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6 Hot Property Market Trends in Singapore 2024: What Buyers Should Anticipate

Posted by Jayson Ang on May 27, 2024
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TLDR

When diving into Singapore’s property market, expect a rollercoaster ride as trends shift drastically in 2024. Landlords and tenants are leveraging higher occupancy limits, while a shift towards variable rate home loans is predicted for late 2024. Aging mixed-use properties are regaining interest, especially with major revamp projects underway. The Central Core Region faces challenges, with an influx of units potentially impacting prices. Despite a rise in property supply, prices may stabilize due to increased demand for properties near MRT stations. For those contemplating buying or selling, strategic real estate advice can provide clarity and direction tailored to individual needs.

Alright, when it comes to Singapore’s property scene, you can bet your bottom dollar, it’s as exciting and unpredictable as a thriller movie. It doesn’t just sway to the rhythm of sudden cooling measures. Nah, everything from what people want in their floor plans to how rental opportunities shape up can take a wild turn within a year. So, based on the drama we saw unfold in 2023, here’s the scoop on what trends might be stealing the spotlight this brand new year.

Landlords and Tenants Maximizing Higher Occupancy Limits!

The rules just got friendlier for those sharing living spaces. Now, 4-room or larger apartments can house up to eight individuals who aren’t related, an increase from the previous limit of six. The same applies to private properties that are 90 sqm or more.

Will we see a rise in this trend come 2024?

Both landlords and tenants stand to gain from this development. Property owners can potentially boost their earnings by accommodating two additional tenants, while some renters might find it easier on their pockets if they shared the rent with another roomie.

However, keep in mind that the rental market isn’t as robust as it used to be – a fact we’ve been observing since Q2 and Q3 of 2023. With the surge in housing supply and conclusion of new construction projects, rental rates could continue to slump. Thus, we anticipate that tenants will wield more negotiation power as we step into 2024.

Breaking Away from Traditional Mortgages: The Rise of Variable Rate Home Loans in Late 2024

The Fed went full throttle on hiking interest rates after the COVID-19 chaos, which drove up home loan interest rates in Singapore. This has been the trend since 2022, and you can check out our comprehensive breakdown of the situation right here.

However, with inflation in the US taking a nosedive and the economic future looking pretty bleak, the Fed decided to pull a U-turn. Now, we’re potentially staring at three to six rate cuts between 2024 and 2025. This is expected to gradually dial back the home loan interest rates in Singapore too.

Given this scenario, borrowers might need to reassess their stance on fixed-rate home loans, especially as we approach the second half of 2024. Remember, rate cuts usually don’t happen overnight, so don’t expect immediate effects.

While lower home loans are a sweet deal for buyers, we reckon it’s not enough to make investors shrug off ABSD rates and dive back into the market just yet. However, it should bring some comfort to existing landlords who might be grappling with declining rental rates.

Reviving Interest in Aging Mixed-Use Properties

Two major revamp projects are on the radar this year, and they’re definitely worth keeping an eye on:

First off, we’ve got the Golden Mile Complex facelift. When we first dug into this story, developers seemed a bit nonchalant about it – almost as if they were brushing it off. There were even murmurs that the project might be too mammoth to remodel and flip within the five-year timeframe.

But guess what? Far East Organization, Sino Land, and Perennial Holdings have taken the plunge and bagged it for a cool $700 million. How they fare in this venture is going to be under the microscope, for other developers to learn from.

Next up, we’ve got the transformation of the former Peace Centre/Peace Mansion. This place was once dismissed as an eyesore, despite sitting on prime real estate. Similar to Golden Mile, the Peace Centre was a mixed-use property in a top-notch location, but it had seen better days and had a bit of a shady rep.

If these makeover projects hit it big, they could stir up interest in other gems like Orchard Towers or Sultan Plaza. These properties are also aging, mixed-use spots with great location potential. Developers might finally be persuaded to scoop them up.

Unveiling Savvy Buyers in the Struggling CCR

As our annual recap revealed, the Central Core Region (CCR) had a bit of a rough ride in 2023. It only managed to muster an average gain of a paltry one per cent, while other areas were enjoying hefty double-digit growth.

This downturn wasn’t exactly a surprise to those keeping a close eye on the market, especially after new regulation measures were rolled out in April ’23. Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) rates for foreign investors doubled to a whopping 60 per cent, and this group is particularly significant in the CCR landscape.

Unfortunately, things might take a further dip. According to a report by Huttons Asia featured on Edgeprop, 2024 could bring the highest supply of units in the area since 2021, with an estimated 2,968 units hitting the market.

With the recent regulatory measures and the impending increase in supply, it’s likely that the CCR price tag will experience some pressure. However, this could spell good news for certain home buyers who might be hunting for a deal next year. Remember, the redevelopment efforts at Golden Mile and Peace Centre are also happening in this region.

Stabilizing Prices Amid Supply Shortage: A Path to Recovery

In the annual round-up, we noted a dip in transaction volumes and a steady rise in average private home prices, settling at about a 6.7% upturn for the whole of 2023. Despite being an increase, this figure is down from the previous 8.6%, hinting at a noticeable cooling-off in the market.

Various real estate companies are forecasting between 8,000 to over 11,000 fresh units for 2024, with approximately 38 launches already estimated. This represents a substantial leap from the circa 7,500 units of 2023. Given this uptick, the pinch of the housing supply appears to be easing, which may put a leash on further price escalation.

At this juncture, it remains uncertain if prices will experience a drop – developers are under immense pressure and sellers possess strong capital. Yet, it’s safe to say that the frenzied rate we witnessed post-COVID-19 won’t be making a comeback.

Broadly speaking, prices remain elevated, putting HDB upgraders under pressure – the standard new three-bedroom launch is still hovering around the $2 million mark, a figure far beyond the comfortable budget for many. We anticipate their focus to remain on larger, older resale properties suitable for families, or more affordable OCR projects.

High Demand for Properties Close to MRT Stations

Soaring COE rates hit an all-time high last year, and with the GST rates and living costs on an upward trajectory, owning a car has become a distant dream for many Singaporeans.

This could potentially be the reason behind the surge in demand for condos like J’den and Reserve Residences (refer here for the best-selling projects of 2023). The unique selling point for these projects is the direct connectivity to MRT stations. Despite launching close to the implementation of cooling measures, they managed to attract significant interest.

Shifting our focus to HDB, it’s interesting to note that the new Plus model flats, Bayshore being the inaugural one, are strategically located near the MRT stations of their respective neighbourhoods. If these flats continue to attract strong demand, despite their 10-year MOP and eligibility conditions, it may indicate a growing preference for a life sans cars.

Should You Buy, Sell or Wait?

If you’re reading this, you must be trying to figure out the best course of action right now: is it the right time to buy or sell?

It’s difficult to give an exact answer since everyone’s situation is unique and what works for one person may not necessarily work for you.

I can bring you a wealth of on-the-ground experience and a data-driven approach to provide clarity and direction. From beginners to experienced investors, our top-down, objective approach will help you on your real estate journey.

I can help you by:

  1. Offering Strategic Real Estate Advice – I can help create a comprehensive plan to guide you through your property journey.
  2. Connecting Your Home with the Perfect Buyers – Through stunning visuals, an effective communication strategy, and an in-depth knowledge of the market, we’ll ensure your home is presented in the best possible way to fulfill your goals.

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