SINGAPORE — The first two condominium launches in 2024 were off to a slow start, following a year where annual private home sales fell to the lowest level since 2008.
The Arcady at Boon Keng in the city fringe sold about 30 per cent of its units on Jan 20, while suburban condo Hillhaven at Hillview Rise sold about 33 per cent of the units launched, property agencies said.
The Arcady at Boon Keng, a freehold project, sold 51 of its 172 units with prices starting from less than $2,400 per sq ft (psf), with the one-bedroom and two-bedroom units making up most of the sales, said PropNex Realty chief executive Ismail Gafoor.
Far East Organization, together with its joint venture partner Sekisui House, on Jan 20 said the 99-year leasehold project, Hillhaven, sold 59 units of the 179 units launched at prices starting from $1,903 psf, with the two-bedroom and three-bedroom units proving the most popular.
The project has 341 units in total, which means about 17 per cent of all units were sold.
The buyers were all Singaporeans and permanent residents, with around 70 per cent of buyers aged between 31 and 50, said Far East Organization.
PropNex’s Mr Ismail said sales at both projects are encouraging, although it may take some time for buyers to shake off the year-end lull and for market activity to kick in.
“Generally, we think that buying sentiment is still intact, but prospective buyers may be taking their time to assess the market and review their options,” he said. “The sense is that buyers are still price-conscious, very selective about the property they want to buy, and are not in much of a hurry.”
In 2023, 6,452 new private homes, excluding executive condominiums, were sold – the lowest since 2008, when just 4,264 units were transacted.
Some developers held back on new project launches in 2023 following successive market cooling measures and weak buying sentiment, among other factors for the weaker sales.
While 2024 might be off to a slow start, Mr Ismail said he expects market activity to pick up after the Chinese New Year festive period in February.
ERA Singapore chief executive Marcus Chu said The Arcady at Boon Keng has the advantage of being the first among 11 freehold projects slated to be launched in 2024.
Units in freehold projects are estimated to make up just 11 per cent of the 11,000 new private homes expected to be launched in 2024, he added.
It is also the first freehold project in district 12 since the 162-unit Verticus, located off Balestier Road, was launched in 2020 and sold out in 2022, he said.
Freehold property prices in District 12 grew by 29.3 per cent over four years while rents in the area rose by more than 40 per cent from 2020 to 2023, reflecting the demand for homes in the city fringe, added Mr Chu.
Meanwhile, PropNex’s Mr Ismail said Hillhaven is attractively priced when compared with the average transacted price of about $2,150 psf for new 99-year leasehold suburban projects sold in 2023, based on caveats lodged.
Mogul.sg chief research officer Nicholas Mak said that while buyers displayed a “cautious mood” for the first two projects of the year, they will be spoilt for choice in 2024, with more than 30 residential projects that could be up for sale throughout the year.
“With a steady stream of new launches, the competition will deter developers from raising prices aggressively. This will slow down the pace of price growth in 2024, which will benefit home buyers,” he said.