Real estate investments up 11.5% q-o-q in 1Q2021, led by residential

Real estate investments up 11.5% q-o-q in 1Q2021, led by residential

cbd - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE

 

SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - Singapore’s real estate market is on the road to recovery, according to CBRE’s MarketView 1Q2021 Real Estate Market Performance report. Preliminary real estate investment volume increased by 11.5% q-o-q to $3.52 billion for 1Q2021. It is the third consecutive quarter of increase since 2Q2020 when Singapore went through the “circuit breaker” period. 

The report states that residential investments outperformed the rest of the other segments, accounting for 37.8% of investment sales with the sale of private sites and strong luxury sales. 

Three sites at Institution Hill were sold en bloc to a local consortium comprising Macly Group, Roxy-Pacific Holdings and construction firm LWH Holdings for $33.6 million in February. Just off River Valley Road, the sites have a total land area of 8,761 sq ft and can be developed into a new residential project with a total gross floor area of 24,530 sq ft. 

Additionally, 2, 4 and 6 Mount Emily Road in District 9 were sold to ZACD International at $18 million and Surrey Point in District 11 was acquired by an Amara Holdings joint venture for $47.8 million. 

The luxury segment also performed well, notes the report, pointing out that in 1Q2021, 18 good class bungalows were sold and 31 units transacted at above $10 million. Notably, 20-unit luxury development Eden by Swire Properties made headlines when it was sold collectively for $293 million. 

Industrial sales came in second to residential sales, amounting to $967.46 million. It was boosted by a portfolio transaction of assets injected into the Boustead Industrial Fund by Boustead Projects. 

Other sizeable capital market transactions came from the office sector, such as the sale of a 50% stake in OUE for $633.75 million and the $150 million sale of Certis Cisco Centre to a trust set up by Certis and Lendlease for redevelopment. 

Recovery was also seen in the residential, office, industrial and retail sectors. 

 

exhibit 1 - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE

Overall, the residential market performed well, according to Knight Frank’s Residential 1Q2021 report. In 1Q2021, 3,357 non-landed new private homes were sold, which is 31.6% higher than the previous quarter. The increase came from a number of launches in the first three months of 2021: Normanton Park, Midtown Modern and The Reef at King’s Dock. 

In total, 6,470 non-landed private units, excluding ECs, changed hands in 1Q2021, which was 7.3% and 73.5% higher q-o-q and y-o-y respectively. Knight Frank suggests the demand came from HDB upgraders, retiree downgraders, and the children of an older generation who is “recycling substantial property capital gains” and helping their children with their property purchases.  

According to URA’s flash estimates, private residential property prices rose for the fourth consecutive quarter in 1Q2021, growing by another 2.9% q-o-q after a 2.1% increase in the previous quarter. CBRE believes that the rising prices are driven by “increasing buyers’ confidence, pent-up demand and a low-interest-rate environment”. 

table 8 - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE

In the Rest of Central Region (RCR), secondary transactions declined but there was an 87.5% q-o-q increase in primary sale volumes to 1,746 units, which more than made up for the decrease. This was due to the launch of The Reef at King’s Dock, which offered 429 units, and Normanton Park, which offered 1,862 units. These two projects sold 1,070 units combined in 1Q2021.

CBRE notes that transactions at The Reef at King’s Dock, which achieved a median pricing of $2.261 psf, were likely to have contributed to the higher psf pricing in the Rest of Central Region (RCR). It also concurs with Knight Frank that there is resilient demand from upgraders. 

Additionally, Knight Frank’s report also states that the number of units sold in the Core Central Region in 1Q2021 was higher than every quarter in 2020 as there was a lack of new launches last year. This segment will see a pick-up in momentum in March with the new launches of Midtown Modern and The Atelier. Midtown Modern has sold 362 units at an average of $2,774 psf in 1Q2021. The Atelier in District 9 sold four out of 120 units in March at an average price of $2,904 psf. 

Knight Frank observes that in 1Q2020, buyers were drawn to penthouse units of older developments with large sizes. At least 15 penthouses above 3,000 sq ft, which were completed between 1998 and 2013, changed hands. They were sold between $5.4 million and $18 million, the most expensive one being a 7,266 sq ft penthouse in St Regis Residences Singapore. 

Private property prices have increased by 6.2% since 1Q2020, which has exceeded the government’s GDP growth forecast of 4 to 6%, notes CBRE. The launch of upcoming projects at higher psf pricing might also continue to push the price index higher. CBRE expects new home sales to fall within the region of 9,000 to 10,000 for 2021.

 

After three quarters of negative net absorption, the office market registered a positive net absorption of 0.13 million sq ft in 1Q2021. This was led by Dyson, who has leased 110,000 sq ft of office space at the redeveloped St James. 

table 3 - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE

CBRE observes that Grade A market also registered positive net absorption as occupiers capitalised on the declining rents and moved to prime office buildings. The demand primarily came from technology and financial services industries such as asset management firms as well as family offices. 

Additionally, tenants who were displaced from older buildings in the CBD that are scheduled for redevelopment such as AXA Tower and Fuji Xerox Towers, have been on the lookout for space and contributed to increased occupier activity. 

As Grade A (Core CBD) office space remained tight, rental decline slowed after four quarters. In 1Q2021, Grade A (Core CBD) rents remained stable q-o-q at $10.40 psf/month. On the flipside, Grade B office spaces continue to grapple with higher vacancy rates and saw a further rental decline of 1.3% q-o-q to $7.80 psf/month. 

The recovery of the office market will not be even, concludes CBRE. However, demand will increase together with the gradual recovery of the economy. 

 

CBRE’s report states that Singapore’s manufacturing sector sustained steady growth, supported by electronics, biomedical manufacturing and precision engineering clusters. This resulted in stable leasing activity in 1Q2021. 

chart 12 - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE

Warehousing continues to be driven by third-party logistics, e-commerce and food logistics segments. High-tech factory buildings from the semiconductor, precision engineering and technology segments also saw some leasing activity. 

Rents for factories and warehouses stayed resilient, holding stable q-o-q, while prime logistics rents grew 0.7% q-o-q to $1.39 psf/month in 1Q2021. 

The factory submarket remains two-tier. High-specs buildings will continue to be in demand along with the recovery of the manufacturing sector while older buildings may continue to weigh on overall rental performance. 

 

CBRE says that retail indicators have showed signs of recovery. Compared to January, when retail sales decreased 1.3% y-o-y, retail sales increased by 3.5% y-o-y in February. CBRE observes that in 1Q2021, retailers are increasing their footprint and reinventing new concepts but their decision-making process is longer. 

There has also been a slowdown in rental declines of prime retail spaces in 1Q2021, from a decrease of 3.6% q-o-q in 4Q2020 to a decrease of 1.2% q-o-q this quarter. Landlords are still flexible and favour tenant retention over occupancy.

CBRE believes that recovery of the retail sector will be highly dependent on the global vaccine roll-out and how soon Singapore can reopen. That said, the retail sector is still challenged by e-commerce competition and labour woes. 

