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January 2024: Is the property market softening?

This week, both Business Times reported the lowest home sales transactions volume since the 2009 financial crisis. Here's a quick summary of some of the points:

  • EC new launch sales did particularly well with big boost from the blockbuster launch of Lumina Grand clocking 271 unit sales.
  • Private (non-EC) new launches performed far worse and were down 28.5% compared to Jan 2023.
  • Overall, new launch numbers surged from 152 units in Dec to 588 units in Jan.

Okay, those are some interesting numbers but we had some unanswered questions of our own so today, we're going to dig into them.

January private home sales up 25%

In Jan 2023, there were 1196 private home sale transactions.

In Jan 2024, there were 1499 private home sale transactions.

Singapore private home sales transactions from 2022 - 2024

Total private homes transactions includes both new homes and resale transactions. This represents a 25% increase and 31% below the 2-year average transaction volume.

Fueled by low interest rates and COVID induced shortages, 2022 and 2023 experienced pretty heavy private home transaction volumes. While gluts in new home sales will inevitably lead to falling resale prices and transactions, drop in transaction volume in both segment would signify an outright decline.

Executive condos made up 29.6% of transactions in January '24

Executive condo vs private condos sales from 2019 to 2024

At 445 transactions, this is the 3rd highest percentage of EC sales in the last 5 years, exceeded only by Oct '22 and Dec '22. It is important to note that ECs are a pretty exceptional segment of the Singapore property market.

As we've alluded to in earlier articles, they are a special class of properties the government created to aid HDB owners to upgrade towards a private condo. Their demand is therefore not truly indicative of the general private non-landed property market.

Private condo sales from January 2019 - 2024

Excluding executive condos, Jan 2024 saw a total of 1,054 private home sale transactions which puts it only slightly below the 5-year January median.

Private condo sales from January 2019 - 2024

Interestingly enough, we tend to see lower sales whenever Chinese New Year falls within the month of January. In other words, we should anticipate a fall in sale volume when February's numbers come in.

YearFirst day of CNY
2019Feb. 5, 2019
2020Jan. 25, 2020
2021Feb. 12, 2021
2022Feb. 1, 2022
2023Jan. 22, 2023
2024Feb. 10, 2024

Lowest percentage of new condo sales in 5 years

January 2024 saw the lowest percentage of new private condo sales making up only 28.2% of the total total sales in January.

Percentage of new home vs resale in January from 2019 - 2024

With mortgage rates hovering around 3 - 4%, resale properties offer a more affordable and readily-available option to premium-priced new launches. With strong resale volume, the softening in demand is likely temporary and sales will pick up later in the year.

Understand the Singapore Property Market

All signs point to a temporarily softer market driven by a more cautious sentiment and a high interest rate environment.

With Property How Much, you can quickly search through over 378,564 private residential transactions and explore over 3200+ condos and ECs. Try it yourself. Search for any condo or train station to get started.

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