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Newsletter Jan 2024

By Kelvin Sin | Livefree.sg | 30 Jan 2024

1. Market

2. New Projects

3. Land Sales & Enbloc

4. HDB

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1.1.1 Property Price Index

For the whole of 2023, prices of non-landed properties in CCR, RCR and OCR increased by 1.9%, 3.1% and 13.7% respectively.

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1.1.2 Supply & Demand

For the whole of 2023, developers launched 7,551 uncompleted private residential properties for sale, compared with the 4,528 units in the previous year.

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1.1.3 New Home Sales

For the whole of 2023, developers sold 6,421 private residential units, compared with the 7,099 units in the previous year.

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1.1.4 Private Resale Volume

For the whole of 2023, there were 11,329 resale transactions, compared with the 14,026 resale transactions in 2022. For the whole of 2023, there were 1,294 sub-sale transactions, compared with the 765 sub-sale transactions in 2022.

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1.1.5 HDB Resale Volume

For the full year of 2023, the total resale volume decreased by 4.2%, from 27,896 cases to 26,735 cases.

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1.1.6 Launch vs Take-up Rate

For the whole of 2023, developers launched 7,551 uncompleted private residential properties for sale, compared with the 4,528 units in the previous year. For the whole of 2023, developers sold 6,421 private residential units, compared with the 7,099 units in the previous year.

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1.2 Market Trends for 2024

Supply of Private Residential Properties: The temporary occupancy permits (TOP) for private residential properties (excluding ECs) are expected to decrease by 48.2% from 19,050 in 2023 to 9,875 in 2024. Market & Price Trend: There has been a downward trend in private home transactions since 2021, influenced by multiple cooling measures and the predicted further drop in newly TOP private homes in 2024. Despite the downward trend in transactions, private residential resale prices are expected to grow by 3% to 5% in 2024, driven by the rising prices of new private homes in the market. New Projects Launch: Around 23 new private residential projects are anticipated to launch in 2024, totaling about 8,800 units. These will be distributed across various regions - 50% in the suburbs (OCR), 30% in the city fringe (RCR), and 20% in the prime region (CCR). Expected Launches and Prices: Projects in OCR like Chuan Park and others are expected to launch with prices ranging from $2,100 to $2,400 psf. RCR projects, including several GLS sites, might launch with prices between $2,300 to $3,000 psf. Private Residential Rents: Rental rates are predicted to rise by 2% to 5% in 2024, a decrease from the 12% to 15% growth in 2023. This is attributed to the reduced completion of new private homes. Moderation in HDB Resale Prices: HDB resale prices are projected to grow by 3% to 5% in 2024, a slight decrease from the 4% to 5.5% growth in 2023. The number of HDB flats reaching the end of their MOP will decrease from 15,549 units in 2023 to 11,952 in 2024, and further down to 6,974 in 2025. New Growth Areas and Future Housing Supply: The Eastern region is highlighted as a new growth area with plans for 200,000 new residences in the next decade. Overall, 300,000 to 400,000 new homes (private and public) are expected to enter the market over the next ten years, marking a 30% to 40% increase in the existing housing supply.

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2.1 Hillhaven

Approximately 59 out of the 179 units initially released at Hillhaven were sold, translating to a 33% take-up rate of the released units and 17.3% of the total 341 units. The starting price point for Hillhaven was $1,903 per square foot. A collaboration between Far East Organization and Sekisui House, this 341-unit development, which held a preview attracting over 2,000 visitors. Project Details: Situated at 5 Hillview Rise and spanning 111,945 square feet, Hillhaven comprises two towers, standing 27 and 28 stories high with a north-south orientation. This 99-year leasehold property is expected to be ready for temporary occupation by the third quarter of 2027. Conveniently located near Hillview MRT Station, shopping centers, community hubs, and natural parks, Hillhaven is also in proximity to educational facilities like CHIJ Our Lady Queen of Peace and various international schools. The development offers a range of units from two to four bedrooms, varying in size from 678 to 1,636 square feet. The initial pricing begins at $1,907 per square foot, with two-bedroom apartments starting at $1.37 million. Hillhaven is designed with over 30 amenities, including a 50-meter swimming pool, a pickleball court, an urban farm, a dedicated area for bikers, and barbecue pavilions alongside children's play areas and spa pools. Market Insights: The Hillview district has seen a significant increase in property values, with a 44.8% rise in median prices from 2019 to 2023 in District 23. Experts consider Hillhaven an attractive investment, highlighting its excellent accessibility and connectivity. Buyer Interest and Trends: There is notable interest in the project, especially due to its close proximity to Hillview MRT Station. Properties near MRT stations have historically experienced strong demand, despite current cautious market sentiments. Future Development Prospects: The development's location near the Jurong Innovation and Lake Districts and the upcoming Tengah township is anticipated to spur further demand.