CBRE foresees that the investment volumes and the overall real estate market will improve with the rollout of vaccines globally, which might result in the easing of border restrictions and the return of business confidence. 

Foreign interest will continue to remain strong, with funds still actively seeking out investments. Foreign investors will be looking out for investments that will give them higher returns, coupled with stability and value at the top of their minds. Grade A offices and shophouses will still be in high demand. 

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Private residential prices rise 2.9% in 1Q2021: URA flash estimates

Private residential prices rise 2.9% in 1Q2021: URA flash estimates

SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - Private residential prices in Singapore increased by 2.9% in 1Q2021, higher than that of a 2.1% q-o-q rise in 4Q2020, according to URA flash estimates. 

URA - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE

(Source: URA)

The increase in prices in the first three months of the year was attributed largely to the price of landed homes, which rose by 5.6% q-o-q and 7.8% y-o-y, and non-landed homes in the Rest of Central Region (RCR), where prices rose by 6.1% q-o-q and 11.7% y-o-y.

A total of 2,527 non-landed homes were sold in the Rest of Central Region (RCR) last quarter, notes Christine Sun, senior vice-president of research and analytics at OrangeTee & Tie.

New launches in the RCR also drove sales, say consultants. Normanton Park,  which registered the highest transaction of 720 units last quarter, changed hands at a median price of $1,765 psf. This is higher than the $1,704 psf median price for non-landed homes in RCR in 4Q2020, notes Sun. 

Other projects including The Reef at King's Dock ($2,257 psf, 337 units), Amber Park ($2,445 psf, 66 units), Avenue South Residence ($2,099 psf, 43 units) and One Pearl Bank ($2,407 psf, 34 units) were transacted above $2,000 psf. 

URA - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE

(Source: URA)

“New launches continue to churn sale volumes, with demand fuelled by HDB upgraders as a result of the buoyant HDB resale market (the HDB Resale Index rose by 2.8% q-o-q and 8.0% y-o-y in 1Q2021 according to HDB flash estimates), recycled capital from those with prior property capital gains transiting their children into the private market, as well as retiree downgraders faced with empty-nest syndrome,” says Leonard Tay, head, research, Knight Frank Singapore.

Meanwhile, prices for residential homes in the Outside of Central Region (OCR) rose 0.9% while prices dipped by 0.3% in the Core Central Region (CCR).

“Despite the improving economic outlook and expectations of higher inflation, interest rate hikes are unlikely to occur in the near term,” says Sun. “Singapore’s economy is expected to see a strong rebound this year which will help to lift buyer sentiment and lend support to Singapore’s property market.”

 

Check out the latest listings near Normanton Park, The Reef at King's Dock, Amber Park, Avenue South Residence, One Pearl Bank

 

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Foreign buyers purchase the most homes in Districts 5 and 19 from Jan 2020 to date

Foreign buyers purchase the most homes in Districts 5 and 19 from Jan 2020 to date

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South Beach Residences has the highest foreign ownership at 62.8% (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/The Edge Singapore)

 

SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - Even though border restrictions have been in place since April last year — save for green lane arrangements for business travel — foreigners are still buying homes in Singapore. Recent data suggests that there could be an increase in the number of foreigners who reside long term in Singapore and see value in transferring the rental they pay towards ownership, says Lee Sze Teck, director of research at Huttons Asia. 

This is evident from data from January 2020 to February 2021. District 5 (Buona Vista, West Coast and Clementi New Town) was the most popular among foreigners, which is home to 475 out of 4,208 homes (11.3%) bought by foreigners. This is followed by District 19 (Serangoon, Hougang, Sengkang and Punggol), where 403 homes (9.6%) were sold to foreigners. 

This trend is led by the Chinese, which is the largest group of foreign buyers in Singapore, accounting for almost 30% of property transactions by foreigners in the past 15 months. They bought 131 homes in District 5 and 116 homes in District 19. Comparatively, in Districts 9 and 10, the Chinese bought 79 units and 90 units respectively.

Number of non-landed homes - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE

Malaysian buyers, the second largest group of foreign buyers, show a preference for Districts 19, 14 (Eunos, Geylang, Paya Lebar) and 5 (Buona Vista, West Coast, Clementi New Town); while the Indians, the third largest group, prefer District 18 (Tampines and Pasir Ris). Meanwhile, buyers from Indonesia, the US and the UK still show a preference for prime Districts 9 and 10.

The popularity of District 5 could stem from the fact that there are Grade-A offices like Mapletree Business City in the south, and research and development hubs in the biomedical, info-communications technology and media fields in Buona Vista and one-north. Additionally, homes here offer proximity to National University of Singapore and green spaces such as Kent Ridge Park, Labrador Park and HortPark. 

The southern part of District 5 will also be part of the upcoming Greater Southern Waterfront, which will be redeveloped with nature trails, a waterfront promenade, as well as new residential, commercial and hospitality developments.  

Additionally, there have been more new launch projects in District 5 in the past few years, including the launches of Whistler Grand and Kent Ridge Hill Residences in 2018 and 1,468-unit Parc Clematis in 2019. In December 2020, 505-unit Clavon was also launched, followed by the 1,862-unit Normanton Park, which launched in January this year. 

 

BLD-NORMANTON-PARK-SCALE-MODEL - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE

The 1,862-unit Normanton Park is one of the newest and largest launches in District 5; 11% of total homes sold in the past 15 months were to foreign buyers (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/The Edge Singapore)

 

In terms of percentage of foreign ownership, the popular projects among foreigners in District 5 include The Peak and Bijou. At The Peak at Pepys Road, 40.9% of the units sold are owned by foreigners. The development was completed in 2011 and comprises units between 4,349 sq ft and 5,522 sq ft. Located right next to Kent Ridge Park, it is also near Pasir Panjang MRT Station. Prices here average at $1,236 psf.

At Bijou, a mixed-use development completed in 2018, 18.7% of 120 units are foreign-owned. It is located opposite Pasir Panjang MRT Station and Pasir Panjang Food Centre. Most of the units here are one-bedroom plus study and two-bedroom dual-key units. Prices here average at $1,998 psf.

 

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District 19 had a number of new-launch projects, including the 1,052-unit Affinity at Serangoon (Photo: Albert Chua/The Edge Singapore)

 

As for District 19, the high number of transactions could stem from the fact that it encompasses a large area, which includes Serangoon, Hougang, Kovan, Sengkang and Punggol. Non-landed developments in the northeast region are about 11.4% to 16.6% foreign-owned. There were also a number of new-launch projects in District 19 in recent years, such as 1,052-unit Affinity at Serangoon, 1,472-unit Riverfront Residences and 680-unit Sengkang Grand Residences

“In the past, many foreigners bought luxury properties. But in recent years, more foreigners seem to be moving outwards from the city centre to the city fringe and suburban areas, possibly due to the price affordability of these properties,” says Christine Sun, senior vice president of research and analytics at OrangeTee & Tie. 

