansion might push up the price index when the final figures are released on 26 Apr 2024.

Including ECs

Including ECs, developers launched between 1,800 and 1,900 units and sold between 1,500 and 1,600 units in 1Q 2024.

This is higher than 1Q 2023’s 1,312 launched units and sales of 1,462 units.

The first EC launch in 2024, Lumina Grand did very well, selling 269 units on launch weekend. It is more than 70% sold as of 31 March 2024. ECs offer buyers a condo lifestyle at an attractive entry price. The availability of a deferred payment scheme to eligible buyers and upfront remission of ABSD for HDB upgraders are major plus points for ECs.

Purchasers’ Profile

Singaporeans and Permanent Residents made up 98.6% of purchases of private residential properties while foreigners made up 1.1% in 1Q 2024.

The number of foreigners buying private residential properties in 1Q 2024 almost halved to 35 from 4Q 2023’s 66 purchases.

Table 2: Comparison of Price Range and Residential Status (All Sale Types) in 1Q 2024

<$1.5 million $1.5 to <$2 million $2 to <$5 million >$5 million Total
Companies 0 0 3 7 10
Foreigners 9 6 16 4 35
Permanent Residents 231 91 129 27 478
Singaporeans 927 729 1,033 114 2,803
Total 1,167 826 1,181 152 3,326

Source: URA, Huttons Data Analytics as of 1 Apr 2024

Outlook

In April and May 2024, there may be up to 6 project launches with a total of 1,049 units – Arina East Residences, Jansen House, Kassia, SORA, The Hill @one-north and The Hillshore.

The market may only see up to 30 launches and between 7,000 and 8,000 units in 2024. This is similar to 2023’s 26 project launches and 7,551 launched units.

Barring unforeseen circumstances, developers may sell up to 7,000 new homes while prices are expected to be stable, increasing up to 5% in 2024.

Table 3: Potential Upcoming Projects in April/May 2024

No. Project Name Developer Location District Tenure Est Units
1 Arina East Residences ZACD Group Tanjong Rhu Road 15 FH 107
2 Jansen House Macly Group Jansen Road 19 999 21
3 Kassia Hong Leong Holdings Flora Drive 17 FH 280
4 SORA CEL Development, Sing-Haiyi Pearl and TK 189 Development Yuan Ching Road 22 99 440
5 The Hill @one-north Kingsford Real Estate Development Pte Ltd Slim Barracks Rise 5 99 142
6 The Hillshore Hillside View Development Pte Ltd Pasir Panjang Road 5 FH 59
Total 1,049

Source: URA, Huttons Data Analytics as of 1 Apr 2024