New home sales for January are the lowest in 15 years, a sign of a slow start for developers.

In January, the launch of 929 new units included ECs. 588 ECs sold were also launched. Comparatively, in December only 152 of the units sold and 36 units were launched.

The number has risen since December 2023 from 6,246 private housing units to 7,936 in the last month (excluding EC). This could pose a problem, given that the housing market is expected to be relatively weak this year.

The increase in supply in January was boosted by three launches – The Arcady condo at Boon Klang, 341 units of 99-year-leasehold Hillhaven near Hillview and 512 units of Lumina Grand EC Bukit Btok.

The Arcady Boonkeng and Hillhaven are below 30%.

Nearly 73 % of all home sales in Singapore are between S$1m and S$2.5m. A total of 21.9 percent of transactions were valued between S$2.5 and S$4 millions, with 5.4 percent being S$4 or more.

Overall, primary market adoption remained low. A little over 63 % of all new units were sold in January. This represents a significant change from 2022, when sales exceeded launches for many months.

It’s possible many buyers are waiting on more clarity after the relatively uncertain market year of 2023.

Although higher additional stamp duty rates continue to deter investors and foreign buyers, the current housing market continues to be a traction. Local buyers, who want to own a property for themselves, are driving this market. Although there are many options to choose from among the 12,000+ units set to launch this year, buyers may be more concerned with price and particular attributes.

Singapore saw an increase in private home purchases last month as a result of the holiday slowdown. Analysts said that volume was down, and sales were at their weakest in 15-years as buyers resisted.

According to data released Thursday by the Urban Redevelopment Authority, (URA), 281 units of private homes were sold in total in January. This was an increase of more than 108.1% compared to the 135 unit sales in the preceding month.

The latest January sale figure (excluding executive condominiums, or ECs) is 28.5% less than the sales of 393 units during the same month in 2020.

Lee Sze Teck Huttons senior data analyst said it was also the lowest number of units sold in January since 2009. In 2009, developers sold only 108.

The Arcady Boonkeng sold 90 percent of their units and Hillhaven all sold units that were below S$3 Million. This is a sign that the buyers were being careful with the home purchases.

Outside Central Region (OCR), with 51.2%, led the way in sales of non-landed items in January. Rest of Central Region contributed 39.9% of sales, while Core Central Region alone accounted for only 8.9%.

In March, more homes will be put up for sale.

The macroeconomic environment also improved in the fourth quarter of 2023. The first indications of potential interest rate drops expected throughout the year might be just the catalyst needed to get homebuyers moving again. As a result, employment remains high and the general level of wealth remains unaffected even with a tepid 2023 economy.

This year, it is expected that developers will sell 7,000 – 8,000 new housing units.

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Lumina Grand EC is the top-selling project for January in OCR. It sold 271 condo units at a S$1,525 median price per square foot. The price tag represents a new benchmark in the EC market. It may have boosted other EC sales due to the new competitiveness of the prices.

URA Realis’ data shows that in Yishun, 19 new units have been sold at North Gaia EC for a median price S$1,306 psf. Altura EC Bukit Btok saw 14 units sold at a S$1,500 psf median price, while Provence Residence EC Canberra had two new units selling at S$1,473 psf.

The limited supply of ECs and their affordability as well as investment potential will ensure that demand for ECs stays stable.

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