Singapore Private Residential Sales Market

Current situation and outlook for foreign investors and expatriates.

As Singapore’s fiscal health continues to slip, official statistics correspondingly reflect a somewhat distressed private residential property sector. However, there are also some silver linings in the figures released.

 Accordingly to the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s (URA) quarterly statistics, overall prices in Singapore’s private residential property market have eased by 14.1% quarter-on-quarter (qoq) in 1Q 2009. This was more pronounced than the 13.8% qoq decrease based on flash estimates, an indication that the average price contraction accelerated in the last three weeks of 1Q 2009. The deteriorating quarterly price growth of 14.1% qoq was also the most significant since 1990. Almost similar quarterly reduction in price growth was captured in 3Q 98 when prices eased by 13.2% qoq. Specifically, both overall landed and non-landed properties witnessed a more marked fall this quarter, by 9.2% qoq and 15.2% qoq respectively.

 In terms of the non-landed market segments, while it is no longer unexpected that all three regions experienced continued reduction in prices, it was the mid-tier Rest of Central Region that recorded the sharpest fall (-17.0% qoq). This was followed by the prime Core Central Region and the mass Outside Central Region that witnessed prices wane by 16.2% and 7.3% respectively. In particular it was the larger volume of home sales in the mass market that aided in the lesser rate of price decline in this region.

 Total primary sales in the suburban Outside Central Region in 1Q 2009 reached a level to almost what was achieved in the entire 2008. A total of 1,637 units were sold in the primary market, amounting to 64% of all primary market sales islandwide. On the contrary the prime market managed to garner a meagre 9.5% of all primary market sales. The launch market performed similarly, with 63% of all new launches found in the mass market. This compared to the record low (data available since 1Q 2004) 100 units launched in the prime market in 1Q 2009.

 The residential rental market, though not as equally fraught as residential prices, experienced its third consecutive quarterly decline, falling by 8.5% qoq in 1Q 2009. In terms of the non-landed market, it was the prime market with the steepest fall of 10.3% qoq followed by the mid-tier and mass market segments that eased by 7.2% and 6.5% respectively. The weakening rental market illustrated that islandwide rentals are 14.2% shy of the peak achieved in 2Q 2008.

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Veron Leo
Division Director
CEA Licence No.:
L3008022J / R014348D
(+65) 9125 9333
(+65) 9336 7767