Other popular projects with a high percentage of ownership outside of the Core Central Region (CCR) include Euhabitat in District 14 in eastern Singapore, a 99-year leasehold condominium along Jalan Eunos, which comprises fifty five-storey blocks of 748 residential units. Excluding the 51 townhouses, 31.3%, or 218, of the 697 apartment units are owned by foreigners. 

 

Foreigners who buy properties in Singapore fall into two broad categories, says Mark Yip, CEO of Huttons Asia. They are: high-net-worth individuals (HNWI) and non-HWNI. While more homes were transacted in District 5 and 19 by foreigners, the HNWI and ultra-HNWI will go for exclusivity and trophy assets, he observes.

Percentage of foreign ownership - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE

“They will buy homes in District 9, such as Martin Modern and 8 Saint Thomas,” he says, and adds: “Districts 1, 2 and 7 are also emerging as new locations for the affluent foreigners. Popular projects here include Marina One Residences, Wallich Residence and South Beach Residences.” 

Most recently, Swire Properties sold all 20 units at ultra-luxury project Eden, located at 2 Draycott Park, to a single Chinese family. The total purchase price was $293 million, or $4,827 psf. 

In the central region, South Beach Residences in District 7 has the highest foreign ownership at 62.8%, according to EdgeProp data from January 2019 to March 2021. Prices of the units average at $3,348 psf. 

South Beach Residences is a 99-year leasehold property within a mixed development comprising retail offerings, an office tower, and a hotel. Its 190 units are within the upper storeys of the building that houses JW Marriott Hotel. The luxury development, which is connected to Esplanade MRT Station, is developed by City Developments (CDL). 

 

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At District 10’s Nouvel 18, 56.1% of the units are owned by foreigners (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/The Edge Singapore)

 

The runner-up to South Beach Residences is Nouvel 18, a freehold condominium located on Anderson Road in District 10. From January 2019 to March 2021, 56.1% of the units sold were bought by foreigners. Completed in 2014, Nouvel 18 is also developed by CDL. It is in a private residential enclave in close proximity to hotels like Shangri-La Hotel Singapore, Novotel Singapore on Stevens and the Orchard Road shopping belt. Prices here average at $3,233 psf.

The project with the third highest percentage of foreign ownership is Wallich Residence, a 181-unit luxurious property atop Guoco Tower. From January 2019 to March 2021, 55.4% of transactions at Wallich Residence were concluded by foreigners. The property has direct underground access to Tanjong Pagar MRT Station and is a short walk to Singapore’s CBD. Prices of units here average at $3,394 psf. 

In 2019, there were 1,020 foreigners who bought properties in Singapore. This figure dipped to 761 in 2020, a drop of 25.4%, and seems to have normalised in the past three months. As of March 26 this year, 256 foreigners bought properties in Singapore, indicating that foreign buyers are coming back, even though travel restrictions have not been lifted. 

 

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The view from a three-bedroom unit at Wallich Residence, where 55.4% of the units are owned by foreigners (Photo: Albert Chua/The Edge Singapore)

 

This could be due to demand coming from foreigners who are based in Singapore, says Huttons’ Yip, who adds: “Some foreigners were undecided between staying long term in Singapore or returning to their home country. The Covid-19 outbreak gave them an opportunity to compare how Singapore handled the pandemic with their home country, which could have given them the confidence and assurance to reside for the longer term and commit to a property purchase.”

OrangeTee & Tie’s Sun says that in times of uncertainty, foreign buyers are looking for investment destinations that are safer and properties that provide more stable returns. 

 

Number of foreign buyers - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE

 

“Prices of properties in Singapore have proven to be resilient despite the current pandemic. Perhaps these buyers are increasingly convinced that properties here are good long-term investment assets, holding good value in spite of the macroeconomic uncertainties,” she says. 

Huttons’ Yip adds that as a key financial centre, Singapore is always “on the radar of foreigners”. “While the returns from property investment are not comparable to emerging cities, Singapore makes up for it in terms of stability and assurance of ownership,” he adds. 

 

Check out the latest listings near Whistler Grand, Kent Ridge Hill Residences, Parc Clematis, Clavon, Normanton Park, The Peak, Bijou, Affinity at Serangoon, Riverfront Residences, Sengkang Grand Residences, South Beach Residences, Wallich Residence, Nouvel 18, Pasir Panjang MRT Station, Esplanade MRT Station

 

 

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Upcoming launches in 2Q2021

Upcoming launches in 2Q2021

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Other projects in the Core Central Region (CCR) that are expected to come onstream over the next three months include the 90-unit Peak Residence on Thomson Road, the 230-unit Perfect Ten at Bukit Timah and the 138-unit Klimt Cairnhil, according to Huttons Asia's Lee Sze Teck (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

 

SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - The preview of Irwell Hill Residences will be followed by that of Grange 1866, a boutique 60-unit condominium (redevelopment of iliv@Grange) the next weekend. Prices are expected to start from $2,700 psf. 

Mark Yip, CEO of Huttons Asia, expects Irwell Hill Residences and other upcoming launches to “ride on the positive sales momentum” seen at Midtown Modern. Irwell Hill Residences is the first new launch in prime District 9 in 15 months, he notes.

Others include the 351-unit One Bernam and the 165-unit One-north Eden. “They each have their unique selling points catering to different target groups,” says Yip. For example, One Bernam, located in the Tanjong Pagar district within the CBD, will be attractive to investors, while One-north Eden will be able to tap the “pent-up demand” in the one-north area, where there has not been a new launch in 14 years, he adds.

 

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The upcoming Grange 1866 is ra edevelopment of the former iliv@grange (pictured above) [Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore]

 

Another upcoming launch is the 413-unit executive condo (EC), Provence Residences at Canberra Link. There has not been a new EC launch in Sembawang since January last year, with the launch of Parc Canberra, notes Nicholas Mak, head of research at ERA Realty. “The very healthy initial take-up at Midtown Modern will boost confidence of developers and home buyers for subsequent projects,” he says. 

Other projects in the Core Central Region (CCR) that are expected to come onstream over the next three months include the 90-unit Peak Residence on Thomson Road, the 230-unit Perfect Ten at Bukit Timah and the 138-unit Klimt Cairnhill, says Lee Sze Teck, director of research, Huttons Asia.

“The market has been on a roll after the circuit breaker with many new launches doing very well on the first day of sales,” adds Lee. “With Midtown Modern achieving superb first day sales, it has certainly boosted the confidence in the market especially when a number of new launches in the pipeline are in the CCR.”

 

THE-REEF - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE

Normanton Park, The Reef at King's Dock (pictured) and Normanton Park and Midtown Modern were the first three new private residential project launch this year to achieve a three-digit sales figure in the first weekend of launch (Photo: Keppel Land/Mapletree)

 

Since exiting the circuit breaker in 2H2020, demand for homes has picked-up, notes Leonard Tay, Knight Frank head of research. “It was just that there were no new launches of note in February 2021,” he adds. “Hence, developer sales in the private residential market took a breather during the month with 645 transactions (excluding ECs). This was a 60.5% decrease or an almost 1,000-unit decline when compared to January.”   

