New launches see active interest, but no sharp spike in sales

/ The Edge Property |
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The weekend of March 11 and 12 marked the preview of Park Place Residences, Lendlease’s 429-unit private condominium project located within the Paya Lebar Quarter integrated development. Judging from the size of the crowd, “there was active interest”, notes Tay Kah Poh, Knight Frank executive director of agency services. Knight Frank and ERA are joint marketing agents of Park Place Residences, which will be officially launched on March 25 and 26.
According to listed property company UOL Group, which kicked off the year with the launch of the 505-unit The Clement Canopy in February, a more sizeable-than-expected crowd thronged its showflat at Clementi Avenue 1 last weekend. “The policy recalibration definitely has a positive impact on sentiment,” says a UOL spokesperson. “Our sales momentum has remained constant; we did not see a sharp increase.” So far, the 99-year leasehold The Clement Canopy has sold 244 units out of the 350 released, at prices ranging from $1,330 to $1,360 psf.
Meanwhile, CEL Development, the property arm of listed construction company Chip Eng Seng Corp, launched the 720-unit Grandeur Park Residences, located next to the Tanah Merah MRT station, in early March. As at March 14, 464 units (64.4%) in the 99-year leasehold condo had been sold at an average price of $1,350 psf. “The easing in the cooling measures didn’t result in a greater turnout at showflats,” says Chng Chee Beow, executive director of CEL Development. “In fact, it had very minimal impact.”
The crowd at the preview of Lendlease’s Park Place Residences last weekend

Source: Lendlease

However, at CEL Development’s High Park Residences on Fernvale Road, all 1,390 units were snapped up by March 15. “The project has achieved 100% sales in 21 months,” says Chng. The 99-year leasehold development was launched in July 2015, with 80% of the units sold within the first weekend at prices just below $1,000 psf.
Recently, Savills Singapore’s head of research Alan Cheong tracked nine projects that were launched at least a year ago and where sales had stabilised. Six of these projects saw increased sales last weekend, while three did not register any increase. “While it may not be statistically significant, it shows that a change in the seller’s stamp duty (SSD) has a marginal effect,” he says.
The SSD, introduced in 2011 and increased in January 2013, had effectively curbed speculative demand. “When the market was hot, speculators used to flip their properties within six to 12 months of purchase,” notes CEL Development’s Chng. “Dropping the SSD holding period from four to three years, however, isn’t going to make much of a difference, especially for new projects.”
In Chng’s view, investors have already adopted a longer time frame when buying investment properties. “With the ABSD [additional buyer’s stamp duty] still in place, the reduction in SSD doesn’t have much of an impact on investors,” he notes.
This article appeared in The Edge Property Pullout, Issue 771 (Mar 20, 2017) of The Edge Singapore.

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