Brisk home sales lift market mood

Straits Times: Tue, Sep 06
THERE were surprisingly brisk sales at property projects over the weekend, to give the month a rousing start after weeks of slow action. No one in the market had expected sales to hit the levels of a year ago, but the numbers in recent days have…

THERE were surprisingly brisk sales at property projects over the weekend, to give the month a rousing start after weeks of slow action.

No one in the market had expected sales to hit the levels of a year ago, but the numbers in recent days have lifted sentiment.

The Luxurie in Sengkang has sold 180 units since sales started last week at an average price of $980 per square foot (psf). Most of the project’s 622 units are two-bedders and three-bedders.

Its pricing is similar to that of neighbouring mass-market development H2O Residences by City Developments, but its proximity to Sengkang MRT and bus interchange makes The Luxurie more attractive, said DMG and Partners Research. The Sengkang Public Library and Community Hub are also nearby, as are CHIJ St Joseph’s Convent and Rivervale Primary.

The Meyerise, a freehold development in Meyer Road, has racked up about 80 sales since it started last Friday. Singaporeans and permanent residents comprised about 90 per cent of all buyers. The project has 239 units, a mix of two-bedroom, three-bedroom, four-bedroom and penthouse units. The average price was $1,950 psf, with three-bedroom units the most popular among buyers.

The Meyerise is minutes away from Parkway Parade and Katong Shopping Centre, with Playground@Big Splash and East Coast Park also nearby.

There were 24 units shifted at EuHabitat in Jalan Eunos over the weekend, bringing the total number of sales to 472 out of the 548 apartments available.

Another 20 homes were sold at Boathouse Residences in Upper Serangoon over the same period.

This strong response was also mirrored in the executive condominium market, where applications for the Arc at Tampines were expected to surpass 1,180 by yesterday’s 10pm deadline.

With 574 units up for grabs, this translates to a healthy subscription rate of about 2.1 times.

Anecdotal observations suggest that several showflats, including those at the Arc at Tampines and The Luxurie, were packed with prospective buyers, although that may not translate into big sales numbers.

Associate Professor Sing Tien Foo from the department of real estate at the National University of Singapore’s School of Design and Environment said he was surprised by the crowds. ‘I thought a lot of people are waiting to see how the global market situation will turn out,’ he said.

‘Some people could be going into the showflats to look for inspiration, others could be going out of curiosity, to see what the market situation is like before making a decision.’

ECG Property, which marketed several properties over the weekend, said that while crowds continued to visit showflats, they are not as big as those seen at the beginning of the year.

But ECG chief executive Eric Cheng is optimistic that the next few months will be better: ‘September is not a good month. We’re just getting over the stock market shock and the ghost month has barely ended. The market is still looking very uncertain. Some people may have lost money on the stock market and they might not be looking to put money into property for now.’

But Mr Steven Tan, OrangeTee’s director of residential, is confident that the demand for new homes will continue, despite lingering economic worries.

‘Now the main group of buyers are those who are purchasing for their own stay. Transactions from this group are driven by genuine demand, and they are less affected by all these economic uncertainties,’ he said.

Low interest rates will also go some way towards encouraging new home sales, say analysts.

The number of new home sales, including executive condominiums, hit 1,954 in July.

But the stock market turmoil last month – the Straits Times Index fell 9.5 per cent over the month – has market watchers keenly awaiting August’s figures.

cherlim@sph.com.sg
Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Ltd

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