Don't miss out to check out the hottest new launch condo and new landed property in Singapore

According to Han Huan Mei, director of research at List Sotheby’s International Realty, Midtown Modern marks the third new residential project launch this year to achieve a three-digit sales figure in the first weekend of launch – after Normanton Park and The Reef at King’s Dock. “This is certainly a sign of positive market sentiment as well as that of genuine home buyers who are ready to enter the market,” she says. “They could be a mix of end-users and investors. Some of them could already have in mind the project they want to buy, while others could be opportunistic buyers who zeroed in on projects with strong attributes that were priced attractively.” 

The outlook for 2021 “remains relatively positive and resilient”, says Chia Ngiang Hong, group general manager of City Developments Ltd (CDL). Factors that support the private housing market – including pro-business policies and a stable political environment – remain intact. “With the rolling out of vaccines, signs of improvement in pandemic containment and macroeconomic recovery, housing demand and buying sentiment may pick up further in the coming months,” he adds. 

 

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Amber Park sold 20 units in February, making it one of the top-selling projects last month (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

 

In just the first three months of 2021 to date, CDL has moved around 260 units in its existing launches. This brings the developer’s total inventory to around 1,400 units (including those with joint venture partners). For the month of February, Amber Park condo was among the best-sellers, having sold 20 units at a median price of $2,447 psf. 

“Indeed, developers want to sell as many units as possible to clear their inventory and mitigate any policy risk,” notes ERA’s Mak. “I think the government should increase the land sale supply for the 2H2021 programme. Looking at the absorption rate, the government needs to be less conservative. If they don’t increase the supply of land this year, all the land tenders will end up with higher and higher prices.” 

And this leads to the perennial question of whether there will be another round of property cooling measures in the offing. “The effect of having too many cooling measures is, what we call in economics, ‘adaptive expectations’ - people are pre-empting them,” says Alan Cheong, executive director of research at Savills Singapore. “I think there may be more cooling measures, but I don’t believe it’s going to be hard-coded rules and regulations. I think the policymakers will do their best to think it through before introducing them.” 

 

Check out the latest listings near Irwell Hill Residences, Midtown Modern, Grange 1866, Normanton Park, The Reef at King's Dock, Amber Park, One Bernam, Peak Residence

 

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645 private new homes sold in February, 60.5% lower m-o-m

645 private new homes sold in February, 60.5% lower m-o-m

The Reef at King's Dock - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE

The Reef at King’s Dock was the best-selling project in February, moving 102 units at a median price of $2,226 psf (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/The Edge Singapore) 

 

SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - In February, 645 private new homes were sold, 60.5% lower m-o-m and 33.9% y-o-y. This was due to the lower number of project launches during the month, which saw only a total of 167 units being put up for sale, a record low since December 2018 when 101 units were placed on the market.

The number of new launch units was 93.6% lower than the 2,600 units placed on the market in January and 82.1% lower y-o-y, notes Ong Teck Hui, senior director of research & consultancy at JLL. There was only one new launch in February — the 14-unit J@63, which sold one 1,335 sq ft unit at $1,406 psf.

“Another reason for the muted sales is that many of the mega projects, which have contributed substantially to home sales last year, have progressively pared down their unsold stock. For instance, the top three bestsellers in 2020: Treasure At Tampines, Parc Clematis, and Jadescape are now about 80%, 75%, and 94% sold, respectively,” says Ismail Gafoor, CEO of PropNex.

Judging by a “fairly buoyant” resale market, JLL’s Ong says that the low new home sales volume in February is not indicative of slowing demand from buyers, as there were 1,039 resale private homes being transacted based on URA Realis data, which is just 16.6% lower than in January. “It is also higher than the average monthly resale volume of 894 units in 2020,” he adds.

Nicholas Mak, head of research at ERA Realty Network, also believes that “veiled warnings” from the government about “possible cooling measures” have not led to lower sales. Rather, the sales figure corresponded to the fewer units being launched.

“In February, there were almost four units sold to every unit launched, suggesting that buyer interest remains in existing launches,” says Leonard Tay, head of research at Knight Frank Singapore. He adds that despite the general absence of new launches, developer sales in the first two months of 2021 at 2,277 units is 42.7% higher than in the same period last year, before the Covid-19 outbreak.

 

Normanton Park - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE

After moving 645 units in January, Normanton Park sold 61 units at a median price of $1,800 psf in February(Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/The Edge Singapore)

 

The best-selling project in February was The Reef at King’s Dock. Tricia Song, head of research for Singapore at Colliers, notes that the project sold 102 out of 429 units at a median price of $2,226 psf in February, after moving 221 units at a median price of $2,276 psf in January. 

The second best-selling project was Normanton Park. It moved 61 units at a median price of $1,800 psf in February, after topping the charts in January when 645 units sold at a median price of $1,762 psf. Normanton Park comprises 1,840 units.

In terms of executive condominiums, Parc Central Residences was the best-selling project, moving 78 units at a median price of $1,159 psf. “Targeting HDB upgraders and young families, units sold at Parc Central in February are mostly three bedders with an average size of 1,104 sqft and an average price quantum of $1.28 million per unit,” says Song.

The Rest of Central Region (RCR) led home sales in February, contributing 325 units to monthly sales. In the RCR, PropNex’s Wong notes that Normanton Park is 36.9% sold and The Reef at King's Dock is 75.1% sold since both projects were launched in January.

At the same time, Song also notes that the proportion of units sold in the CCR increased from 5.1% in January to 9% in February. “Momentum in the high-end segment appeared steady. The Avenir moved another seven units at a median price of $3,073 psf after moving six units at a median price of $3,007 psf in January,” Song says. “The priciest unit based on psf pricing came from one unit at Boulevard 88, which sold at $3,735 psf,” she adds.

She also observes that median prices at Midtown Bay and The M have crossed $3,000 psf, riding on the rejuvenation of the Beach Road vicinity.

 

Goh Jia Ling, manager of research (Southeast Asia) at CBRE, notes that developers are capitalising on “overall upswing in prices”, as evidenced by developers increasing prices for older launches.

JLL’s Ong concurs, adding that developers seemed to be in no hurry to launch more units as “the market is on their side with prices trending upwards”. He expects launch activities to resume and new private home sales momentum to pick up in the coming months.

Sales in March will be higher than February with the launch of 120-unit The Atelier and 558-unit Midtown Modern, says Lee Sze Teck, director of research at Huttons Asia. Other developments in the pipeline include One Bernam in the CBD, comprising 350 units, and Perfect Ten at Bukit Timah Road, comprising 230 units. An EC project at Canberra Link, Provence Residences, will also launch in the coming months, offering 413 units.

With the launch of The Atelier and Midtown Modern in the CCR, PropNex’s Wong believes that they would lift the sales tally in this sub-market, which she believes has held its own in spite of the pandemic and economic downturn last year, continuing last year’s strong performance. “In 2020, developers sold 1,260 new private homes in the CCR — which is the sub-market’s strongest annual sales performance in recent years,” she adds.

