November new home sales fall 17% m-o-m to 259 units

/ EdgeProp Singapore |
Riviere was the best-selling project (excluding executive condominiums) in October, with 19 units sold (Picture: Samuel Isaac Chua/The Edge Singapore)
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SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - Developers sold 259 new homes excluding executive condominiums (ECs) in November, dropping 17.3% m-o-m compared to the 313 units sold in October. This is the lowest monthly sales since December 2014 and lower than the 277 units sold in April 2020, when the Circuit Breaker period came into effect, notes Tricia Song, head of research, Southeast Asia at CBRE.
The lackluster new home sales was underpinned by the absence of notable project launches in November. Developers launched 319 housing units excluding ECs last month, predominantly “smallish” launches that saw lukewarm take-up, says Song. While November’s launched units tripled the 102 homes launched in October, it is 75% lower y-o-y.
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Wong Siew Ying, head of research & content at PropNex Realty, highlights that the low unsold stock of new homes, especially in the Outside Central Region (OCR), also predicated the tepid sales. “Based on URA data, most of the existing OCR launches are 80% to 100% sold, leaving buyers with limited options,” she remarks.
Meanwhile, JLL’s head of residential research, research & consultancy Chia Siew Chuin observes that other factors contributing to the lower sales include uncertainties arising from fresh property market curbs announced on Sept 29, the seasonal year-end lull and a weaker economic outlook.

CCR sees highest sales

All three regions – Core Central Region (CCR), Rest of Central Region (RCR) and OCR – saw a decline in sales in November. In the CCR, 148 units excluding ECs were sold, accounting for 57% of the monthly sales and a 15% m-o-m drop from the 172 units sold in October. The top-selling project in the CCR was Leedon Green, which saw 16 units moved at a median price of $2,851 psf. One Holland Village Residences was the next best-performing CCR project, with 15 units sold at a median price of $3,154 psf.
In the RCR, developers sold 73 new units, representing 28% of the monthly sales. This marks a 10% decline m-o-m from the 81 units sold in October. The most popular RCR project was Riviere, which sold 19 units at a median price of $3,024 psf. “Riviere, which is expected to obtain its temporary occupation permit (TOP) in Q1 2023 has been steadily moving units over the past months; the 455-unit project is 87% sold as of November,” observes PropNex’s Wong. The Landmark was the second best-selling RCR project, with 13 units sold at a median price of $2,459 psf.
In the OCR, only 38 units excluding ECs were sold, down 37% m-o-m, coming off the lack of sizable launches as well as depleted unsold stock. Lentor Modern was the top-selling project in the OCR, moving 9 units at a median price of $2,218 psf.
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JLL’s Chia notes that median prices of new home sales strengthened across all three markets. Based on URA’s transaction data as of Dec 13, median prices of new home sales in the CCR increased by 4.5% from 1Q2022, while prices in the RCR and OCR increase by 24.9% and 19.9% respectively.
Chia attributes the much larger price increases in the RCR and OCR to sustained demand from owner-occupier buyers. In addition, the RCR also sees interest from investors and has performed better than the CCR given price and rental competitiveness, while the OCR has also seen broad support from HDB upgraders. (Find HDB flats for rent or sale with our Singapore HDB directory)
Meanwhile, Lee Sze Teck, senior director, research at Huttons Asia, flags that a higher number of foreign buyers was recorded for new home sales in November. Foreign buyers acquired 51 new home units last month or 19.7% of the month’s sales. This is higher than the 32 units (11.3% of October sales) recorded in October. “It is the largest proportion since September 2011 where foreigners made up 20.2% of total purchases,” Lee comments. He adds that units sold to foreign buyers include a unit at Les Maisons Nassim that fetched $36 million and three units at Park Nova.

Proportion of new home sales purchases by foreigners

Source: URA, Huttons Research as of Dec 15

Copen Grands sells out, bolstering EC sales

Meanwhile, new home sales including ECs clocked in at 445 units in November, representing a 45.1% decrease from the 811 units sold in October. Out of the 186 EC units sold in November, 176 came from Copen Grand, with the units sold at median price of $1,323 psf. The 639-unit Copen Grand, which was launched in late October, is now fully sold.
Mohan Sandrasegeran, senior analyst, research & content creation at One Global Group, says Copen Grand saw “the best performance of an EC in recent memory”, adding that it was the best-selling project in both October and November. Nicholas Mak, head of research & consultant at ERA Realty Network, adds that it is uncommon for EC sales to exceed 100 units outside of an EC launch. “The healthy EC sales is due to demand from buyers who are attracted to EC as a more affordable condominium housing,” he says.

Muted sales in December

With the November sales data in, this brings total new home sales excluding ECs from January to November to 6,981 units – 44% lower than the level achieved in the same period in 2021, notes, JLL’s Chia.
With most major new launches already concluded for the year, CBRE’ Song expects new home sales excluding ECs to remain muted in December. However, EC sales momentum will likely keep up, supported by sales at Tenet. The 618-unit EC in Tampines, with launched on Dec 3, saw 447 units snapped up on the first day of launch.
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Song is forecasting 2022’s total new home sales excluding ECs to tally around 7,250 units, a 44% decline from the 13,027 units sold in 2021. “Correspondingly, home prices could stay flat in 4Q2022, bringing the full-year 2022 price growth to 8%. This is also a moderation from the increase of 10.6% in 2021,” she adds.
Edmund Tie’s Lam forecasts 2022’s total new home sales excluding ECs to tally around 7,500 units, which he notes will be the lowest yearly amount since the 7,440 units logged in 2015. “Going into 2023, we expect housing demand to remain under pressure, given the ongoing macro headwinds, high living costs and slowing growth outlook,” he says. In addition, interest rates will likely weigh on housing affordability, though Lam notes that the pace of rate hikes could be slower moving forward, offering “some glimmer of hope” to the market.
Given the dearth of unsold stock in the OCR, PropNex’s Wong anticipates upcoming launches in the region to see healthy interest due to pent-up demand. Launches slated in 1Q2023 include the 268-unit Sceneca Residence, the 598-unit Lentor Hills Residences, and the 368-unit The Botany at Dairy Farm.

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