Home buyers turn cautious

Straits Times: Mon, Jan 16
IT IS the week before Chinese New Year and home buyers, while still turning up in healthy numbers at show-flats, prefer to remain cautious and keep their options open. A Straits Times check over the weekend unearthed a steady stream of visitors …
IT IS the week before Chinese New Year and home buyers, while still turning up in healthy numbers at show-flats, prefer to remain cautious and keep their options open.

A Straits Times check over the weekend unearthed a steady stream of visitors at show-flats but few buyers.

Analysts said the possibility that home prices might fall following the latest round of cooling measures last month kept many potential buyers at bay.

At Qingjian Realty’s 590-unit Riversound Residence in Sengkang East Avenue, about 10 apartments were sold at an average price of $850 per sq ft (psf), bringing total sales to more than 60 units since the project was launched the previous weekend.

Mr Zuo Haibin, the firm’s managing director, said the effect of the cooling measures had been keenly felt. Even though many people have expressed interest, few have made a firm commitment.

‘Our aim now is to sell about 60 to 70 per cent of the 200 units that make up the project’s first phase within three months. Had the measures not been implemented, we would probably have sold that many within a month,’ he said.

The firm has plans to launch another mass-market project in Punggol in June.

The Nautical, Hao Yuan Investment’s 435-unit project in Sembawang Road, sold about 15 more units at an average price of $850 psf over the weekend. Total sales thus came to about 150 units.

Also over the weekend, Far East Organization moved another 36 units at The Hillier, its 528-unit project in Upper Bukit Timah. The overall sales tally rose to 332 units, with the price averaging $1,205 psf.

Some home buyers whom The Straits Times spoke to said they were hoping for a clearer picture to emerge of where prices are headed. Others decided to delay their purchases in anticipation of the wave of new launches expected after Chinese New Year.

Property agents noted that potential buyers used to bring their cheque books with them so that they could book a unit on the spot, but they are more cautious now and make repeated visits before deciding on a purchase.

One such buyer is Mr Heri, 37, who works in the supply chain line. After he and his wife visited the show-flat at Riversound, they thought of buying a four-bedroom apartment there as an investment property.

‘But we want to look at another project in Punggol before making the final decision,’ he said. ‘It’s not small change we’re talking about, so we need a bit more time.’

Upcoming launches after Chinese New Year include Watertown at Punggol and Bartley Residences near Bartley MRT station.

Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Ltd

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