PropNex Gafoor says, “As at the end of 4Q2020, there were 24,296 unsold units (excluding ECs) in the market. In view of the dwindling unsold inventory and the limited supply of larger new launches this year, we expect total new private home sales to be more subdued in 2021, potentially at 8,000 to 9,000 units — down from 9,982 units sold in 2020.”

Colliers’ Song believes that given the gradual roll-out of the vaccines and the recovery of the global economy, momentum in the housing market remains positive. Pointing to the fact that 173 units have transacted in the first week of March, she believes that developer sales will perform better this month.

 

Top 10 Selling Projects in February 2021 (including EC)

 

Project Name

Street Name

Tenure

Locality

Units Sold in the Month

Median Price ($psf) in the month

% sold to date (of total)

 

1

The Reef at King's Dock

Harbourfront Avenue

99 yrs

RCR

102

2,226

75%

 

2

Parc Central Residences EC

Tampines Street 86

99 yrs

OCR

78

1,159

70%

 

3

Normanton Park

Normanton Park

99 yrs

RCR

61

1,800

37%

 

4

Treasure At Tampines

Tampines Lane

99 yrs

OCR

44

1,376

80%

 

5

Midwood

Hillview Rise

99 yrs

OCR

25

1,641

22%

 

6

Amber Park

Amber Gardens

Freehold

RCR

20

2,447

46%

 

7

Ola

Anchorvale Crescent

99 yrs

OCR

20

1,152

45%

 

8

Ki Residences at Brookvale

Brookvale Drive

999 yrs

OCR

19

1,760

39%

 

9

The Jovell

Flora Drive

99 yrs

OCR

18

1,252

51%

 

10

Parc Clematis

Jalan Lempeng

99 yrs

OCR

17

1,644

74%

 

Source: Colliers International, URA. CCR: Core Central Region; RCR: Rest of Central Region; OCR: Outside Central Region. EC: Executive Condominium

 

Check out the latest listings near The Reef at King's Dock, Parc Central Residences, Normanton Park, Treasure At Tampines, Midwood, Amber Park, Ola, Ki Residences at Brookvale, The Jovell, Parc Clematis, The Avenir, The Atelier, Midtown Modern, One Bernam

 

 

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Fear of missing out and talk of cooling measures nudge new home sales up 32.2% in Jan 2021

Fear of missing out and talk of cooling measures nudge new home sales up 32.2% in Jan 2021

SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - Private residential sales figures for January 2021 show that developers sold 1,609 homes excluding Executive Condominiums (ECs). This is a 32.2% m-o-m increase from the 1,217 units sold in December 2020, and a 159.5% increase from the 620 units shifted in January 2020.

According to Tricia Song, head of research for Singapore at Colliers International, the latest surge in developer sales comes on the back of increased concerns about possible property cooling measures.

Last month, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat and Minister of National Development Desmond Lee gave veiled warnings of the possibility of more property market curbs, while reiterating the government’s objective of keeping housing prices in line with economic fundamentals.

 

VIEW-OF-THOMSON-TOA-PAYOH-BALESTIER - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE

 

Song adds that last month’s sales figures are the highest monthly sales since July 2018 when 1,724 units were sold. The majority of developer sales during that month occurred when buyers rushed to purchase units before property cooling measures came into effect on July 6 that year.

The buying momentum in January 2021 was likely buoyed by strong take-up rates at two new launches, Normanton Park and The Reef At King’s Dock, while the launch of EC project Parc Central Residences was also well received, says Ismail Gafoor, CEO of PropNex Realty.

The mega-sized 1,862-unit Normanton Park sold 625 units (33.6%) and achieved a median price of $1,763 psf. This made it the best-selling project of the month, followed by the 429-unit The Reef At King’s Dock which shifted 221 units (51.5%) at a median price of $2,276 psf.

 

Top 10 Selling Projects in January 2021 - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE

 

“Singaporeans’ dream of owning and living in a private home remains very much intact and this is reflected in the strong demand for the first EC project launch of 2021, Parc Central Residences, which sold 59.6% of its units at launch. ECs, being more affordably priced than private condos, appeal to many HDB upgraders,” says Gafoor.

He adds that the upswing in developer sales is not a reflection of surging demand. “What we have observed is that location, attractive product attributes, and right pricing are the key factors in driving good take-up rates. We believe most buyers are discerning and are entering the market to buy properties after they have carefully considered their options and finances,” says Gafoor.

However, Christine Sun, senior vice president of research & analytics at OrangeTee&Tie, says that concerns over new property cooling measures “nudged on-the-fence buyers to take action as their buying eligibility or borrowing limits could be affected”. 

She adds that some long-term investors could have sprung into action as they anticipated that the new measures —  if implemented — could make it harder to own a second or third property.

 

BLD-NORMANTON-PARK-SCALE-MODEL - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
Normanton Park was the best-selling project in Jan 2021. The mega-sized, 1,862-unit development sold 625 units (33.6%) and achieved a median price of $1,763 psf. (Picture: Samuel Isaac Chua/The Edge Singapore)

 

According to Nicholas Mak, head of research & consultancy at ERA Realty, the supply of private housing in the market has outpaced buying demand in recent months, with the monthly take-up rate of launched units remaining below parity from November 2020 to January 2021.

“As a result, the number of private housing units launched and unsold had grown steadily from a trough of 4,833 units in July 2020 to 7,226 units last month. The slower absorption rate indicates that the local private residential property market is not overheated,” says Mak.

Mak adds that if new property cooling measures are implemented this year, they could result in a glut of private and EC units.

Song of Colliers expects a “sequential decline in sales” in February 2021 due to a lack of new launches and the Lunar New Year festivities, but she adds that “given the gradual roll-out of the vaccines and recovery of the global economy, momentum in the housing market remains positive”.

Upcoming launch-ready projects include the 558-unit Midtown Modern and 351-unit One Bernam in the CBD. Other prime district projects include the 230-unit Perfect Ten at Bukit Timah Road; the 138-unit Klimt Cairnhill; the 120-unit The Atelier; and the 90-unit Peak Residence. Outside the Core Central Region there is the 165-unit one-north Eden and one EC project — the 413-unit Provence Residence at Canberra Link.

Song expects a strong buying rally brought on by a projected economic recovery this year will partially offset the relatively fewer new launches. This could force buyers to dip into already-launched projects or migrate to the secondary market.

 

Check out the latest listings near Normanton Park, The Reef At King’s Dock, Parc Central Residences, Midtown Modern, One Bernam, Klimt Cairnhill, The Atelier, Peak Residence, one-north Eden, Provence Residence

 

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EdgeProp New Launches Map for 2021

EdgeProp New Launches Map for 2021

New Launches Condo Property Map 2021 - EdgeProp Singapore

SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - The residential market is heating up with new launches, starting with Normanton Park, the biggest project launch of the year. Check out our special pull-out, "Reflecting on Covid 2020, Looking to 2021", for upcoming project launches in 2021, and the milestone events and deals that shaped 2020.

EdgeProp new launches map for 2021 available for free here.

