New home sales last month almost double that of June 2016

830 new residential properties were sold by developers in June this year, up almost 53% from the 536 units last year. Despite the usual June holiday lull, the number of units sold were not significantly lower than the 1,039 sold in May. The lack of new private property launches last month could have also accounted for the sub-1000-unit sales figures following 3 consecutive months of sales above 1,000 units. Only 159 units were launched in June, down from the 370 in May.

SantoriniWith the inventory of unsold units diminishing, and a much-reduced number of new units launched this year, the market could be headed towards a state of undersupply. Thus despite of and possibly because of the 15 consecutive quarters of weakening home prices and softening rents, buyers have been eager to pick up units this year.

The best-selling private condominium project in June was The Santorini in Tampines which sold 75 units at $1,026 psf while Sol Acres topped the executive condominium (EC) sector with 41 units sold at $829 psf. Some property experts are attributing the positive sales figures to higher unit prices since recent land bids have been running high. Prices of units at Commonwealth Towers for example stand at a median of $1,899 psf. With more new launches such as that of Martin Modern and LeQuest coming up in July, market activity could pick up even further.

Second EC launch of 2017 – Hundred Palms EC in Choa Chu Kang

A new executive condominium (EC) launches tomorrow, bringing new life to the market which has been quiet for awhile now. The Hundred Palms Residences EC in Choa Chu Kang is only the second EC to be launched in 2017, following the iNz Residences, also in Choa Chu Kang, which was launched earlier this year in February.

HundredPlamsEC

Photo credit: hundredpalmsresidences-officialsite.com.sg

Hundred Palms Residences consists of 531 apartment units and boasts “smart home technology“, similar to that in iNz Residences. Developed by Hoi Hup Realty, this new EC will have 3-bedroom units ranging from $715,000 to $975,000 while 4- and 5-bedders start at $1.03 million and $1.19 million respectively. At the 497-unit iNz Residences, more than half the units have already been sold, following a keen response of 450 e-applications received during the weekend of its launch.

InzREsidencesProperty players are expecting the Hundred Palms Residences to have equally, if not more fervent response from the public as it is primely located within the vicinity of Hougang and Serangoon North and close to Rosyth primary school. As there has not been many EC launches this year, and the next one could be launched only next year, the developer is likely to be banking on the momentum from recent months to carry forth into the next quarter, at the very least. Out of the 1,394 apartment units sold last month, about over a quarter were ECs. In fact, the best-selling project in May was Sol Acres in Choa Chu Kang Grove. If anything, it seems like the estate is gaining attention amongst buyers and tomorrow’s launch may hit new highs.

Last HUDC privatised last month – Braddell View

HUDC – most who grew up after the 80s will have no idea what these 4 letters mean in relation to the local housing market. In their heyday, the HUDC or Housing and Urban Devleopment Company scheme consisted of selected flats were built  larger, better and fancier than their other public housing counterparts. They were a little like the executive condominiums (ECs) of Design, Build and Sell (DBSS) flats of their day, meant to bridge the gap between the public and private property markets.

BraddellViewMost of the HUDC projects have been privatised over the years, and the era officially drew to a close as the last of the 18 HUDC estate reached privatisation last month. Braddell View, the largest of all the HUDC estates consisted of 918 flats and 2 shops and will join the other 7,731 units which have been privatised since its implementation almost 40 years ago. The scheme ended in 1987 when demand for bigger public housing options diminished due to the availability of private housing which fulfilled the wants and needs of the ‘sandwiched’ classes.

Ironically, many now think that the government could do very well to re-establish a scheme in the same vein as the HUDCs to provide for families hoping to upgrade within the public housing sector, especially as the newer flats are often lacking in terms of space. The privatisation of Braddell View has taken almost 18 years due to the staggered timing of leases of land on which the property stands. What is left for these HUDC estates after privatisation? The rather lucrative possibility of a collective sale, quite naturally.

 

Positive growth for new private homes

There is hope for the private property market yet, as budding signs of recovery peeked through not only in the resale property segment but also blossomed a little in the new private homes sector.SeasideResidencesFor the third consecutive month now, the new private homes sector has shown positive growth with 977 units sold in February, more than double the 382 sold in January, and despite there having only been one new launch last month. The Clement Canopy which was launched in February, did however put 250 new units into the market, selling 207 at a median price of $1,343 psf. A total of 550 units were released last month, compared to the 108 in January. Part of muted response the month prior to last could however be put to the Chinese New Year festive season which fell in late January.

Demand for executive condominiums (ECs) have also increased with 329 units sold, up 78.8 precent from January. The best-selling EC last month was Sol Acres with 82 units sold at the average price of $782 psf. Industry analysts are already seeing a more positive market sentiment this year, an overall sense of confidence from developers and buyers. With the recent relaxation of the Seller Stamp Duty (SSD) rules and new upcoming launches such as Seaside Residences, and as confidence ignites confidence, the hope is for the momentum to move the industry along as the year proceeds.

