[UPDATE] Sceneca Residence, first new launch of 2023, hits 60% sales on first day

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/ EdgeProp Singapore
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January 15, 2023 12:09 PM SGT
Artist's impression of the 268-unit Sceneca Residence at Tanah Merah Kechil Link (Picture: MCC Singapore)
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The 268-unit Sceneca Residence located at Tanah Merah Kechil Link, was officially launched yesterday (Jan 14), after a two-week preview that started on Jan 1. Balloting of units kicked off at 10.30 am on Jan 14, and by 5 pm, 160 units (about 60%) were sold at an average price of $2,072 psf.
As the first new project launch of 2023, Sceneca Residence’s performance is a harbinger of what other developers with projects in the pipeline could expect. According to sources, the developer -- a consortium made up of MCC Singapore, Ekovest Developments and The Place Holdings – had collected a total of 560 cheques by Thursday evening, hence the project was two times subscribed. The 160 units sold reflect a conversion rate of about 28.6%.
“The project is likely the first major private residential launch (excluding executive condominiums) after the implementation of the latest round of cooling measures on 30 September 2022, and we do observe that homebuyers are more conscientious and deliberate in their buying decisions,” says Tan Zhiyong, CEO of MCC Singapore on behalf of the consortium.
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At the launch, the one- and two-bedroom units at Sceneca Residence were fully sold. With sizes from 463 to 883 sq ft, one- and two-bedroom types make up 120 units in the development. Hence, they accounted for 75% of the 160 units sold. Prices started from $958,000 for a one-bedroom unit and $1.33 million for a two-bedroom.
The crowd at Sceneca Residence on the first day of preview (Photo: MCC Singapore)
“It is rare to find a one-bedroom apartment for under $1 million in the market today,” says Mark Yip, CEO of Huttons Asia. “Astute buyers recognised this and snapped up all the one-bedroom units. The two-bedroom units were sold out as the quantum proved to be an attractive entry point for HDB upgraders.”
There are only four penthouses in the development, with sizes of 2,400 to 2,756 sq ft. The largest penthouse of 2,756 sq ft unit was among the units sold on launch day.
According to the developer, Singaporeans made up about 88.5% of the total number of homebuyers, with permanent residents and foreigners accounting for the remaining 11.5%.
Sceneca Residence would have sold even more units if it had a higher proportion of one- and two-bedroom types, notes Ismail Gafoor, CEO of PropNex. “It shows a strong appetite for units that are priced anywhere below $1.8 million, with ready investors willing to pick up such units, regardless of the high interest rates,” says Gafoor.
One- and two-bedroom (showflat pictured) units, which made up 120 units in the development, were fully sold, accounting for 75% of the 160 units sold on launch day (Photo: MCC Singapore)
While the smallest of the three-bedroom types, the “Classic”, with sizes from 904 sq ft to 1,055 sq ft, saw 23 out of 37 units (62%) taken up, there was “a bit of pullback” for the larger three-bedroom and four-bedroom types, with sizes from 1,044 sq ft to 1,518 sq ft. “There was some hesitation among some of the upgraders who wanted more time because of all the market uncertainties and may have postponed their upgrading plans,” observes Gafoor. “That’s why we witnessed slower sales for the bigger units.”
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Sceneca Residence comprises two residential blocks of 14- and 15-storeys that will sit on top of Sceneca Square, a 20,000 sq ft mall featuring a mix of cafes, restaurants, shops and a 10,000 sq ft new-to-market supermarket.
Marcus Chu, CEO of ERA Realty Network sees many of the buyers primarily from the east and northeast regions of Singapore, with a good mix of investors and owner occupiers. Chu attributes the robust sales to several reasons, including the direct link to the Tanah Merah MRT station and the convenience of a mall directly below the residential towers. “Residential projects near MRT stations are popular for their accessibility,” he says. Amenities such as a mall are an added attraction for future residents and tenants of Sceneca Residence, he adds.
The project is also located near places of employment, such as the Changi Business Park, the Airport Logistics Park and Changi Airport, which makes it attractive for those who want to live close to their place of work, according to Chu.
According to the developer, Singaporeans made up 88.5% of the buyers of Sceneca Residence. In the Bedok planning area, currently 87% of the homeowners are owner occupiers (Source: EdgeProp Landlens)
The fourth quarter of 2022 ended with two executive condo (EC) project launches, namely the 639-unit Copen Grand at Tengah Walk in the west, which is now fully sold and the 618-unit Tenet at Tampines in the east, which is 93.2% sold to date.
Prior to that were the launch of the 165-unit SkyEden@Bedok and the 605-unit Lentor Modern in September. SkyEden@Bedok, located just one MRT stop from Sceneca Residence, was 75% sold on launch day, while Lentor Modern saw 84% sales. Both achieved average sale prices of just over $2,100 psf.
Following Sceneca Residence’s launch, the next two projects that are likely to preview during the Chinese New Year period are the 386-unit The Botany at Dairy Farm and the 270-unit Terra Hill in Pasir Panjang. “There hasn’t been much new supply in the vicinity of these two projects,” Yip points out. Next door to The Botany at Dairy Farm is the 460-unit Dairy Farm Residences, launched in November 2019 and fully sold to date. Near the freehold Terra Hill is the 548-unit, 99-year leasehold Kent Ridge Hill Residences, which was launched in November 2018 and fully sold to date. “These two upcoming launches – The Botany at Dairy Farm and Terra Hill – should see good response as well,” he says.
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“While there was some uncertainty on the market direction in 2023, the strong sales result at Sceneca Residence should dispel doubts about the strength of the market and set the tone for the upcoming launches in February and March,” says Huttons’ Yip.
Recent transaction prices and rental rates achieved at neighbouring condos (Source:EdgeProp Landlens)
Sceneca Residence’s performance has certainly started the year on a positive note, says PropNex’s Gafoor. “We hope that the sales momentum achieved at Sceneca Residence will encourage other developers to price their projects right, as homebuyers are even more price sensitive due to the current high interest rate environment,” he adds. “If a project is not priced right, there could be some pullback by upgraders who may choose to sit out.”

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