Condo resale prices up 0.8% in December; volume down for 3rd straight month

Flash data showed an estimated 661 units changing hands in December, compared with 769 units in November. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE – Prices of resale condominium units rose for the 29th straight month in December, while the number of units sold dropped for the third consecutive month following the introduction of property cooling measures.

In December, condo resale prices edged up by 0.8 per cent compared with November’s 0.5 per cent, according to flash figures from real estate portals and SRX released on Monday.

Meanwhile, fewer units changed hands in December. Data showed an estimated 661 units changing hands in December, compared with 769 units in November.

Property analysts attributed the steady decline in transaction volume in the last three months to the property cooling measures, coupled with the year-end seasonal lull, during which sales activities slow down.

One Global Group senior analyst Mohan Sandrasegeran said some private property owners who had initially thought of selling their property might have decided to hold on for longer in the light of the curbs and increasing interest and inflation rates.

One of the cooling measures currently in place is a 15-month wait-out period for private home owners aged under 55 years who want to buy Housing Board resale flats after selling their private properties.

Mr Sandrasegeran said the strong rental market might have also prompted some to rent their units out instead of selling, leading to fewer properties ending up on the market.

OrangeTee & Tie senior vice-president of research and analytics Christine Sun said buyers were expecting prices to moderate after the September cooling measures, while sellers were holding firm to their asking prices.

“As a result, the price expectation gap between buyers and sellers widened, resulting in fewer deals being sealed or deals taking longer to negotiate,” she said.

Condo resale volume was down 49 per cent compared with December 2021 and was 25.1 per cent lower than the five-year average volumes for the month of December. Data showed that an estimated 11,949 units were sold in 2022, down 26.1 per cent from 2021.

PropNex Realty head of research and content Wong Siew Ying said she expected condo resale volume to remain lacklustre in January due to the Chinese New Year festivities. 

Despite the fall in transaction volume, overall resale condo prices in December were up by 9.7 per cent compared with the year before.

On a year-on-year basis, prices of units in the suburbs rose the most, by 11.2 per cent; followed by those in the city fringe, by 8.4 per cent; and central Singapore, by 5.8 per cent.

Ms Wong noted that while resale condo prices had crept up in 2022 from the year before, the pace of increase paled in comparison to that of new condo launches.

For instance, the median price of a newly launched condo unit in the suburbs was $2,056 per sq ft (psf), around 57.2 per cent higher compared with $1,308 psf for a resale condo unit.

“Given the substantial price gap, we expect that buyers who are more budget-conscious will likely continue seeking resale properties, bolstering demand in the resale market,” said Ms Wong.

The supply of resale condo properties might remain tight in the near term as owners hold off on selling, which could then bolster resale prices, she added.

The highest transacted price for a resale condo unit in December was $13.8 million at Paterson Suites, a freehold development in the Orchard Road/River Valley area.

In the city fringes, the highest transacted price was $7,552,000 for a freehold unit at MeyerHouse in Tanjong Katong. In the suburbs, a 99-year leasehold unit at Kovan Regency sold for $3.05 million.

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