 

New property launches in Clementi and Choa Chu Kang drew crowds

When a new condominium becomes available in a mature estate, it usually excites the crowd. Especially if the estate has not had a new launch for sometime.

iNzExecCOndoPhoto credit: www.inzresidence-ec.sg

Demand for new private residential units have been on the rise since late last year and pent-up demand following the year-end festive season plus the affordability of units at The Clement Canopy in Clementi have brought in the crowds at its launch last weekend.

195 units from the 505-unit The Clement Canopy has already sold on its first weekend of the launch – that is almost 80 per cent of the 250 units released. This new development leans heavily on 2-bedroom units with almost 40 per cent of the apartments sized between 635 to 732 sq ft and priced between $850,000 to $1.2million.

ClementiCanopyPhoto credit: http://clementcanopy.info

The growing interest in the property could be precisely because of the reasonable quantum prices. The project’s green features and location also adds to the potential resale value of the units as some buyers who have been waiting for drastic changes in the property market make the decision to strike when the iron is hot. The discounts of $6,000 to $12,000 afforded buyers over the weekend may also have sweetened deals of course.

Elsewhere, the iNz executive condominium (EC) was also launched to welcoming response. Developed by Qingjian Realty and situated in Choa Chu Kang, it is the first EC to be launched this year. E-applications for the project will end on March 5.

 

Resale HDB flat prices dip in January

Though resale HDB flat prices fell by 0.3 per cent in January and is 0.1 per cent lower in comparison with the same month last year, industry players remain confident of a stabilising market for the rest of the year.

PunggolHDBFlatResale flat prices have already fallen 11.2 per cent since its peak in 2013, though prior to that, prices have already risen considerably within 3 years. Straining from the continued price decline were the 5-room and executive flats segments, in which prices rose 0.4 and 0.9 per cent respectively. And again moving in the opposite direction, while 3-room and 4-room flat prices were expected to remain mostly flat, they have fallen 0.6 and 0.5 per cent respectively.

Resale flat prices in mature estates also fell 0.7 per cent, which comes as a little of a surprise since they have always maintained their demand despite falling numbers. Could the fall be due to the government ramping up the supply of new build-to-order (BTO) flats in mature estates over the past few years? Possibly. The trickle-down effect works just as well in both private and public property sectors.

BellewatersECAs the price gaps between private and public homes close, the pool of options for property buyers becomes bigger and while some HDB owners are holding on to their units in wait of better times, some may be forced to sell as they move on to their new BTO units or to private properties they are upgrading to. The increase in resale units may put some pressure on prices and sales volume. Already the volume of resale units have fallen 13.9 per cent from last December. Tampines and Geylang registered the highest number of resale transactions closed with above-market prices of $4000 and $5,500 respectively.

 

Resale condominiums make a comeback

Do not underestimate the power of the trickle-down effect as older resale condominiums leverage on new launches to bring in activity and renewed interest.

LakeGrande

December’s resale private home sales figures were case in point, in particular The Santorini in Tampines. The new launch of The Alps Residences resulted in a spillover of buyers’ interest in surrounding condominiums and though the 597-unit The Santorini was launched more than 3 years back in 2014, it sold 106 units in 2016 alone, compared to only 32 units in 2015.

The overall sentiment is one of hope as buyers, now more driven to purchase and increasingly swayed by lower quantum prices, have been seen to be re-entering the market in the past months. Upcoming new townships such as Bidadari and the Jurong Lake district have been showing up more often on buyers’ radars and interest in the latter is particularly telling especially as the area is flagged in the Government’s development plan as the next central business district.

thealps

The 710-unit Lake Grande development in the Jurong Lake district has already sold 553 units and nearby, Sim Lian’s Wandervale and Treasure Crest executive condominium (EC) projects have also sold 1,003 units. With the government holding back on the release of land sales, the resale condominium market may hopefully continue with its winning streak this year. Most of the sales developers received last year were from older developments launched before 2016, Commonwealth Towers, Coco Palms, Bellewoods and Bellewaters, just to name a few.

Prime land plots released for H1 of 2017

Out of the 5 residential sites which were released under the Government Land Sales (GLS) scheme‘s confirmed list for H1 of 2017 are 3 sites which may see heated competition from bidders – one on Jiak Kim Street where the Zouk nightclub used to stand, another on Fourth Avenue right next to the Sixth Avenue MRT station and yet another on Woodleigh Lane, near the new Bidadari township and Woodleigh MRT station.

rmaisonThese 5 sites are expected to yield up to 2,330 new homes, about 50% more than the 1,560 units yielded by land released in the first half of this year. Bidding on the last few sites released this year have gotten developers and property analysts excited about the potential volume and size of land plots to be released next year, but the authorities have kept it conservative thus far, having released only 10 sites on the reserve list. This includes 1 mixed-use site and 2 commercial sites.

It is possible that the Government is concerned about the stock of unsold executive condominiums (EC) currently in the market. In addition, most of the units sold this year were purchased by investors and not true home-occupiers. The Monetary Authority of Singapore has also recently flagged their concern about rising vacancy rates in the private property market. This combination of factors may have influenced their decision on how much land supply to release in 2017. Only 1 EC site was released on the confirmed list and another on the reserved list.