5 Trends to Expect in 2022 in Singapore Real Estate

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2021 was a blockbuster year for Singapore Real Estate.   Private Residential property prices rise by 10.6%* and HDB Resale prices rose by 12.7%** in the same period.  The economy also grew by a whopping 7.1%. 

But the Zillion dollar question on everyone’s lips here is:  Can last year’s trends continue in 2022?  What should we expect?  We venture to make some bold predictions.

(*Source : Straits Times, Singapore private home prices jumped 10.6% in 2021 ahead of new cooling measures)
(**Source: Straits Time, HDB resale prices jumped 12.7% in 2021, record 259 million-dollar flats)

One look at the URA Master Plan will give you an idea of the dynamic and rapidly evolving state of the Singapore real estate investment industry. We have become the rising stars of the Asia Pacific housing market in the last two decades. Most experts expect a similar trajectory in 2022 as they anticipate and analyze the ripple effects of a post-pandemic investment culture.. 

We have rounded up the 5 must-watch Singapore property price trends, en bloc revolution, and rental growth. These predictions are made through industry insights and a detailed investigation of real estate transactions that occurred in 2021. 

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Let’s look into the crystal ball to see what’s in store for real estate investors in 2022:


#1: Flat Resale Value Will Continue to Soar


One of the biggest influencers of the Singapore real estate market has been the Housing and Development Board (HDB). A record-breaking number of flats were sold in 2021.   With at least 259 exchange hands for more than $1 million.   And 40 units were more than $1.2million. Topping the chart is a 5 room Design, Build and Sell Flat Natura Loft In Bishan which sold for $1.36m.

On the Private Residential front, prices gained 10.6% in 2021 as opposed to 2.2% in 2020.  The non-landed segment rose 5.4% in 4th quarter.  These were mostly resale properties on the back of New launches such as Perfect Ten, CanningHill Piers and Jervois Mansion.   

After the cooling measures of December 2021, transactions dropped in January 2022 but whilst there was a wait and see posturing between buyers and sellers, the cooling measure did not solved the biggest problem of them all:  The lack of inventory.

So how can prices go down and go contrary to fundamentally Low Supply and/or High Demand?


#2: Rental Market Ready to Bounce Back After a Lull


A recent report on Emerging Trends in Real Estate in Asia Pacific ranked Singapore as the only country in the region with higher rental rates. One hedge fund manager predicts a 30% uptick in rental growth in the next five years. The reason for this lies in the booming economy, demographic changes,  and appealing urban development in Singapore. 

Singapore condominiums rented 58,613 units in 2021, an increase by 6.8%% from 2020.  HDB increased in 2021 to 21,924, up by 4% from a year ago. 

With cooling measures in effect, it will incentives homebuyers who already own a property to sell their existing properties before buying the next.  And if their new home is under construction, they will need to rent while waiting for completion.

Singapore attracts thousands of foreign expats who wish to live here for educational and business opportunities. If we overlook the possible disruption and border lockdowns caused by the omicron variant, then the rental market has a lot of scope for growth in the coming year.  Especially when borders start opening up.

According to Christine Sun, foreign expats, business investors, and international students are bound to return after the travel ban lifts in different countries. The last few months have definitely seen an increase in arrivals after the opening of Vaccinated Travel Lanes (VTLs) Subsequently, employment of foreign nationals might pick up in specific sectors (like tourism, hospitality, mining industries).  The influx of workers with Employment Pass (EP) will bring more business for rental properties.

These individuals are most likely going to choose rental living spaces over private properties. In turn, this will prop up the demand for rental homes in Singapore.

Consequently, monthly price for a  house for rent in Singapore might increase by 8-11% due to the extra demand and low supply of complete urban development projects. The primary reason for this gap are the construction delays caused by the shortage of onsite workers due to COVID-safety mandates.


#3: En Bloc Market Will Make a Comeback


Remember the mania around en bloc purchases in 2017 and 2018?

Braddell View En Bloc and Pandan Valley En Bloc were some of the front liners during those years.

In comparison, the past few years might appear underwhelming for this segment due to decreased purchases. Yet, we anticipate a moderate increase in interest by land developers and HDB upgraders. These buyers have different reasons for this real estate move.

Land starve developers plan to use URA land sale and en bloc properties to diversify their real estate portfolio. These developers want profitable land sites that align with their property and budget goals.

In contrast, we have former HDB owners who sold flats for high rates. These individuals are looking for private properties as replacement homes or investments (i.e. land properties).  The progression might have been slow and steady compared to trends previously observed, but they are in a positive direction. For instance, we witnessed  Flynn Park being sold for a whopping $371 million to a collaborative venture funded by Sunway Developments and Hoi Hup Realty. Other major sales include:



Next year might lead to a great turnaround for the en bloc market if investments persist in this segment.


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#4: Buying Demand vs. Supply Shortage    


Recent records show a massive increase in private property purchases and property investments. Property Affordability Rating has increased in the last few months because of the revenue HBD owners earned through profitable resale. Aside from this, the households with more than one member working from home and studying online also gravitate towards bigger and better homes. More space has become equivalent to lesser disruptions during work hours and good quality of life.

Due to these reasons, more Singaporeans are scouring the real estate market space for larger private properties. High prices of condos and depleting supply of new properties have led to an influx in demand for landed housing. Reports illustrate a 7.0% spike in activity surrounding landed properties.  In turn, these numbers show that the pandemic has not deterred property buying culture.

On the contrary, these sentiments will move real estate transactions in this sector forward in the coming years. Buyers only have to watch out for growing private property prices by 5-7% in the coming months and act accordingly.


#5: Liquidity Becomes a Driver for Luxury Real Estate


Despite the USA promising to raise interest rates in 2022, liquidity is still at all time from the past 2 years of quantitative easing.  It would be fair to say, that interest rates hikes should be modest at best, leaving the markets with a tremendous amount of liquidity leftover from the past 2 years. 

Singapore has garnered much attention globally due to its “healthy liquidity, political stability, and pro-business environment.” In addition to this, the open economy segments and comparatively low tax rates attract relocations from businesses and families interested in upgrading their quality of life with minimum financial setbacks. 

Locals previously living in rental homes have a similar perception. They use the boost in resale market space and consistent growth in Singapore’s real estate investment as a sign to make the switch.  Luxury homes, executive condominiums,  and vibrant neighborhoods seal the deal for these buyers. 


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2022 Will Be a Year of Roaring Surprises for the Singapore Real Estate


2021 was indeed a tough act to follow.  Price trends soared, setting new all time highs.  On the back of lower supply, insanely high liquidity and improving economic factors including the control of the pandemic, there really isn’t too many factors to argue against another year of price increases.   

It is therefore quite safe to predict that Singapore’s property prices trends and fast-paced developments must lead into another positive growth for 2022. It really is a reflection of the vibrancy, resilience, and potential of our ever-evolving Singapore real estate industry.

Whether you’re an investor, seller, or buyer, you can expect you’re be in for quite a ride. The question is really how do You take advantage of it or hedge against it. 

If you can position well your real estate portfolio in 2022, it may well generate a significant return for the rest of your life!   Good luck!

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