Auction market slumps 59.7% in 1H2023, lowest sales value in three years: Edmund Tie

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The local property auction market has faced some challenges in 1H2023. According to a research note published by Edmund Tie, the total transaction value for the 11 successfully auctioned properties was a low $15.2 million, a drop of 59.7% compared to the 17 sales worth $37.7 million in 2H2022.

Joy Tan, head of auction and sales at Edmund Tie, notes this is the lowest sales value recorded since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, when only one property was sold for $0.94 million in 1H2020. Tan states that this drop is mainly due to the properties being of low quantum, mostly below the S$1 million mark with only one high-value transaction above S$5 million.

This one high-value transaction was for a three-storey semi-detached house on Vaughan Road, sold for $6.3 million. Additionally, seven properties sold at auction were industrial, with the remainder three residential and one office.

Tan blames the current market conditions on factors such as high interest rates, cooling measures, and the uncertain macro environment. Furthermore, buyers have adopted a wait-and-see stance due to fear of an impending recession and the upcoming new private residential projects.

Mortgage listings are expected to pick up from 2024, once banks repossess properties and put them up for auction. Tan believes that well-priced office listings will be highly sought after due to family offices in Singapore, and they won’t be subject to additional buyer’s stamp duty.

Overall, Tan speculates that the auction market in 1H2023 provided more insight than sales figures. She notes that investors are displaying a growing acceptance towards leasehold properties with shorter remaining lease tenures of usually 30-60 years. This could potentially signal an increase in risk tolerance by investors as financial markets remain turbulent and preferences shift to alternative investment opportunities.

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