Slight uptick in resale condo prices and sales in February despite sluggish start to 2024

Published: Mar 30, 2024 by 
PropertyGiant Singapore
Resale condo volume inched up by 1.2 per cent in February, with 760 units resold. Photo Credit: ST File
Resale condo volume inched up by 1.2 per cent in February, with 760 units resold. Photo Credit: ST File

Resale condo volume and prices saw only a slight uptick in February, attributed to Chinese New Year festivities.

Despite the sluggish start to 2024, analysts remain optimistic about the market’s prospects, with expectations that resale transactions could start to pick up in the coming months.

From January to February, prices inched up by 0.2 per cent, following the 0.6 per cent dip seen in January and 0.3 per cent rise recorded the month before, according to flash data released by real estate portals and SRX on March 26.

Overall prices increased by 6.1 per cent compared with February 2023.

Resale condo volume inched up by 1.2 per cent in February, with 760 units resold.

PropNex head of research and content Wong Siew Ying noted that the slight uptick in resale volume in February halted a run of three straight months of a dip in condo resales.

Compared with the year before, condo resale volume was up by 0.9 per cent from 753 units in February 2023, said Ms Wong.

“Still, the muted resale market activity in February was not unexpected in view of the Chinese New Year holidays and festivities during the month. In addition, sales activity also tended to be slower in the first couple of months of the year. We expect resale transactions could start to pick up from the second quarter of 2024, as more buyers return to the market,” she added.

Flash estimates for February by the property portals showed prices in the core central region (CCR) or prime areas rose slightly by 0.2 per cent, and by 0.1 per cent in the outside central region (OCR) or the suburbs.

Prices in the rest of central region (RCR) or city fringes remained unchanged.

In terms of February’s resale volume, an estimated 303 condo units were transacted in the OCR, constituting 43.8 per cent of total condo resale transactions. In the RCR, 246 units changed hands and 142 units were resold in the CCR.

Based on Urban Redevelopment Authority Realis caveat data, the median transacted unit price of resale non-landed homes rose by 3.9 per cent from January to February in the CCR and by 0.2 per cent in the RCR, while that of the OCR saw a 0.9 per cent dip.

However, compared with the previous year, resale median unit prices all increased across the sub-markets in February 2024, noted Ms Wong.

She said: “With prices finding stability in recent months, it could encourage buyers to return to the resale market. A stable market may also be beneficial for those who are looking at upgrading or right-sizing their home, as it gives them a bit more time to sell their existing property, while allaying the concern that resale prices would rise rapidly and in turn pricing them out of buying their desired replacement unit.”

Ms Christine Sun, chief researcher and strategist at real estate firm OrangeTee Group, said that interest rates, which are expected to moderate, would have a positive impact on the market.

“Demand for resale properties may strengthen in the upcoming months should interest rates moderate, enhancing housing affordability and attracting more buyers to the market,” she said.

Also, with fewer condominiums slated to be completed in 2024, new housing stock will decrease, which may put some upward pressure on prices, added Ms Sun.

Meanwhile, four condo units were resold to foreigners in February, making up only 0.6 per cent of total resale condo transactions.

Ms Wong said all four units were resold to United States citizens, who are exempted from paying the 60 per cent additional buyer’s stamp duty for their first residential home in Singapore.

Since measures were tightened in April 2023, demand from foreign buyers has significantly decreased. In February, Singaporean buyers accounted for 78.6 per cent of condo resale transactions, with permanent residents making up 20.8 per cent, she added.

Credit: The Straits Times

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