How has COVID-19 affected the Singaporean housing market? Have prices gone up or down? Are there bargains to be had?
These are natural questions that potential buyers like yourself may be asking during these turbulent times. The first two are slightly more complex, but power through them (with the data we’re about to share), and you’ll uncover that yes, there are indeed plenty of opportunities for good property buys.
If you’ve been keeping up with the sector news, you’ve probably already encountered many reports (like our PropertyGuru Property Market Index) analysing the impact of COVID-19 on the Singapore property market. Trouble is, “the property market” is a broad term that doesn’t mean much for the average buyer and their individual buying decisions.
So to provide more helpful insights, we’ll be drilling deeper into the data, explaining our more macro, district-level findings, as well as revealing more granular information on the individual condos’ performance in the past quarter.
If you’re currently looking to buy, this is definitely not an article to miss.
On A Macro Level, Singapore’s Private Property Market Displays Resilience
Let’s begin with the top-level, national data. According to PropertyGuru’s Property Market Index Q3 2020, non-landed private property prices actually increased by 2.15% in the second quarter. This is aligns with findings from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), which recorded a 0.3% quarter-on-quarter increase, and Knight Frank, which noted a 0.4% year-on-year increase (both in the private residential market as well).
But just because private residential prices went up as a whole doesn’t mean that all projects saw price increases. As we discussed in our article on the private resale condo market, most of this likely came from new launches.
Drilling Deeper, We Uncovered 5 Districts With the Largest Price Declines
The picture from a district-level perspective is far more nuanced. There are districts which are top performers – namely districts 7, 15, 12, 23, and 26 – which saw the strongest price increases over the quarter.
Tip: Our map is interactive! Click the tab on the right to toggle to the bottom five districts.
… And then, there are the districts which went the other way, seeing the steepest price declines over the quarter. As revealed by our Property Market Index Q3 2020, these were districts 22, 28, 9, 8, and 13.
On the surface, there doesn’t seem to be any common factor linking these five districts. What does Orchard have in common with Jurong?
The answer comes down to the one factor we mentioned earlier – new launches, or rather a lack of them. Our analysis shows that districts with the steepest price declines were those which did not have new launches to prop up asking prices.
The only exception in this case was District 13, which actually had a high number of new launches. However, with new launches making up half of total listings, it turned out to be too high – intense competition created a price war, resulting in many developers giving out substantial discounts. That said, note that District 13 also had the lowest drop in asking prices among the five districts listed.
That Means You Should Only Browse Properties In Those Districts, Right?
Knowing which districts had the steepest price declines is clearly useful for property developers and property market analysts. But what about for you, the individual buyer? After all, you can’t buy an entire district – you can only buy a condo.
The reasoning behind why these districts saw such price declines is no doubt helpful. You now know that new launches seem to still be going strong, and hence, that you may have a better chance negotiating for better prices in the resale market.
But does this necessarily mean you should only look for resale units within the above five districts if you want to find the best bargains?
Surprisingly, as we drill even deeper into the data, the answer seems to be no.
Just because a certain district may have seen an average fall in price does not mean all individual projects have. In the next section, we will uncover the top 10 private residential projects with the steepest price declines over the quarter – and the districts they are in might surprise you.
The Top 10 Projects That Had The Steepest Asking Price Declines
The table below lists the top 10 private residential projects which saw the sharpest fall in asking prices over the quarter. These are all potential bargain opportunities, giving you more bang for your buck.
Beyond that, here are some interesting observations:
As expected, eight out of 10 were resale condos, with only two new projects. But what’s more interesting is that only two out of 10 were in the five above-mentioned districts with the steepest asking price declines – the same number as those in the five districts with the strongest asking price increases!
In fact, the project with the highest asking price decline – Papillon – was in District 12, which saw the third-highest asking price increase.
Now, if you were on the market for a condo, you could simply click through each of those links and begin bargain hunting. That’s perfectly fine.
But there is also a valuable lesson in all this: when it comes to data, don’t take macro level statistics at face value. If you can, always dig deeper and who knows, you may just uncover hidden gems like we did. Sounds like too much work? No sweat. Simply bookmark our PropertyGuru guides section and let us do the dirty work for you.
For more property news, content and resources, check out PropertyGuru’s guides section.
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This article was written by Ian Lee, an ex-banker turned financial writer who hopes to use his financial background and writing skills to help raise people’s financial literacy levels – a necessity in our modern world"
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