by OrangeTee & Tie Pte Ltd.

OrangeTee's comments on URA Q4 2022 real estate statistics

URA Quarterly Data

Press Release

27 Jan 2023

URA has just released the Q4 2022 real estate statistics.


Prices softening amid a weaker macroeconomic outlook

Prices of private homes have been softening over the past few months. This is in line with a weaker macroeconomic projection for this year against a backdrop of rising mortgage rates and spiraling inflation. 

Higher borrowing costs have lowered buyers’ housing affordability, while recent cooling measures lowered the borrowing limits of prospective buyers. 


Private home prices rose at a marginal pace of 0.4 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2022 from the previous quarter, according to the Q4 data released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA). This is in stark contrast to the 3.8 per cent increase in the July to September period. 

For the whole of 2022, prices rose 8.6 per cent. This is lower than 10.6 per cent in 2021 but higher than 2.2 per cent in 2020.

Prices of non-landed private residential properties in the suburbs or the Outside Central Region (OCR) decreased by 2.6 per cent in Q4 2022, compared to a 7.5 per cent increase in Q3 2022 Conversely, non-landed homes in the Rest of Central Region (RCR) or city fringe increased by 3.1 per cent, compared to a 2.8 per cent increase in Q3. Non-landed homes in the prime districts, or Core Central Region (CCR), rose by 0.7 per cent after a 2.3 per cent increase in the preceding quarter.

Price softening in sync with global trends 

The price decline is in sync with global trends where home prices have similarly slid in many countries like Canada, Sweden, New Zealand, and Britain. In October 2022, prices of new homes in China fell at the fastest pace in over seven years.

Home prices are taking a hit from rising interest rates globally. Central banks worldwide have hiked interest rates to tame inflation. Many countries are pushing up borrowing costs to guide their economies towards a soft landing. Real estate will inevitably be affected as households tighten their belts, and rising interest rates hold back some potential buyers.  Some governments, like South Korea, have already intervened to help homeowners struggling to cope with the increased mortgage repayments.  

It is not surprising that some buyers in Singapore are starting to feel the impact of higher mortgage payments, considering how much interest rates have risen over the past year. However, most buyers can still service their loans now as they are not overleveraged since stringent property curbs are in place to ensure buyers remain prudent and our job growth is still healthy.  Therefore, home values here are not facing as sharp a cooling as in many other countries.


Sales volume dipped last quarter as most buyers were on an overseas vacation and sales activities slowdown during the seasonal holidays. Interest rate hikes, lack of launches during the year-end holidays and rising macroeconomic uncertainties have also dampened demand.

According to URA data, sales declined by 41.6 per cent from 6,148 units in Q3 to 3,588 units in Q4 2022. The sales dip was observed for both new home sales and resales. New home sales excluding EC dipped by 68.4 per cent from 2,187 units in Q3 2022 to 690 in Q4 2022, while resales slipped 27.6 per cent from 3,719 units to 2,694 units over the same period.

Last quarter's 690 transactions were the lowest number of quarterly new homes sold since Q4 2008, when 419 units were transacted during the Global Financial Crisis. 

For the whole of 2022, 21,890 total homes, excluding EC were sold. This is less than the 33,557 units transacted in 2021, but higher than the 19,150 units sold in 2019 and the 20,909 transacted in 2020. In 2022, 4,400 units were transacted in CCR, 7,000 units in RCR and10,490 units in OCR. 


The leasing market performed well last year as rents hit a record high and volumes were higher than in the pre-pandemic period.

Rents continued to rise last quarter amid a shrinking housing stock and rising home prices. According to URA data, rents climbed faster by 7.4 per cent in the fourth quarter of last year to a new high, after rising 8.6 per cent in the third quarter. For the whole of 2022, rents rose by 29.7 per cent, the highest annual increase since 2007 when rents rose 41.2 per cent.  

Owing to the year-end holidays, rental demand slipped in Q4, dipping by 19.6 per cent to 20,627 transactions from 25,657 units in Q3 2022. Occupancy rates stayed healthy at 94.5 per cent in Q4 2022. For the whole of 2022, 90,071 homes were leased, less than the 98,605 units in 2021, 93,960 units in 2019 and 92,537 in 2020.

Rents have been rising continuously for over two years as demand outstrips supply. In 2023, there will be a significant ramp-up in housing supply, with 19,291 new private homes, including executive condominiums (EC), slated for completion. The increased housing supply may ease some rental pressures, especially in the suburbs and city fringe areas. There could be some relief in sight for HDB upgraders and Singaporeans who are renting as they wait for the completion of their new homes. There will be more housing options, and possibly an increased number of suburban homes offering affordable rents. We expect rents to rise at a slower pace of around 13 to 16 per cent this year. 


Foreign investors will continue to be attracted by our strong and stable currency, which will help to preserve the value of their property investment in the long run. The reopening of China’s borders will likely see more Mainland Chinese buyers returning to Singapore.

Nevertheless, housing affordability will be a key concern to most buyers. We expect buyers to stay prudent this year, given the rising interest rates, inflationary pressures, and global economic uncertainties. Interest rates may stay elevated as inflation is not expected to be transitory. 

Therefore, the net effect may see prices growing slower, between 5 and 8 per cent this year. As more projects will be launched this year, new home sales are projected to rise to 8,500-10,000. 

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