Singapore private housing prices and rental rates rise 0.8% Q3

Cushman & Wakefield Wong Xian Yang is the head of Cushman & Wakefield Singapore and South-east Asia’s market research. He said, “Overall volume of sales has decreased as consumers are now more price-sensitive. “Some buyers are sitting on the sidelines, hoping for lower price.”

Tricia Song, CBRE’s Singapore & South-east Asia head of research, has noted that demand for private housing launches in Singapore is down on last year as buyer fatigue and refusal to pay high prices have taken hold.

URA data show developers sold 2,805 privately owned residential units that were not yet completed in Q3, which is up from 2 374 units during the prior quarter. But, in the third quarter of this year, private home sales fell by 8.5% from Q2 to just 1,946 homes.

There were 2,900 resale sales in Q3 which was also 2.6% lower than 2,976 transactions the quarter before. This was a slight improvement over the share of 55.2 percent in the preceding quarter.

URA pointed out that for four consecutive quarterly increases, rental prices have moderated. In Q3 2023, the increase was only 0.8 percent, which is the lowest since the fourth-quarter of 2020.

Tay predicts rental fluctuations ranging between minus 1 percent and plus 1 percent in the future quarters.

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CBRE Song, too, expects rents in China to decrease over the course of the next three quarters. Mak believes that URA will see its rental index continue to increase by up to 13 percent in this coming year. By 2024, the rental index may begin to shrink and report a total year drop of 6-12%.

“The rental marketplace is changing into a market of tenants,” he continued.

Nicholas Mak is chief researcher at According to him, this year the number private housing units that will be sold both in primary and secondary markets should range from 18,000.00 to 19.300.00 units. That’s a lower figure than the 21.890.00 units which were transacted the previous year.

According to him, “growing economic headwinds will be affecting the residential property markets in the months ahead, such as an eroding rental market; rising unfilled inventories; high borrowing costs, and uncertainty.”

URA’s index of rental prices for private residences rose 0.8% from quarter to quarter in Q3. This is a much smaller increase compared to gains of 2,8% in Q2 and 7,2% in the 1st quarter.
Index up 19% year-on-year.

Singapore’s Private Housing Market for the Third Quarter: Latest Government Data shows Signs of Stabilisation.

It was not surprising that the index grew slower than expected in Q3 in 2023. Private housing construction increased by 8,517, bringing the total to 15,883 for the entire first nine months.

The total for the year is likely to rise from 2016, which saw 20,803 completed private homes.

A semblance is emerging in the leasing market as well, where rental growth continues to be moderated despite an upswing in completions of housing this year.

Market participants are forming a consensus on the stabilisation of prices, despite an increase of 0.8 per cent in the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s private home price index (URA) in Q3 2020. This was an increase of more than 0.5 percent compared to URA’s last flash estimate on Oct 2. The second quarter of this year saw a decline of only 0.2 percent quarter-on quarter following the introduction of new cooling measures in April.

Over the past year, benchmark indexes are up 4.4%. That might seem counter-intuitive to the current sluggish sentiment in the geopolitical and macro-economic arenas.

Knight Frank Singapore research director Leonard Tay provided some perspective. “URA’s global private home index for Q3 2020 reflects a 3,9% rise over the level of Q4202,” he said. For the year of 2023 we project a growth in the 4+ per cent range. It would mean a slowdown to the rate of growth in prices after hikes in both 2021 and 2022.

In Q3 2023 the drop by 3.5 percent in the amount of private houses sold from 5 388 units to 5,201 was another indicator of stabilisation. In both the developer and resale sectors, there were decreases. Sub-sale units rose however to 355 unit in Q3 from 285 unit in Q2 in 2023.

URAs index of private residential rentals grew at a rate of 29.7% per year last, up from 9.9% per annum in 2020. This rental boom was caused in large part by a dramatic drop in housing completions because of Covid-related disruptions to construction and the global supply chain.

URA figures show the vacancy rate in private housing rose to 8.4 % at end Q3, from 6.3% Q2 and 5.7% Q3 2022.

Based on completion dates expected by developers, the 9 875 houses will be available next year.

Mak explained: “Because more housing units, both private and publicly-funded, will be constructed in the coming month, many locals who were renting out their apartments while they waited for their own homes to complete, may choose not to renew leases.”

CBRE Song’s comments were also similar: “Expatriate hiring could decline as companies cut back and restructure in light of the current economic challenges.”

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