Singapore

CBRE Commentary on Monthly New Home Sales for October 2023

November 15, 2023

Associated Contact

Melvin Lin

Head of Marketing & Communications, Singapore

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By Tricia Song (宋明蔚), Head of Research, Southeast Asia, CBRE

In the absence of new launches, new private home sales continued to slump. New home sales fell for the third straight month, by 6.5% m-o-m from 217 units in Sep 2023 to 203 units in Oct 2023. This is the lowest monthly private home sales year to date, and lowest since Dec 2022’s 170 units. November should see better sales but unlikely to inspire as 2023 looks set to see the lowest new home sales since 2008. 

On a y-o-y basis, new home sales were also down 35.4% y-o-y from the 314 units sold in Oct 2022. 

With no new launch in Oct 2023, most sales were from previously-launched projects. This brings new home sales in the first 10 months of 2023 to 5,532 units, 17.7% y-o-y lower than the 6,723 units sold over the same period in 2022. Sentiment this year has clearly deteriorated with higher interest rates, softer economic prospects and two more rounds of cooling measures since. 

Top 10 Selling Projects in Oct 2023 (including ECs and landed)
Top 10 Selling Projects in Oct 2023 including ECs and landed
Source: CBRE Research, URA

The top performing project in the month was Lentor Hills Residences launched in September which sold another 24 units at a median price of S$2,116 psf. Following close behind was integrated development launched in May 2023 - The Reserve Residences which sold 23 units at a median price of S$2,361 psf.  The third best-selling project was North Gaia EC which was launched in Apr 2022 and sold another 18 units in Oct 2023 to bring cumulative sales to 59%. 

While sales at CCR projects were relatively slow, we note Klimt Cairnhill sold 11 units at a median price of S$3,509 psf, including a unit achieving the highest psf price in October of S$3,843psf. Myra, a freehold 85-unit project near Potong Pasir MRT, sold its last 4 units at a median price of $1,929 psf, and is now fully sold in three years after its first launch in Sep 2020. 

New Home Sales (excl. ECs) by quantum
New Home Sales excl ECs by quantum
Source: CBRE Research, URA
*Based on Realis new sales (excl. EC) caveats extracted on 15 Nov 2023. 



By market segment, Oct 2023’s developer sales (excluding ECs) were led by the Rest of Central Region (RCR) where 82 units (40.4%) were sold, followed by the Outside Central Region (OCR) where 76 (37.4%) units were sold and the Core Central Region (CCR) which saw the sale of 45 units (22.2%). This compares to 35.0% in the CCR, 32.7% in the RCR and 32.3% in the OCR in Sep 2023.

Based on quantum size, the largest proportion of new private homes sold (excl. ECs) were in the S$2.00 mil - S$2.50 mil range at 25.9%. This was followed by the S$3.00 mil – S$5.00 mil bracket at 23.4%.

Outlook

Year-to-Oct 2023 new home sales currently stand at 5,532 units, a 17.7% y-o-y fall from 6,723 units sold over the correspondingly period in 2022. CBRE Research is of the view that the souring macro backdrop, elevated interest rate hikes and cooling measures have resulted in increased buyer selectiveness and slower demand. This is evidenced by the slower take-up rate despite abundant new launches that came through from Jul – Aug 2023.    

Slowdown in new launch take-up
In 2022, developers launched 15 new private residential projects with 4,528 units (excluding ECs) for sale. While this year to date, CBRE Research estimates that developers have already launched 19 private non-landed residential projects with a total of 6,815 units. 

We believe the pent-up demand has been mostly absorbed and genuine buyers are now spoilt for choice. In addition, homebuyers have become more price sensitive amid the weaker economic backdrop and the slowdown in take-up at new launches could be reflective of resistance to the current high prices. Some of the projects which are targeted at investors or typically have higher foreigner buyers will face some resistance given the recent doubling in foreigners’ ABSD to 60% as well as a further increase in ABSD rate for investors. These investors will reassess their options and take a longer time to shop around. 

Forecasts
November will be a better month for new home sales. It was reported that mixed-use development J’den (368 units), the redevelopment of the former JCube sold 88% of its total units at an average price of $2,451 psf, making it the best-selling new launch in 2023 in terms of proportion of units sold on its launch day, while Hillock Green (474 units) saw a take-up rate of 28% with an average price of $2,108 psf over their 11 – 12 Nov 2023 launch weekend. The robust performance at J’den is an indication that there is still ample liquidity on the sidelines for attractive launches at realistic price points.

Major launches that could be launched in the next few months are concentrated in the OCR, with projects such as Lentoria (265 units), Hillhaven (341 units) and Sora at Yuan Chin Road (440 units). The RCR could also see some launches – The Hill@one north (142 units) and Sky Botania (172 units) and the CCR could see the launch of Newport Residences (246 units). 

Amid weaker sentiment, still-high interest rates and the upcoming December holiday season, developers might choose to push launches into 2024 when interest rates stabilise and sentiment improves. As such, developer sales are expected to remain subdued in Q4 2023.  

Overall, CBRE Research expects 6,500 – 7,000 new private homes to be sold in 2023, potentially below the 7,099 units in 2022, which was already a 14-year low since 2008’s 4,264 units. 

Correspondingly, CBRE Research believes home prices which have risen 3.9% cumulatively have peaked and are likely to be muted in Q4 2023. Barring widespread retrenchments and a sustained recession, a significant price correction is not expected given low unsold inventory and generally healthy household balance sheets. As such, CBRE Research maintains its full year 2023 forecast for private home price growth of 3%, slower than the 8.6% seen in 2022 due mainly to a weaker economic outlook -- MTI forecasts 0.5 – 1.5% GDP growth for 2023, vs 3.6% for 2022.


About CBRE Group, Inc.
CBRE Group, Inc. (NYSE:CBRE), a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 company headquartered in Dallas, is the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm (based on 2023 revenue). The company has more than 130,000 employees (including Turner & Townsend employees) serving clients in more than 100 countries. CBRE serves a diverse range of clients with an integrated suite of services, including facilities, transaction and project management; property management; investment management; appraisal and valuation; property leasing; strategic consulting; property sales; mortgage services and development services. Please visit our website at www.cbre.com.