Singapore Property Market 2023: Year-In-Review

Taking a retrospective look back at 2023, let us review the developments in the property landscape over the past year in order to predict the property trends that are going to happen in 2024. Let’s recap the year by looking at the respective 2023 Q4 Reports from the Housing and Development Board (HDB) and Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA)?

HDB

In the past year 2023, HDB has released a total of 22,800 new Build-to-Order (BTO) flats, which is a slight increase from 2022 with 22,300 flats and 2021 with 17,100 flats. This is the highest supply of new BTO flats in the past 3 years. 

In 2024, HDB is planning to release another 19,600 BTO flats in three BTO launches instead of four. 

Each launch is set to feature a larger housing supply, offering prospective homebuyers a wider selection of flats and locations. This means there would be more Singaporeans and their family finding a home that meets their budget and needs.

Furthermore, securing a BTO at a younger age allows them to start a family earlier or even accelerate their property investment journey.

Shown below are the first batch of BTO flats to be launched in February 2024.

Area

Estimated Number of BTO flats

Nearest MRT Station

Bedok (2 Sites)

520/430

Bedok/Bedok Reservoir

Choa Chu Kang

460

Choa Chu Kang

Hougang

350

Bartley

Punggol

960

Punggol

Queenstown

250

Commonwealth

Woodlands

1,120

Woodlands South

Source: HDB

Most of the new BTO flats are located Outside of the Central Region (OCR). Notably, the Bedok BTO projects are near Bedok MRT & Bedok Reservoir MRT.

Since the new Plus flats would only be implemented in October 2024, eligible homebuyers are highly recommended to consider going for the upcoming BTO launches which are near MRT as they are still considered Standard flats (unless they are in the prime areas).

When we look at the resale price index, it shows a slowdown in growth from last quarter as well as the entire year, when compared to last year. 

Source: HDB

The property market’s cooling trend in 2023 Q4 may result from higher Additional Buyer Stamp Duty (ABSD) rates introduced in April 2023 and the influx of BTO flats. This led to buyers rethinking their housing investments as well as having increased options.

Moving forward, with the further increased supply of BTO flats and private housing, we would expect the resale price index to stay stagnant or even decrease a little.

The median rents of HDB flats are also increasing in tandem with the HDB resale price index. 

Source: HDB

The significant increase in rental prices over the past few years is evident when comparing the rates from three years ago. Previously, a 3-bedroom condominium unit could be rented for approximately $3,100, but today, this amount would barely cover the rental of a 3-room HDB flat. 

To fully analyse the rental market as a whole, let us dive into the data for private properties before concluding.

Private Properties

On the same day that HDB released their 2023 Q4 report, URA also released their report on the private property market.

Shown below is the non-landed private residential property price index.

Source: URA

Prices for non-landed private residential properties increased by 2.3% quarter-on-quarter, which is higher than 2023 Q3 which is 2.2%. This could be fueled by the sale transactions of new launches that were released such as J’den, Hillock Green, and Watten House.

Overall, growth in non-landed private residential properties has slowed down compared to the previous year. This could be due to the higher supply of new launches compared to the demand as illustrated by the number of new sales transactions in the market this year.

Source: URA

Furthermore, the number of new sales transactions has decreased by 43.8%, which is a significant amount when compared to the previous quarter. Overall, new sales transactions have also decreased in 2023 by 9% and were at their lowest level in seven years.

With the increase in supply, the rental price index also decreased for the first time in three years. 

Source: URA

However, the decrease is not an indicator that rental prices will crash. Rather, this decrease is attributed to the huge supply of housing introduced into the market with huge projects such as Normanton Park being completed during the year. 

Source: URA

The private residential vacancy rate further supports the point with vacancy shooting up during the start of the year 2023 but has since shown signs of normalising back down as there is gradual absorption of the new rental supply. 

The slowdown of the rental market in the year 2024 could mean investors might need to start looking at opportunities such as new launches or even overseas properties.

Source: URA

The 2023 Government Land Sale (GLS) also introduced a large supply of private housing into the market with a whopping 47% increase compared to the 2022 GLS. This provided a direct cooling effect on the property market, causing property price growth to slow down. 

So What Does All These Mean for the Property Market in 2024?

Source: Google Images

From a property investment cycle perspective, we are entering or have already entered a buyer’s market. Thus, it would be a good time to start your property investment journey in 2024.

Rather than wasting any effort trying to navigate through the intricacies of property investment, why not look for one of our professional Crestbrick associates? You can be rest assured we have your best interest at heart. Click here to find out more.