 


An interactive version can be found at https://www.edgeprop.sg/new-launches#map

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Property market should not run ahead of economic fundamentals: DPM Heng

Property market should not run ahead of economic fundamentals: DPM Heng

SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - The launch of Kingsford Huray Development’s Normanton Park, which saw 600 units sold by 9pm on Jan 16, was followed by warning shots across the bow by the government two days later.

Desmond Lee, National Development Minister, said at the BCA-REDAS Built Environment and Property Prospects Seminar on Jan 18: “The government is monitoring the developments in the property market very closely. We will adjust our policies if necessary, to maintain a stable and sustainable property market for all Singaporeans.”

MIXED-HOUSING-SINGAPORE-SKYLINE - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE

Despite the pandemic, developers sold 10,024 homes in Singapore last year, exceeding 2019 levels by 1.1%, based on URA flash estimates (Credit: Samuel Isaac Chua/ The Edge Singapore)

Even amid the pandemic and economic challenges, Lee says the property market has stayed generally resilient and “we are starting to see some signs of renewed positive sentiments in the property market”.

“The pace of increase in private housing prices has gathered momentum since the second quarter of last year.”

He also noted that developers’ sales at recent launches have been robust. “With developers’ inventory of unsold units progressively coming down, there has been healthy bidding interest in recent Government Land Sales tenders.”

"The property market is not insulated from ongoing uncertainties in the global economic outlook nor setbacks to the recovery in the domestic labour market," says Lee. He, therefore, cautioned developers to “remain prudent” in their land bidding and work with agents “to market their projects responsibly”. He also advised households to “exercise caution in their property purchase decisions”.

Lee adds that the government is committed to “maintaining a stable and sustainable property market”.

Heng Swee Keat, Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies and Minister for Finance, who was a guest of honour at the 61st anniversary celebrations of REDAS on the same day, took a similarly cautionary note, “In our local property market, we are also starting to see renewed positive sentiments and some gathering of momentum in prices,” he says. “We do not want to see the property market run ahead of the underlying economic fundamentals.”

Against such a backdrop, Heng says, “We must continue to enable young Singaporeans to own their homes and fulfil their aspirations.” He adds: “This is why we pay close attention to the property market, to ensure that it remains stable.”

Having both the DPM and the National Development Minister deliver similar warnings on the same day have led experts to speculate that the government could be mulling new property cooling measures.

“In our view, the comments may signal that authorities are considering another round of cooling measures,” says Jefferies Equity Research. “If this happens, launches and volumes may slow temporarily.”

Meanwhile, DBS Research says that “any policy response will likely be pre-emptive in the current cycle rather than reactive, in order to prevent a further escalation in property prices in 2021”. This comes on the back of an extended period of low interest rates which are driving mortgage rates lower, DBS adds.

DPM Heng - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE

DPM Heng: We do not want to see the property market run ahead of the underlying economic fundamentals (Credit: REDAS)

Despite the pandemic, developers in Singapore sold 10,024 homes in the city-state last year, exceeding 2019 levels by 1.1%, based on URA flash estimates. December, which is typically a quiet month in the real estate market, saw 1,217 private housing units sold, 57.2% higher than that of November, which recorded 774 units sold. It was also the highest sales in the month of December since 2012.

Flash estimates from URA on Jan 3 showed overall private home prices up 2.1% in 4Q2020, bringing the full year to 2.2%. HDB flash estimates showed resale public flat prices up 2.9% in 4Q2020, with the full-year increase expected to be 4.8%.

Read more: Singapore may act to stall rising home prices: analysts

DBS attributes the strong performance to four drivers. First, former en-bloc households in the 2016 to 1H2018 cycle are returning to the market. Second, buyer confidence in most Singaporeans having held on to their jobs due to various job schemes. Third, HDB upgraders purchasing after the minimum occupation period (MOP) on their first homes, and fourth, low interest rates which have resulted in liquidity in the market.

The appeal of the Singapore property market may be further enhanced internationally given that it has effectively curbed community spread of Covid-19 as well as the number of fatalities, says DBS. This has projected properties in Singapore as a “safe haven” investment for foreign investors, supported by world-class health facilities, according to the analysts.

“While sales volumes in 2020 have not been driven by foreigner purchases, we do not rule out that this trend will resume once travel (business and leisure travel) re-starts,” it adds.

Further, DBS also observed that over the past five years, HDB upgraders have been focusing on purchasing homes that have an affordable quantum. However, while transacted absolute private home prices have remained fairly stable, the analysts have noted that median home sizes have shrunk while psf prices remain high. This trend was also observed at the launch of Normanton Park, where the average price of units sold was $1,752 psf, “which represents a new high for a 99-year leasehold condo in District 5”, states the report.

“This trend, if left further unchecked, will mean that upgraders (especially HDB upgraders) will continue to ‘trade-up’ their lifestyles to smaller homes,” according to DBS. “In addition, the possible flexible working arrangements post the Covid-19 pandemic implies that workers will spend part of their working times in the home, thus requiring more space.”

Given the price trends, DBS suggests that a possible tweak would be to adjust the average minimum home sizes in new developments. “This would result in developers re-thinking land bids and temper further price increases,” it adds.

Nicholas Mak, head of research at ERA Singapore, agrees. “If the government were to stipulate a minimum unit size for one-, two- , three and four-bedroom units, this will have an overall moderating effect on the psf prices, and buyers’ perception of property prices,” he says. “Developers will also have to change the way they compute their bids for private and government land sale tenders.”

Stipulating minimum unit sizes is “more effective at making property prices more affordable than another round of ABSD [additional buyer's stamp duty] hikes”, adds Mak.

 

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[UPDATE] Normanton Park sells close to one-third of units on launch weekend

[UPDATE] Normanton Park sells close to one-third of units on launch weekend

SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - Chinese developer Kingsford Huray Development’s Normanton Park, the first new residential project launch of 2021, sold about 600 residential units by 9pm on January 16, the first day of its launch. That is equivalent to 32.6% or one-third of the 1840 apartments within the nine 24-storey blocks of Normanton Park.

 

BLD-NORMANTON-PARK-SCALE-MODEL - EDGEPROP SINGAPOREAbout 600 units were sold on the first weekend of launch at Normanton Park (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

 

“With about one-third of the units sold, it’s a good start for Normanton Park,” says Ismail Gafoor, CEO of PropNex Realty. “It’s an amazing start for the real estate industry, and demonstrates the resilience of the residential market. The sales momentum carried through from November, with the launch of The Linq @ Beauty World, Ki Residences at Brookvale, Clavon and now, Normanton Park.”

Don't miss out to check out the hottest new launch condo and new landed property in Singapore

Normanton Park has a total of 1,862 residential units: In addition to the 1,840 high-rise apartments, there are 22 strata terraced houses and a row of eight strata commercial units which are also open for sale. Three of the eight strata commercial units, including one that is zoned for restaurant use, were taken up over the weekend.

Since preview started on Jan 2, the show gallery recorded some 12,000 visitors (or about 4,000 groups of visitors), according to a Kingsford Huray Development spokesman in a statement on Jan 17.  In the lead-up to the launch, more than 1,400 cheques were collected as expressions of interest by the five joint marketing agencies: ERA Singapore, Huttons Asia, OrangeTee & Tie, PropNex and SRI.

