Private home prices up 1.5% q-o-q in 1Q2024, transactions down 20%: URA flash

By Nicholas Lam
/ EdgeProp Singapore |
Crowd at preview of Hillhaven, the first significant launch of a private condo in the Outside Central Region in January (Photo: Far East Organization)
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URA flash estimate released April 1 shows that private residential property prices moderated in 1Q2024. Private property prices were up 1.5% q-o-q in the first three months of 2024, a slower pace than the 2.8% quarterly growth in 4Q2023.
According to CBRE Research, price growth in the first quarter was underpinned by landed properties, which continued to post a moderate increase of 3.4% q-o-q after rising 4.6% the previous quarter.
Prices in the non-landed segment slowed to 1% q-o-q from 2.3% in 4Q2023. Tricia Song, CBRE head of research for Singapore and Southeast Asia, says that developer sales ended 2023 at a 15-year low of 6,421 units due to weak economic conditions, buyer fatigue, and increasing resistance to high price points. While transaction activity continued to dwindle, prices remained resilient in 1Q2024.
The increase in prices of non-landed properties was driven by properties in the Core Central Region (CCR), where prices rose by 3.1% q-o-q in 1Q2024. However, overall growth in non-landed properties was held back by subdued price increases in the Rest of Central Region (RCR) and Outside Central Region (OCR), which recorded 0.2% and 0.4% q-o-q rises in 1Q2024, respectively, notes CBRE's Song.
Watten House is 74% sold to date at an average price of $3,250 psf (Picture: UOL Group)

CCR prices propped up by Watten House

CCR price growth moderated slightly from 3.9% q-o-q in 4Q2023, when the preview of the 180-unit Watten House last November saw 57% of units sold at an average price of $3,250 psf, which helped lift prices. Since its official launch on March 2, the developer has sold 133 units (74%).
The top non-landed home transactions in the CCR were the resale of two units at The Ritz-Carlton Residences Singapore Cairnhill, which fetched $16.5 million ($5,397 psf) each, says PropNex. Meanwhile, 80 units were sold since the relaunch of the 192-unit Cuscaden Reserve on March 16 at prices just above $3,000 psf. Wong Siew Ying, PropNex head of research and content, reckons the CCR property price index could increase slightly when the final figure is released at the end of April when further sales at Cuscaden Reserve are factored in.
The freehold Arcady at Boon Keng is 28.5% sold to date, at an average price of $2,568 psf (Photo: EdgeProp Singapore)

RCR prices supported by The Arcady, existing launches

In the RCR, the only new launch was the freehold, The Arcady at Boon Keng, where 49 units (28.5%) of its 172 units have been sold since its launch in January, at an average price of $2,568 psf, based on caveats lodged with URA Realis.
Other existing launches in the RCR that saw higher average transacted prices in 1Q2024 include the 520-unit Pinetree Hill (38% sold at an average price of $2,405 psf), the 732-unit The Reserve Residences (93% sold at an average price of $2,473 psf), the 816-unit, freehold The Continuum (39.5% sold at an average of $2,748 psf), the 1,008-unit Grand Dunman (63% sold at an average of $2,523 psf), and the 275-unit Blossoms by the Park (87% sold at an average of $2,444 psf). These projects have also helped to prop up home prices in the RCR, according to PropNex's Wong.
Crowd at VIP preview of Lentor Mansion on March 3 (Photo: GuocoLand)

OCR prices supported by new launches

Non-landed home prices in the OCR inched up by 0.4% q-o-q in 1Q2024, the slowest quarterly increase in five quarters. It is a far cry from the 4.5% price growth in 4Q2023, which PropNex's Wong attributes to the launch of the 368-unit J'den in Jurong East—the first new private residential project launched in a decade. Since its launch last November, it has sold 90% of the units at an average price of $2,460 psf, setting a new benchmark for OCR projects.
OCR prices in the 4Q2023 were also supported by the launch of the 474-unit Hillock Green in Lentor Hills estate last November, which is 39% sold at an average price of $2,124 psf, based on caveats lodged as at April 1.
In 1Q2024, the first major private condo launch in the OCR was the 341-unit Hillhaven in January, which was competitively priced at an average of $2,063 psf, says PropNex. In the Lentor Hills estate, the 267-unit Lentoria and the 533-unit Lentor Mansion were priced competitively due to the timing of their launches, which were two weeks apart.
Scale model of the 267-unit Lentoria, where units were competitively priced at $2,123 psf (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
Lentoria is 22% sold at an average price of $2,123 psf, while Lentor Mansion is 76% sold at an average of $2,271 psf, based on caveats lodged as at April 1, 2024.
Lentor Mansion became the best-performing new launch project this year when 75% of the units were taken up on the first two days of launch (March 15-16) at an average price of $2,278 psf. The project also fetched a higher overall average price psf, as it is the first project to be affected by the harmonisation of the gross floor area and strata area under URA's new guidelines.

Resales, sub-sales drop 30% q-o-q

Private residential property sales plunged 20% q-o-q to 3,482 units in 1Q2024, from 4,334 units in 4Q2023, notes Lee Sze Teck, senior director of data analytics, Huttons Asia. According to Lee, the contraction in transaction volume was primarily due to the almost 30% q-o-q nosedive in non-landed resales and sub-sales.
Adds Huttons' Lee, Singaporeans and Permanent Residents made up 98.6% of purchases of private residential properties in 1Q2024, while foreigners made up 1.1%. The number of foreigners buying private residential properties in 1Q2024 almost halved to 35 from 66 purchases in 4Q2023.
Chia Siew Chuin, JLL head of residential research, expects prospective homebuyers to remain cautious and price sensitive under the weight of the cooling measures of April 2023, economic uncertainties and prevailing high interest rates. She expects discerning homebuyers to be selective as they anticipate upcoming project launches and assess their options more comprehensively before committing to a purchase.
JLL's Chia expects private residential prices to gain 3% to 5% in 2024, a moderation from the 6.8% increase in 2023.
About six new projects are in the pipeline for launch between April and May, introducing 1,049 new units in the supply. Huttons reckons the year could end with 30 new launches, with 7,000 to 8,000 units released. Lee points out that the projected supply aligns with 2023's 26 new project launches, totalling 7,551 units.

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