Singapore’s private home prices up 0.4% in Q4 amid lower sales; price growth slows to 8.6% for 2022
SINGAPORE: Private home prices rose at a slower pace in the fourth quarter of 2022 amid lower sales due to a lack of major launches, cooling measures, rising interest rates and weaker global economic projections.
Prices of private residential properties rose 0.4 per cent in Q4 of 2022, compared with the 3.8 per cent in third quarter, according to real estate statistics released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Friday (Jan 27).
For the whole of 2022, private home prices rose 8.6 per cent, slowing from the 10.6 per cent increase in 2021.
The price decline is in sync with global trends where home prices have similarly slid in many countries, said OrangeTee & Tie’s senior vice president of research and analytics Christine Sun.
Home prices are taking a hit from rising interest rates globally, she said, adding that central banks worldwide have hiked interest rates to tame inflation.
Many countries are pushing up borrowing costs to guide their economies towards a soft landing, she added.
“Real estate will inevitably be affected as households tighten their belts, and rising interest rates hold back some potential buyers.”
Ms Sun also noted that home values in Singapore are not facing as sharp a cooling as in many other countries.
“It is not surprising that some buyers in Singapore are starting to feel the impact of higher mortgage payments, considering how much interest rates have risen over the past year. However, most buyers can still service their loans now as they are not overleveraged since stringent property curbs are in place to ensure buyers remain prudent and our job growth is still healthy,” she said.
Singapore introduced several property cooling measures on Sep 30, including a new 15-month wait-out period for private homeowners who sell their property prior to submitting an application to buy an HDB resale flat.
MUTED PRICE GROWTH IN Q4
Price growth was muted in the fourth quarter of last year as there were no major non-landed launches, said Mr Lee Sze Teck, senior director of research at Huttons Asia.
Prices of non-landed properties increased by 0.3 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2022, compared with the 4.4 per cent increase in the previous quarter.
Prices of non-landed properties in the Core Central Region (CCR) increased by 0.7 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2022, compared with the 2.3 per cent increase in the previous quarter.
Prices of non-landed properties in the Rest of Central Region (RCR) increased by 3.1 per cent while the Outside Central Region (OCR) decreased by 2.6 per cent in the fourth quarter of last year.
Sales volume dipped in the fourth quarter of 2022 as most buyers were on an overseas vacation and sales activities slowdown during the seasonal holidays, said Ms Sun, adding that interest rate hikes, lack of launches during the year-end holidays and rising macroeconomic uncertainties have also dampened demand.
Sales dipped from 6,148 units in Q3 to 3,588 units in Q4 2022. The sales dip was observed for both new home sales and resales.
New home sales (excluding ECs) dipped by 68.4 per cent from 2,187 units in Q3 2022 to 690 in Q4 2022, while resales slipped 27.6 per cent from 3,719 units to 2,694 units over the same period.
Developers launched 504 uncompleted private residential units excluding ECs for sale in the fourth quarter of 2022, compared with the 1,455 units in the previous quarter, said URA.
For the entire year, developers also launched 4,528 uncompleted private residential units in 2022, a decrease from the 10,496 units from the year before.
The low number of unsold units and pent-up demand supported price growth in 2022, said Mr Lee.
Developers sold 690 private residential units (excluding ECs) in the fourth quarter of 2022, compared with the 2,187 units sold in the previous quarter.
For the whole of 2022, developers sold 7,099 private residential units, compared with the 13,027 units in the previous year.
This is the “lowest developers’ sales since the Global Financial Crisis in 2008,” said Mr Lee.
Nevertheless, it is still a strong set of numbers considering that developers also launched the least number of units for sale in 2022, he said.
In total, about 32,100 units, including ECs, are expected to be completed in 2023 and 2024, which is around two times the 15,900 units completed in 2021 and 2022.
“This will help to cater to housing needs in the immediate term,” URA said. “More supply with planning approval, totalling around 19,600 units as of the fourth quarter of 2022, will be completed beyond 2024.”