Huttons’ comments on URA 4Q 2023’s flash estimates

2 January 2024

Private property prices closed off the year on a strong note growing by 2.7% in 4Q 2023 and 6.7% in 2023. This is more than three times the price growth in 3Q 2023.

The faster pace of price growth was led by the robust sales of three major non-landed launches – Hillock Green, J’den and Watten House in November 2023. It is an indication of the ample liquidity of local buyers as foreigners opt out after the increase in ABSD to 60% in Apr 2023.

Singaporeans and Permanent Residents made up 98.5% of purchases in 4Q 2023 while foreigners account for a mere 1.5%.

Based on caveats downloaded on 2 Jan 2024, purchases by foreigners dropped to a low of 62 in 4Q 2023 compared to a high of 271 in 1Q 2023. This is the lowest number of purchases by foreigners ever since the Government imposed ABSD in Dec 2011.

Chinese buyers dropped to only 11 in 2H 2023 compared to 177 in 1H 2023. In contrast, buyers from the USA became the biggest group of foreigners buying residential property in 2H 2023 due to their favourable tax treatment on ABSD.

Based on caveats, Hillock Green along Lentor Central sold 132 units at an average price of $2,123 psf. J’den in the heart of Jurong Lake District moved 327 units at a benchmark price of more than $2,400 psf. Watten House is the best-selling project in the Core Central Region (CCR) since Jervois Mansion in 2021, selling 114 units at an average price of $3,209 psf.

The three major non-landed projects made up more than 50% of the estimated developer sales of 1,107 units in 4Q 2023.

In 2024, there may potentially be up to 38 launches with an estimated 11,590 units. This is inclusive of the only EC project in 2024, the 512-unit Lumina Grand at Bukit Batok West Ave 5.

There may be up to 2,926 units launched in the CCR, 3,081 units in the RCR and 5,583 units in the OCR.

There may be up to 12 launches in 1Q 2024. Ardor Residence, Hillhaven, Lentoria, Lumina Grand (EC), The Arcady at Boon Keng and The Hillshore are slated for launch before the Lunar New Year with Jansen House, Koon Seng House, Lentor Mansion, Marina View Residences, SORA and The Hill @one-north slated for launch subsequently.

Huttons Data Analytics is cautiously optimistic of a better performance in the new sale market in 2024. Developers are displaying more confidence with higher bids for GLS sites in good locations.

With a rosier economic outlook projected in 2024, developers are estimated to sell between 7,000 and 8,000 units.

Developers are growing in confidence as indicated by their willingness to pay more to secure good sites in the past few Government Land Sales tenders.

Barring unforeseen circumstances, prices in the property market are estimated to grow between 3% and 5% in 2024.