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2.2 The Arcady

The Arcady at Boon Keng witnessed an impressive turnout of over 3,000 visitors at its opening preview despite challenging wet weather. This enthusiastic response underscores a strong and growing interest among local buyers in the new launch market. The Arcady at Boon Keng reported the sale of 51 units, constituting 29.7% of the total. The units were priced starting from just below $2,400 per square foot, with an average price of $2,570 per square foot achieved. Project Overview: Situated in District 12, The Arcady at Boon Keng marks the transformation of the former Euro-Asia Apartments, acquired for $222.18 million in an en bloc sale in 2022. This freehold project is a collaborative venture between KSH Holdings, SLB Development, and H10 Holdings. It offers a diverse range of units, from one-bedroom plus study to four-bedroom plus study configurations, including two exclusive penthouses. The developers have set the initial prices for The Arcady at around $2,500 per square foot. The public preview of this much-awaited project will run until January 18, leading up to the public booking of units starting on January 20. Unit Popularity and Buyer Demographics: All 11 one-bedroom units at The Arcady were quickly snapped up, along with the majority of two-bedroom units. Mark Yip, CEO of Huttons Asia, noted, "The one- and two-bedroom units have seen the highest demand, both from owner-occupiers and investors. Reflecting the trend of smaller family sizes in Singapore, these units are often seen as ideal." The majority of buyers were Singaporeans and Permanent Residents (PRs), highlighting the strong local interest in this development.

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2.3 Lumina Grand

City Developments Ltd (CDL) is launching Lumina Grand, the first executive condo (EC) project of 2023, located in Bukit Batok West. E-applications open from January 12 to 22, with sales bookings starting on January 27. Project Details: Lumina Grand is a 512-unit development comprising 10 residential blocks of 12 to 13 storeys each, spanning a site area of approximately 179,000 sq ft. It has a 99-year leasehold with an expected vacant possession date of March 31, 2029. Located in the Bukit Batok West residential enclave, the project is near the Jurong Innovation and Lake Districts, and the upcoming Tengah Town. It offers access to multiple MRT stations and expressways. The development is close to a community club, polyclinic, bus interchange, and various educational institutions, including the future Anglo-Chinese School (Primary) and Swiss Cottage Secondary School. The development offers a range of units including three-bedroom (936 to 1,109 sq ft), three-bedroom premium (969 to 1,173 sq ft), four-bedroom (1,141 to 1,453 sq ft), and five-bedroom (1,496 to 1,711 sq ft) apartments. Apartments include fittings by Hansgrohe and smart kitchen appliances by Kuche, with prices starting from $1.338 million for a three-bedroom unit up to $2.098 million for a five-bedroom unit. Lumina Grand provides nearly 40 recreational facilities, such as two clubhouses, a 50m lap pool, a gymnasium, lounges, a tennis court, and a kids’ play zone. CPF Housing Grant and Buyer Eligibility: First-time buyers are eligible for a CPF housing grant of up to S$30,000. Under EC regulations, 30% of the project is reserved for second-time buyers during the initial launch. This marks CDL’s 11th EC project and is noted for its strategic location and connectivity, offering a wealth of amenities to potential home buyers.

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3.1 Marina Gardens Crescent

The government land sales (GLS) tender for the white site at Marina Gardens Crescent and the residential site at Media Circle closed on January 18. The site received only one bid of $770.46 million from a consortium comprising GuocoLand, Hong Leong Holdings, and TID, a joint venture between Hong Leong Holdings and Japanese developer Mitsui Fudosan. The bid equates to $984 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf ppr) for the 99-year leasehold, 1.73ha white site, which can include commercial, hotel, residential, sports, and recreational components. This bid is 42.5% lower than the $1,402 psf ppr paid by a Kingsford Group-led consortium for the adjacent Marina Gardens Lane site, zoned “residential with commercial at 1st storey”. The complexity of building near an MRT line and providing an underground pedestrian link may have influenced the bid decision. The site has a maximum gross floor area of 782,978 sq ft and could potentially yield about 775 residential units. Strategically located next to the Marina South MRT station, GuocoLand plans to develop a mixed-use project that aligns with the government's vision for Marina South as a sustainable and community-centric district.

