Chief Editor December 16 2022

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New private home sales drop to record low in November is a red flag

New private home sales in November tumbled to a record low of only 259 units sold excluding executive condominiums (ECs), according to URA.

The core central region (CCR) had 148 units sold. This was followed by 73 units in the Rest Central Region (RCR) and 38 units sold in Outside Central Region (OCR).

November marked the second consecutive month of drop in new private home sales. It was a 17.3 per cent decrease from October new home sales of 313 units.

Most analysts cited a lack of new property launches and year-end holiday season to the disappointing sales figures.

Propertyforsale managing director Chia Jin Tai has a word of caution ahead of New Year 2023. 

"It was only back in December 2014 when Singapore new home sales was much lower at 230 units. We attributed this to a slew of property cooling measures including Additional Buyer Stamp Duty (ABSD), Loan to Value (LTV) and Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR) implemented in 2013," he said.

"The Government intervened because new launch property prices was extremely high and it eventually peaked. As a result, Singapore property prices dropped from 2015 to 2018," he added.

The 3 month SIBOR rate is now at 4.25% which is the highest since 2000 and it is poised to rise further in tandem with US Federal reserve interest rate hike.

In contrast, during the new private home sales all time low in December 2014, the 3 month SIBOR was only 0.45%. 

"If low interest rate fail to lure buyers into the property market, why would high mortgage rate will? Moreover, there have been talks of a global recession in 2023 or 2024," said Mr Chia.

The boutique property developments of 38-unit Sophia Regency, 34-unit Kovan Jewel and 72-unit Hill House were launched for sale in November. However, only 16 units were sold.