Private home rentals grew at a slower pace of 0.8 per cent in the third quarter of 2023.
SINGAPORE: Private home prices inched up by 0.8 per cent in the third quarter of 2023, following a 0.2 per cent decline in the previous quarter, data released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) showed on Friday (Oct 27).
The authority noted that the average quarterly price increase – around 0.3 per cent – over the past two quarters was “significantly lower” than the average quarterly increase of 2.1 per cent in the whole of 2022.
Landed property prices fell by 3.6 per cent, reversing the 1.1 per cent increase in the previous quarter.
For non-landed properties, prices rose by 2.2 per cent, compared with the 0.6 per cent decline in the second quarter.
Prices for non-landed properties in the core central region (CCR) declined by 2.7 per cent, following the 0.1 per cent dip in the previous quarter. In the rest of central region (RCR), prices went up by 2.1 per cent, compared with the previous 2.5 per cent decrease.
Prices of non-landed properties outside of the central region (OCR) picked up pace, going up by 5.5 per cent following a 1.2 per cent increase.
Ms Christine Sun, OrangeTee & Tie’s senior vice president of research and analytics, said that although private home prices rebounded, this is the second straight quarter that price gains were less than 1 per cent. This is lower than the past three years’ quarterly average price growth of 2.1 per cent from the third quarter of 2020 to the second quarter of 2023.
“Year to date, prices edged up 3.9 per cent in the first nine months of this year, a smaller increment compared to the same periods in 2022 at 8.2 per cent and 2021 at 5.3 per cent,” she added.
According to Mr Lee Sze Teck, senior director of data analytics at Huttons Asia, the three best-selling projects in the third quarter of 2023 are Grand Dunman, Lentor Hills Residences and The Myst.
“Grand Dunman generated a lot of buzz and attracted about 10,000 people on the first weekend of preview,” he said, noting that with 580 units sold in the quarter, Grand Dunman became the best-selling project in more than two years.
Lentor Hills Residences also recorded strong sales, moving almost 400 units, while the Myst – located in Upper Bukit Timah – sold more than 150 units.
The sale transaction volume totalled 5,201 in the third quarter of 2023, compared to 5,388 in the previous quarter and 6,148 in the third quarter of 2022.
RENT PRICES MODERATED
Private home rentals rose at a slower pace of 0.8 per cent in the third quarter of 2023, compared with the 2.8 per cent increase in the previous quarter.
This was the smallest quarter-on-quarter gain since the last quarter of 2020.
The increase in the rentals of non-landed properties slowed to 0.2 per cent, from 2.3 per cent.
Rentals of landed properties went up by 4.4. per cent in the third quarter of 2023, moderating from the previous 6.7 per cent increase.
Rental momentum eased across all market segments, URA said, with prices in the CCR seeing a decline of 1.7 per cent. Those in the RCR and OCR moderated, increasing by 1.9 per cent and 1.3 per cent respectively.
“The rent price moderation is within expectation as rents escalated too quickly last year,” said Ms Sun.
“Price resistance has set in as more tenants shifted out from the private market in search of cheaper accommodation in other market segments. Others have moved from Singapore entirely as they face high rentals and rising cost of living.”
She added that with more new home completions, the vacancy rate rose to 8.4 per cent. The last time the vacancy rate went higher than that was in the third quarter of 2016, when it hit 8.7 per cent.
LESS FOREIGN BUYERS, LOWER BUDGETS
Huttons’ Mr Lee said that the proportion of foreigners buying residential properties in Singapore this quarter more than halved, from 4 per cent to 1.7 per cent, following cooling measures.
US citizens are the top foreign buyers in this quarter, followed by Chinese citizens.
Singaporeans and permanent residents also made up a larger portion, as more buyers wait for either their permanent residency or citizenship before buying a property in Singapore, he added.
More than 81 per cent of purchases are by Singaporeans, with PRs and foreigners making up 16.9 per cent and 1.7 per cent.
SUPPLY OF PRIVATE HOUSING
A total of 9,013 private residential units, including executive condominiums (EC), were completed in the third quarter. The figure is the highest quarterly supply completion since the second quarter of 2016, URA said.
“Cumulatively, the total completions of 17,199 units in the first three quarters of 2023 were more than three times that for the same period in 2022,” it added.
Projects completed during this period include Treasure at Tampines, with 2,203 units, and Normanton Park, with 1,862 units.
Based on the expected completion dates reported by developers, 3,167 units, including ECs, will be completed in the final three months of the year. For the whole of 2023, about 20,400 units, including ECs, are expected to be completed, making it the highest annual figure since 2017.
The steady price growth moderation suggests that the market has peaked, said Dr Tan Kee Hoon, the Singapore country manager for PropertyGuru.
“As such, private property prices could possibly oscillate between slight increases and decreases in the coming quarters.”
The signs of demand abating were “written on the wall”, with looming economic uncertainty around the Singapore property market and high interest rate environment, he added.
“Property seekers continue to recalibrate their buying decisions, so as to buffer against possible financial impact,” he said.
According to Ms Sun, the property market “will continue to be affected by the interest rate environment”.
She said: “Homeowners face steep monthly mortgages as interest rates stay higher for longer than anticipated.
“Consumers will remain prudent amid fresh uncertainties on the geopolitical front and slower-than-expected global economic growth.”