3 new condo launches: J’den, Hillock Green and Watten House, boosted the private home sales in November.
SINGAPORE - Three suburban condominiums – J’den in Jurong East, Hillock Green in Lentor Central and Watten House in Bukit Timah – boosted the private home sales in November, breaking the slump of the previous three months.
The lack of new launches in September and October created a pent-up demand, which drove the sales up by 286 per cent from October to 784 units in November, the highest in four months.
The three new projects made up almost 73 per cent of November’s total sales. Compared with the same month last year, sales increased by three times.
J’den, a 368-unit project by CapitaLand Development, benefited from the limited supply and the future potential of Jurong Lake District, setting a new record median price of $2,475 per square foot (psf) for suburban private housing projects, analysts said.
Excluding executive condominiums (EC), developers launched 970 new units for sale in November, a huge jump from 54 in October, with J’den, Hillock Green and Watten House accounting for 97 per cent of all units launched.
Including ECs, new home sales rose by 257 per cent to 800 units month on month, and by 79 per cent from 446 units a year ago.
In November, the suburban submarket led the sales, with 539 units sold, compared with 76 units in October, thanks to J’den – the best-selling new launch in 2023 with more than 89 per cent sold so far – and Hillock Green, PropNex head of research and content Wong Siew Ying said.
Ms Chia Siew Chuin, JLL’s head of residential research for Singapore, said that the sales of 132 units, or 27.8 per cent, of Hillock Green’s 474 units was impressive, considering the abundant upcoming supply in the Lentor area.
The largest segment of sales (28 per cent) in November was in the $1.5 million to $2 million range, while in October it was in the $2 million to $2.5 million range (26 per cent).
This shift was mainly due to the sales of J’den and Hillock Green, Ms Chia added.
Watten House, a luxury project in the prime district, also sold well despite the concerns over the impact of the April cooling measures on its larger and pricier units.
At its preview in November, 109 units of the 180-unit project in Shelford Road were sold at a median price of $3,199 psf, due to the limited new supply in the area, the freehold status of the project and its proximity to amenities and popular schools, Ms Chia said.
Ms Tricia Song, CBRE’s head of research for Singapore and South-east Asia, called Watten House “a surprise hit, given its high quantum of at least $3 million per unit as it comprised larger three- to five-bedroom units with a minimum size of 990 sq ft”.
With no new launches in December due to the seasonal year-end lull, 2023 is likely to end with the lowest new home sales since 2008 despite the rebound in November.
New home sales in the first 11 months of 2023 dropped by 9.6 percent to 6,316 units, from 6,983 units in the same period in 2022, even as the number of new units launched increased to 7,515 from 4,483 units in the same period in 2022, JLL said.
“Sentiment this year has clearly worsened with higher interest rates, weaker economic prospects” and the cooling measures, Ms Song said.
November’s rebound is probably the “last hurrah” for the year as sales are expected to be low in December, Mogul.sg’s chief research officer Nicholas Mak said.
While many new launches are expected to come onstream in 2024, Mr Mak expects weak market sentiment and soft employment conditions, along with Chinese New Year holidays in February, to delay many launches to the second quarter and beyond.
Moreover, the expected fall in rental rates, higher property taxes and existing property curbs could dampen the investment demand for residential properties, he said.
But the possibility of interest rates easing in the coming months is a bright spot, as this would mean lower borrowing costs for homebuyers. And if Singapore’s economy and the employment market improve in 2024, that would help boost the housing demand, he added.
Ms Song also expects worries about job security, elevated interest rates and slowing global growth to continue to keep the market cautious in the first half of 2024, possibly affecting the new launch take-up and property price growth.
But the situation could improve in the second half of 2024 if Singapore’s exports recover and interest rates start to drop.
“Unless there is a sharp downturn, we expect property prices to grow at the upper end of the (1 per cent to 3 per cent) range, given the high land costs, strong household balance sheets and limited unsold inventory,” she said.
Developments slated for launch in January 2024 include city fringe projects The Arcady @ Boon Keng and The Hillshore in Pasir Panjang, suburban condos Hillhaven in Hillview Rise and Lentoria in Lentor Hills Road, and Lumina Grand EC in Bukit Batok.
Collectively, these projects can offer more than 830 private residential units and 512 new ECs, PropNex said.
Adapt from THE BUSINESS TIMES
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