 

BLD-CLAVON-SCALE-MODEL - EDGEPROP SINGAPOREClavon, the top-selling project of 2020, which sold about 442 units or 70% of the project at launch in December (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

 

Given the strong interest, property agencies marketing the project were expecting sales to cross 500 units. That would already have surpassed the sales achieved at the top-selling project of 2020: The 640-unit Clavon at Clementi Avenue 1, where 442 units or 70% of the total were sold over the weekend of Dec 12-13.

Both Clavon and Normanton Park are located in District 5. However, Clavon is considered to be a suburban location or in the Outside Central Region (OCR). Normanton Park, on the other hand, is considered to be in the city fringe or Rest of Central Region (RCR) as it’s closer to the city centre. Steven Tan, CEO of OrangeTee & Tie believes attributes Normanton Park’s strong sales to several factors: the low supply of residential projects in the vicinity of One-north; its location next to Kent Ridge Park; and within easy reach of the CBD and Jurong Lake District.

The sales achieved at Normanton Park means “another record has been broken, this time in the RCR,” says Lee Sze Teck, director of research at Huttons Asia. “This certainly creates a positive vibe and sets the tone for the property market.”

Mark Yip, CEO of Huttons adds: “The affordable quantum, low interest rate environment, ample liquidity, large base of HDB upgraders, recovery of the property market, perceived shortage in supply and pent up demand for this long awaited project resulted in the overwhelming response to this project.”

 

BLD-NORMANTON-PARK-2BRM-SHOWFLAT - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE

One- and two-bedroom units (pictured) made up 80% of the units sold (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

 

About 80% of the units sold were one- and two-bedroom apartments, says the Kingsford spokesman. The overall average price achieved for the project is $1,750 psf. Most of the homebuyers are Singapore citizens and permanent residents, with an equal mix of owner occupiers and property investors, he adds.

Bruce Lye, managing partner of SRI, bought a 657 sq ft, two-bedroom premium unit on the 20th floor of one of the 24-storey towers within Normanton Park. He paid about $1.15 million ($1,751 psf) for the unit which has a dumbbell layout – with a bedroom and bathroom flanking the living and dining area. He bought the unit as an investment. “It’s a very practical layout,” says Lye. “It can be rented to two different tenants who don’t mind sharing the living and dining area.”

Lye says the location of Normanton Park is attractive as one side fronts Science Park Drive, where Science Park 1 and 2 are situated, and one-north is also nearby, which is where many of the R&D companies, pharmaceutical and knowledge industries are located at Biopolis, Fusionopolis and Mediapolis. “There is a ready tenant pool right at your doorstep, with 120,000 employees working in these tech parks, and many billion-dollar companies located there,” observes Lye. “You can’t go wrong with this location.”

Ken Low, managing partner of SRI agrees. “Normanton Park is surrounded by key business nodes – Science Parks, one-north, National University of Singapore, National University Hospital and Mapletree Business City,” he says.

In terms of liveability, Normanton Park also ticks all the boxes for both investors and home seekers: direct access to Kent Ridge Park, a 10-minute drive to the city centre, future direct link to the Greater Southern Waterfront and unblocked 360-degree views of greenery and the sea, says Low.

 

BLD-NORMANTON-PARK-1BRM-SHOWFLAT - EDGEPROP SINGAPOREKitchen of a one-bedroom-plus-study unit at Normanton Park (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

 

One- and two-bedroom units make up 1,150 units or close to 62% of the total at Normanton Park. One-bedroom units range from 484 sq ft to 700 sq ft, and are priced above $700,000 ($1,445 psf) to $1.17 million ($1,671 psf). Two-bedders, sized from 635 to 980 sq ft, are priced from $1million ($1,575 psf) to $1.6 million ($1,633 psf).

Kingsford has also departed from the norm by pricing Normanton Park’s smaller units at lower psf prices relative to the larger ones. “Buyers have a lot of options in terms of one- and two-bedroom units,” points out PropNex’s Gafoor. “And the pricing is very attractive for investors.”

Three-bedroom units at Normanton Park make up another 529 units or 28% of the project. The sizes range from 904 to 1,238 sq ft, with prices from $1.47 million ($1,626 psf) to $2.1 million ($1,696 psf). Four-bedders make up another 115 units, and these are priced from $2 to $2.6 million. Five-bedders account for 46 units, with price tags of $2.79 to $3.2 million. Strata terraced houses are upward of $3.42 million, while commercial units are from $2 million.

“The developer understands the psyche of homebuyers today,” notes Gafoor. “Those prepared to pay at least $2 million for a unit will not want to compromise in terms of views and other attributes. Hence, the larger units on the higher floors command a premium in terms of psf prices.” 

The developer has priced the project attractively at launch in order to achieve a high sales momentum, says Gafoor. “Once the project is more than 50% sold, the developer can increase the price for higher floor units with the more premium views. This will help the developer achieve a better gross development value.” 

 

RIVERFRONT-RES-JUL-5-NIGHT - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE

The crowd at the sales gallery on July 5, the eve of the property cooling measures that came into effect at midnight, July 6, 2018 (Photo: Property agent)

 

The last time a new project launch had sales exceeding 500 units in a single day was Riverfront Residences. The 1,472-unit project by a consortium led by Oxley Holdings sold more than 500 units on the evening of July 5, 2018: It was a window of just five to six hours before the property cooling measures kicked in at the stroke of midnight on July 6, 2018.

Riverfront Residences is a redevelopment of the former Rio Casa, the privatised HUDC estate located at Hougang Avenue 7, which the Oxley-led consortium had purchased in a collective sale for $575 million in May 2017. Based on caveats lodged, Riverfront Residences is more than 92% sold to date.

Other mega projects – those above 1,000 units – that were also redevelopment of large, privatised HUDC estates and launched in recent years include the largest to date, the 2,203-unit Treasure at Tampines (former Tampines Court) and the 1,410-unit The Florence Residences (former Florence Regency) at Hougang Avenue 2.

The Florence Residences, by Hong Kong-listed Chinese developer, Logan Property, was launched in March 2019. To date, 952 units or 67.5% of the project has been taken up. Treasure at Tampines, located at Tampines Lane, was launched by Sim Lian Group was also launched in March 2019. A total of 1664 units have been sold, translating to 75.5% of the project.

Normanton Park, also a privatised HUDC estate, was purchased by Kingsford for $830.1 million in October 2017. While the other mega developments launched in recent years are located in the OCR, Normanton Park is in the RCR.

“I don’t think there were any mega projects launched in the last three years that saw so many units sold on the launch weekend,” says Gafoor.