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3.2 Media Circle

The government land sales (GLS) tender for the Media Circle site in one-north closed on January 18, attracting three bids. The top bid of $395.29 million or $1,191 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf ppr) was submitted by a joint venture between Qingjian Realty and China Communications Construction Co. (Forsea Holdings). The top bid was marginally higher (2.67%) than the second-highest bid of $1,160 psf ppr from a Hong Leong group consortium. It was also 4.4% lower than the $1,246 psf ppr bid for Slim Barracks (Parcel A) and 1.6% lower than the $1,210 psf ppr bid for Slim Barracks (Parcel B). The 99-year leasehold site, measuring 114,462 sq ft, is zoned for residential development with commercial space on the first floor. It has a maximum gross floor area of 331,948 sq ft and can potentially accommodate around 355 residential units. EL Development's Blossoms by the Park at Slim Barracks Rise (Parcel A), launched after recent property cooling measures, has sold 83.3% of its units at a median price of $2,441 psf. Kingsford Development's The Hill at one-north on Slim Barracks Rise (Parcel B) is expected to launch in the first quarter of 2024.

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4.1 HDB Market Trends

HDB resale prices increased for the 15th consecutive quarter, with a 1% price growth in 4Q2023, which is slightly lower than the 1.3% increase in the previous quarter. A record 134 million-dollar HDB resale flats were sold last quarter, surpassing the 2022 record of 369 units. Choa Chu Kang, Jurong West, Sembawang, and Sengkang have not recorded any million-dollar flat transactions yet. The last quarter witnessed a decrease in average resale prices in 12 HDB towns, with Bukit Timah experiencing the most significant drop of 10.4% quarter-on-quarter. The Central Area and Geylang also saw notable decreases of 8.6% and 4.8%, respectively. In contrast, Toa Payoh, Queenstown, and Marine Parade had the smallest declines in average resale prices, ranging from -0.4% to -0.8%. Despite the overall trend of price drops, 14 HDB towns saw average resale prices grow last quarter, with Tampines leading at a 4.9% increase. However, most of these towns had price gains of less than 2%. Sengkang, Punggol, Woodlands, Hougang, and Tampines were the most popular towns for HDB resale transactions in the last quarter. Four-room flats experienced the highest price gains at 0.7%, followed by three- and five-room flats at 0.6%. Executive and two-room flats had marginal increases of 0.3% and 0.1%, respectively. The proportion of five-room flat resales decreased slightly, while resales of executive flats rose marginally. There was a small increase in the proportion of four-room flats sold. Impact of BTO Launches: The delay in HDB’s August BTO exercise led to a double average number of flats launched in 4Q2023, impacting the resale market as buyers shifted towards BTO flats in prime locations. Despite competition from BTO launches, HDB resale prices are expected to remain stable due to a decrease in the number of HDB flats reaching their minimum occupation period.

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4.2 BTO Exercises

HDB plans to launch around 19,600 new flats in 2024 through three Build-To-Order (BTO) exercises, marking the fewest number since 2021. In contrast, 17,100 flats were launched in 2021, 23,200 in 2022, and 22,800 in 2023. Starting from 2024, HDB will conduct three BTO and one Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) exercise annually. The October 2024 BTO exercise will introduce the new classification of flats into Standard, Plus, and Prime categories. Of the flats to be launched in 2024, 2,800 are expected to be completed in less than three years, up from 732 in 2023. Additionally, 75% of the BTO flats offered in 2024 are slated for completion within four years or less. The reduction in BTO launch exercises is a response to the stabilization of BTO application rates. In October 2023, HDB enforced stricter rules, canceling existing applications for subsequent BTO/SBF exercises if an applicant doesn't select a flat. This rule aims to prevent applicants from increasing their chances by applying in multiple sales launches. Median application rates for first-time applicants for three-room or larger flats decreased significantly in the October and December 2023 sales launches compared to earlier in the year. A reduction in BTO sales exercises is expected to provide applicants with more options at each launch and reduce overlap between selection exercises. The next BTO sales exercise is scheduled for February, offering approximately 4,100 BTO flats in various locations and about 1,500 SBF flats across different towns and estates.

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