The long term trend of landed properties in Singapore

February 19, 2013 / By  

On an island where land is scarce, one would think that the prices of landed housing in Singapore would triumph over those of condominium and apartment units. However, this claim is true only to a certain extent. Since the market trough in 2009, prices of landed residential properties rose about 80% (2009 – 2011), outperforming the 50% increase seen in the prices of non-landed properties over the same period. This remarkable pace of growth is a first since the early 1990s, when the landed housing market expanded on the back of strong economic fundamentals. However, the market activity quickly reversed with the onset of the Asian Financial Crisis. Landed home prices plunged in 1999 to a level close to that in the non-landed housing market. Subsequent price recovery in both housing sub-markets remained feeble until 2006.

The stellar performance in the landed housing market from 2009-2011 was driven by the dearth of new housing supply. Net additional supply of landed housing during the period was only 1,400 units or 0.7% annually, where the long term average stood at 7%. This tight supply also came at a time when the population had grown from 4.40 million in 2006 to over 5.18 million by 2011 i.e. a 3.5% growth per annum.

However over the past one year, we noticed that prices and sales of landed properties have moderated. Transaction volume in the landed housing segment registered a drop of 10% y-o-y compared to the non-landed housing market which increased 6% y-o-y. Based on the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s Property Price Index, prices of landed properties have continued to grow but at a more modest pace of 3.5% y-o-y compared to the average growth of 40% per year between 2009 and 2011.

The weaker price movement is possibly due to the affordability of these landed homes. Entry level landed properties (3 bedrooms) are currently transacting at about SGD2.0-2.7 million, or 2.0 times that of an equivalent sized non-landed home. In contrast, similar landed properties were transacting only at SGD1.4-1.8 million or 1.6 times in 2009-2011. Historically this gap between landed and non-landed prices is about 1.3-1.8 times. With this widened price gap, the landed housing price is unlikely to support further growth especially when developers have made the non-landed homes more affordable by keeping the total quantum prices to SGD 0.9 -1.2 million.

Moving forward, the landed housing market would continue to attract those who appreciate owning a plot of land and the lifestyle that comes with it. Price growth in the landed housing market may likely slow in the short term to keep the price gap between landed and non-landed housing segment at a long term ratio of around 1.5-1.6 times.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Talk to us 
about real estate markets.