 

BLD-TREASURE-AT-TAMPINES-SCALE-MODEL - EDGEPROP SINGAPORETreasure at Tampines, the biggest condo with 2,203 units, is a redevelopment of the former Tampines Court. To date, 75.5% of the project has been sold since the project was launched just two years ago (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

 

In conjunction with the launch of Normanton Park Kingsford has dangled a lucky draw offering 10 Mercedes-Benz cars (A-Class 180 Hatchback style) as prizes. It will be offered to purchasers and their respective marketing agents for the first 800 unts sold. “The lucky draw is a ‘nice to have’ but not the deciding factor for most buyers,” says Nicholas Mak, head of research & consultancy at ERA Singapore.

PropNex’s Gafoor agrees. “People don’t commit to an $800,000 to $1 million property purchase when the odds of winning a Mercedes is one in 80,” he says.

“I think there is a pool of potential buyers waiting on the fringe of the market,” notes ERA's Mak. “Their jobs and income were not affected by the pandemic, The Work from Home [WFH] situation and government supplementary budgets strengthened their job security. They just need the right push to encourage them to acquire real estate.”

The strong sales at recent new project launches and the pick-up in big-ticket deals of both housing property and shophouses have also led to concerns that the government may introduce new cooling measures later this year, especially following the warnings by both Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Kiat and Miniister for National Development Desmond Lee in their speeches at Real Estate Developers Association of Singapore (REDAS) events on Jan 18. (See story).

“That’s the billion dollar question,” says ERA’s Mak. “The market is just starting to grow out of the shadows of the pandemic. If the government were to slap the market with another round of cooling measures in 2021, it would be like strangling the baby in the cradle.”

The government is certainly monitoring the situation, adds PropNex’s Gafoor. “Their concern is not so much the volume of sales, but the price momentum,” he says. “If the price starts to move up by more than 5% in the first two quarters of 2021, and there’s an indication that the full-year price growth may be double-digit, that will raise a red flag as it’s deemed to be unsustainable. The government wants to ensure that the residential market is sustainable, and moving in tandem with the rest of the economy.”

 

Check out the latest listings near Normanton Park, Clavon, Riverfront Residences, The Florence Residences, The Linq @ Beauty World, Ki Residences

 

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Residential market heats up in 2021

Residential market heats up in 2021

SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - New project launches in 2021 swung into high gear with the preview of Normanton Park on Jan 2. The biggest new project launch of the year, with 1,862 units, Normanton Park has set “a positive note” that is expected to carry through to other projects that are also scheduled to preview in January, says Ismail Gafoor, CEO of PropNex. These projects include the 700-unit executive condo, Parc Central Residences at Tampines; as well as the 429-unit The Reef at King’s Dock at Harbourfront Avenue and the 165-unit One-north Eden at One-north Gateway.

 

BLD-NORMANTON-PARK-SCALE-MODEL - EDGEPROP SINGAPORENormanton Park, the biggest launch of 2021, with 1,862 units, kicked off the year with a preview on Jan 2 (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

 

Gafoor anticipates 8,000 to 9,000 new private homes could be sold in 2021 — slightly lower than the 9,793 units sold in 2020, based on Realis data. “The lower sales forecast for 2021 is mainly due to fewer large developments that will be launched, as most of the mega projects have already been progressively put on the market in 2017 and 2018,” he adds. 

However, 2021 could prove to be the year that much of the “stock clearance” of projects launched in previous years could take place. “The fact that these projects were launched earlier also implies that they are going to complete sooner, which, to home buyers, provides greater certainty compared to a project that is completing five years from now,” says Gafoor. These projects that were launched earlier, especially from 2018 to 2020, are likely to contribute to a greater proportion of new home sales this year. 

 

entrance driveway of the 700-unit Parc Central Residences - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE

Artist's impression of the entrance driveway of the 700-unit Parc Central Residences at Tampines Street 86, the executive condo by Hoi Hup and Sunway Development that opened for e-application on Jan 7 (Photo: Hoi Hup/Sunway) 

 

Prime, freehold projects in the Core Central Region (CCR) tend to see higher participation from foreign buyers. “Sales in the luxury home segment could increase this year, in tandem with more restrictions being lifted, and an expected improvement in the macroeconomy,” notes Christine Sun, OrangeTee & Tie head of research & consultancy. “The increase is likely to be more significant in 2H2021, as an increasing number of people would be vaccinated by then, and travel restrictions eased.” 

In the meantime, the residential property market will continue to be driven by Singaporeans and Permanent Residents, notes PropNex’s Gafoor, with sales in the Rest of Central Region (RCR)  and Outside Central Region (OCR) to be resilient. “The main concerns for home buyers are the health of the economy and job security,” he notes. 

1H2021 is likely to see about 20 new projects launched, according to Huttons Asia. Of these, 32% are located in the CCR, another 47% in the RCR and 21% in the OCR, based on the number of units. 

Don't miss out to check out the hottest new launch condo and new landed property in Singapore

BLD-HDB-CONDO-HOUSING-TOWARDS-ALEXANDRA-REDHILL - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE

The residential property market will continue to be driven by Singaporeans and Permanent Residents, notes PropNex’s Gafoor, with sales in the Rest of Central Region (RCR)  and Outside Central Region (OCR) to be resilient (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

 

Lee Sze Teck, Huttons Asia director of research, is forecasting that prices could increase by 3% this year. “Selling prices are expected to edge up because of recent land tender prices and higher construction costs because of Covid-19 safety management measures,” he adds.

As unsold stock draws down in the next few months, developers will be keen to replenish their land bank, notes Lee. However, the sites on 1H2021 government land sales (GLS) programme are concentrated in two areas: one-north and Tampines. 

“To satisfy demand in other parts of the island, developers are likely to turn to the en-bloc market, and a new en-bloc cycle may start in 2021,” he adds. “Small and medium sites of up to 500 units may find favour among developers as the development risks are relatively lower.” 

 

BLD-CONDOS-ON-BALMORAL-STEVENS-RD- EDGEPROP SINGAPORE

Private residential property prices expected to increase up to 3% this year (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

 

December is likely to see more than 1,000 new home sales — the highest sales figure for the last month of the year since 2012, says Lee. This is due to strong sales registered at projects such as Ki Residences at Brookvale and Clavon, which were both launched in December. Ki Residences, launched on Dec 4, saw 171 out of a total of 660 units (26.4%) sold at an average price of $1,786 psf, as at Dec 26. The 640-unit Clavon has sold 472 units (73.8%) at an average price of $1,643 psf as at end-December. 

Tricia Song, Colliers International Singapore head of research, expects full-year new home sales in 2020 to be around 9,760 units, just 1.5% below 2019’s 9,912 units. This reflects resilient demand, despite the deepest recession since Singapore gained independence, she says.

With economic recovery expected in 2021, stronger buying power will be partially offset by fewer new launches, adds Song. “Home buyers will likely have to dip into ongoing launches, or purchase in the secondary market,” she notes. “We now expect 2021 developer sales to be around 10,000 units, 2.5% better than 2020.”

Huttons’ Lee expects new launches such as Normanton Park to help push up monthly sales volume, and this will boost sentiment in the property market, he adds.

 

Check out the latest listings near Normanton Park, Parc Central Residences, Ki Residences, Clavon, The Reef at King's Dock, One-North Eden

 

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