The December slowdown has brought 2023 sales of new homes to the lowest in 15 Years

The sales slump was not unexpected, since developers had held back on launching new project last year due to the successive cooling measures of the market and low buying sentiment.

Industry experts estimate that about 20 new sites from the government awarded land sales will be launched in this year. The new units on the market are expected to reach 10,000. URA data indicated that 7,911 newly launched units, including ECs, were released last year.

December’s sale was 83 per cent less than the 784 unit sales in November 2023. It was also 21 per cent less than the 170 sold units in the same month last year.

A seasonal slowdown in sales at year’s end, coupled with the lack of new housing projects that were launched, pushed new home sales down to their lowest level since January 2009.

Knight Frank’s Head of Research Leonard Tay estimates that 6452 new homes will be built in 2023. That’s 9.1 percent fewer than 2022’s 7,099 home sales and half what developers sold in 2020.

This was also the lowest number of new home sales in 15 years, since 2008 when there were only 4,264 homes sold.

A combination of factors could have contributed to the sales decline last year, including property cooling measures set for April 2023 and a lack of new projects, macroeconomic uncertainties, and interest rate increases.

The average rate of take-up for new projects with at least 100 units within the first one month has also declined from 64% in 2020 to 72.5% in 2012. This figure is now down to just 55.5% in 2030.

Urban Redevelopment Authority’s (URA) data from Monday, January 15, showed that developers sold 135 condos in December 2023.

Experts said that the figures were encouraging, given that stamp duty will be raised for all purchasers in April of 2023 except for Singaporeans buying their first homes.


Midtown Modern was the most popular CCR project in December of 2023. It sold six apartments at a price median of S$2,882/sqft and S$3,258/sqft, respectively.

For the entire year, RCR led the overall sales of new private homes, accounting for 3,040 (47.1%) units. This was followed by OCR, which sold 1,953 (30.3%) units, and CCR, which sold 1,459 (12.6%).

The RCR new-sales volumes in 2023 were up 11.3% year on a year basis, while the OCR volume and CCR volume fell by 21.3% and 23.3% respectively.

About 32,4% of new homes in 2023 are priced between S$1.5M-S$2M. Another 20.8 % fall within the S$2M-S$2.5M price range. And 18.2 % fall within the S$1M-S$1.5M price range.

The high interest rate environment has made buyers cautious. As a result, the majority of sales will still be at prices below S$2.5m, even in the year 2024.

For December, there were 45 and 65 transactions in the Outside Central Region.

The Continuum (where 17 units were sold for a median price S$2,775 psf) and The Landmark (where 13 units were traded at S$2,853 psf) were the two most popular projects in RCR City fringe areas.

The Myst had nine units that were sold at S$2,199psf and J’den was next with seven units being sold at S$2,577psf.

The demand from foreign buyers remained tepid. Foreign buyers bought four properties in November, accounting for 3 per cent of monthly sales. However, this is still higher than the 1.8 percent or 14 caveats recorded in November.

For the full calendar year, foreigners’ share of private home purchases (non permanent residents) decreased from 7.1% to 5.1%.

URA Realis data revealed that there were two non landed homes, at Watten House, which transacted for over S$10 million. Meanwhile, six of them were sold in December 2020 for at least S$5million.

HDB flats transactions are now less cash-over-value, so the demand for upgrades in private housing could be weaker.

In the period January-May 2023, foreigners are estimated to have made 235 purchases. Lee stated that the number of transactions dropped from 235 in January to a mere 80 between June and December. The ABSD increase on foreigners took away a large portion of the demand, said Lee. From end-April, the Additional Buyers’ Stamp Duty that foreign buyers pay on residential property increased from 30 to 60 percent.

He added that lower budgets and liquidity would reduce the demand from upgraders for private housing.

The average number of new homes sold over the past five years is 9,763 but this will still be below the 7,000 to 8,000 units that are projected to be built by private developers in 2024.

In H2 2024 the mood may improve if interest rate eases and the economic recovery occurs.

The first quarter could see the sale of 3,300 homes across 13 different projects.

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