March new-home sales see 57.1% lift, with positive follow-on in April

By Tay Hock Meng / The Edge Property | May 11, 2015 12:00 PM SGT
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The crowd at the April 11-12 launch of North Park Residences, where 413 units were sold over the weekend
North Park Residences launch
SINGAPORE: The new-home sales and launch volume in the private residential market revived in March.
New launches improved marginally, with 400 units released for sale last month, compared with 389 in February.
The number of private homes (excluding executive condominiums) sold last month jumped 57.2% to 613 units in March, from 390 units the previous month.
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“It is [still] too early to pop the champagne,” says Nicholas Mak, executive director of research and consultancy at SLP International.
Of the new homes sold last month, 43% came from only two projects, namely Kingsford Waterbay and Sims Urban Oasis.
Kingsford Waterbay sold 155 units in March at a median price of $1,111 psf.
The 1,024- unit Sims Urban Oasis, launched in February, has sold 205 units over the past two months, at a median price of $1,401 psf.
“The market continues to wrestle with buyers who are taking longer to decide on purchases,” says Desmond Sim, head of CBRE Research for Singapore and South East Asia.
“But as long as prices remain palatable, sales will be inked.”
Sim says the recent increase in SIBOR (the Singapore interbank offered rates may prompt some buyers to make a decision in the months to come, given that they would want to lock in their mortgage rates before they rise further.
“However, buyers are still restricted by a lock in credit.”
The total tally for new homes sales in the first three months of 2015 stood at 1,379.
Should the quarterly average be annualised, sales will number between 5,000 and 6,000 units a year.
“These figures are similar to [those of] the recession years of 1997/98 (the Asian Financial Crisis), 2003/04 (SARS and the economic recession) and 2008 following the collapse of Lehman Brothers,” Sim says.
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“The current new level is, however, a result of government policy intervention and not external factors.
For the market volume to return to the 10,000 to 12,000 yearly average, there is a strong need for the government to review the sluice gate of measures.”
Ong Teck Hui, JLL’s national director of research and consultancy, reckons that the 1,379 units sold in 1Q2015 “reflect stability” as the figure is similar to the 1,376 units sold in 4Q2014.
“There is likely to be a positive follow-on from March’s data as recent launches in April, such as North Park Residences and Botanique at Bartley, have achieved encouraging sales,” he says.
“There is a definite pickup in market momentum, but whether it can be sustained depends on how attractive the new launches are and their pricing level.”
Frasers Centrepoint reported that it sold 100 units at North Park Residences’ official launch weekend on April 11-12.
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The project has sold 413 units to date, representing 70% of the 600 units released.
Ave rage prices were said to be around $1,300 psf, with units sold ranging in price from $618,000 for a studio to $1.89 million for a five-bedroom vista unit.
According to Elson Poo, Frasers Centrepoint’s general manager of sales and marketing for development and property, 70% of the buyers have HDB addresses and probably grew up in Yishun, and other parts of the northern region of Singapore.
They now want to live near the amenities at Yishun Central, given that the 920- unit North Park Residences is part of the Northpoint City integrated development, which will include thenew Northpoint City shopping mall, which will be linked to the existing Northpoint Shopping Centre, a new public library, community club, as well as the Yishun MRT station and bus interchange station.
Botanique at Bartley saw 50 units sold over the weekend of April 11- 12, bringing the total units of the project sold to over 200.
Units sold at the 797-unit 99-year leasehold Botanique at Bartley by UOL Group averaged $1,290 psf.
This article appeared in the City & Country of Issue 673 (Apr 20) of The Edge Singapore.

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