More unsold private home stock moved in April

New private home sales fell 11.6 per cent to 745 units last month, though the numbers may be considered to be decent as there were 2 major launches in March which caused a spike in sales volume, the highest in 8 months. The 268-unit The Cairnhill and 216-unit The Wisteria launched in March while the 305-unit Sturdee Residences and 48-unit The Asana launched in April.
The AsanaOlder projects however were finding favour with buyers as the number of transactions on previously launched developments rose from 541 to 619 in April. A few of these projects such as The Trilinq, have reached or will be reaching completion soon and are more of a draw for buyers who wish to move in sooner than later. Developers of some of these properties have also offered discounts and the lower prices are the icing on the cake.

Taking executive condominium (EC) units into consideration, the numbers are even higher. Approximately 400 EC units were sold. At the previously-launched The Terrace EC, the developers have put a buyer-referral scheme where both parties received $10,000 cash vouchers for successful transactions.

The TerraceProperty analysts are optimistic about the shift in tide as sales were spread evenly amongst the 15 top-selling residential projects, a sign that buyers are looking throughout the island, and not simply converging on new launches. Ironically, the government’s insistence on keeping the property cooling measures might have driven buyers back into the market as they realise the curbs may not be lifted anytime soon.


Property market showing signs of awakening

Sturdee-ResidenceAlthough property prices have been falling, the show of interest from the buying public has never really waned, instead they are now simply more aware of their options and have become more selective in their investments.

Signs that the market lull might be broken soon have come from the positive take-up of units in 2 recent launches at The Visionaire Executive Condominium (EC) and The Sturdee Residences. 158 units were sold the 632-unit The Visionaire EC at a median price of $811 psf while prices averaged at $1,550 psf at the 305-unit The Sturdee Residences. Buyers at the private residential project have gone mainly for the smaller one- and two-bedders though 3 of its 8 penthouses have already found new owners. Two of the 1,830 sq ft penthouse units were sold at $3.2 million each.

Gem REsidencesThe Parc Life EC and private residential project Gem Residences will launch this weekend. Private condominium Stars of Kovan is expected to launch next month. The latter is a mixed-use development consisting of 390 residential units, 5 strata terraces and 46 shops. Prices are expected to range between $1,550 to $1,600 psf. E-applications for Parc Life have already exceeded the 660 units available and there is hope that uptake will be on the uptick at both these projects.

Sembawang welcomes third EC

With The Brownstone and SkyPark Residences executive condominiums (ECs) in her midst, Sembawang looks set to become an EC town with Parc Life joining her this weekend.

The latest 628-unit addition on Sembawang Crescent will feature 2- to 5-bedroom units from 753 to 1,550 sq ft and with prices averaging between $770 to $800 psf. The project is jointly developed by Frasers Centrepoint and Keong Hong Holdings and is situated near Sembawang MRT station, just next to Canberra Park.

Parc Life Sembawang

Photo credit: Frasers Centrepoint Homes

Despite units at The Brownstone and SkyPark Residences still being available, developers of are banking on HDB upgraders from surround Yishun, Woodlands and Sembawang searching for new units in the vicinity. Home seekers looking for a transition property between public and private markets will often buy into the executive condominium segment as they can utilise grants and subsidies from the Housing Board (HDB) while leveraging on the potential of ECs. Executive condominiums will be privatised after a 10-year period.

Following the government’s raise of the household income ceiling last year from $12,000 to $14,000 for ECs, more buyers now qualify for larger, more expensive units. The developers have caught on to this fact and have introduced more 3-bedroom units, with almost 77 per cent of their 628 units being 3- or 3-plus-universal options.

In a short span of 3 months this year, 2 ECs have been launched – Wandervale in Choa Chu Kang and The Visionaire on Canberra Link. How will the public respond to upcoming launches and expected excess capacity this year?

Singapore’s future smart homes

Starting with an executive condominium (EC) in Sembawang, Singapore’s aim to become a smart nation will take shape in the smart-home units which allow home owners to remotely control household appliances such as air conditioners using their mobile devices.

The VisionaireThe 632-unit The Visionaire EC in Canberra Link will feature cutting edge technology in a partnership with Samsung. Home owners will also be able to control access of visitors, monitor their homes through cameras and control locking systems to their homes using smart devices. The features are however not compulsory, they will allow owners who are not comfortable with the features to opt out.

The executive condominium is developed by Qingjian Realty and prices look to be set between $750 to $800 psf. The units will be made available by 23rd of April and there will be a range of 721 sq ft 2-bedders to 1,581 sq ft four-bedders for buyers to choose from.

Smart Nation SingaporeOn the new-technology front, the National University of Singapore (NUS) and City Development (CDL) have also partnered up to set up 2 laboratories to research and develop energy-efficient homes with features such as noise-pollution masking, solar panels energy-harnessing and pollution-inhibiting systems. The $2.25million donation from CDL will support the NUS-CDL Smart Green Home which will be ready by December 2017.

The value of ECs shine through

Executive condominiums (ECs), the hybrid that traverses public and private property markets have always been known to attract buyers for its inherent value. ECs start their journey off as public housing, which means grants and other subsidies can be taken against the purchase of these privately-developed properties. And after a 10-year period, they are released of their public property status and enter the private property market to enjoy the full status and value of private condominiums.

Nuovo1Photo: Nuovo condominium

Thus it is no surprise at all that privatised executive condominiums, especially those in prime estates such as Bishan, have been getting all the eyeballs. Some of the more popular privatised ECs to hit the market include Bishan Loft, The Dew and Nuovo. Prices at Bishan Loft for example, leaped 166% after privatisation, partly boosted by the mushrooming of new condominiums in the vicinity including Sky Vue and Sky Habitat and mostly due to the lower launch prices which ranged from $300 to $400 psf. Bishan Loft was launched in 2001.

TheCriterionPhoto: The Criterion EC

Prices of ECs have been rising over the years. Some of the latest offerings came close to the $1,000 psf mark, which even similar units on the resale market are unlikely to cross. The narrowing price gap can been since in Yishun, where the private residential project Symphony Suites launched at relatively affordable prices of $1,000 psf while the nearby EC, The Criterion were averaging prices of $795 psf. What response can the latest executive condominium launches draw from the crowd? Will they flock to purchase or hold back as more private suburban properties become price-competitive.


New property launches in May

The first quarter revealed a dip in new private property prices, though it could have been chalked up to the lack of new property launches. Developers may have been holding back on the launches, due to China’s market instability and the lunar new year festivities, till the later part of H1. And when that happens, pent up demand may mean good news.

Kingsford WaterbayPhoto: Kingsford Waterbay

Sturdee-ResidenceThere were a few select launches in February,  the 40-unit Longhaus in Upper Thomson Road; and The Wisteria and Cairnhill Nine this month. With the increase in uptake this month, property analysts are hopeful that numbers will look up in the second quarter.

Suburban condominiums fared particularly well, with The Panorama in Ang Mo Kio and Kingsford Waterbay both selling 18 units last month, the former at $1,211 psf and the latter at $1,127 psf. Principal Garden, Symphony Suites and The Poiz Residences are close runner-ups. A total of 430 homes were sold last month, down 10.2 per cent from January.

Buyers will however have lots to look forward to in a couple of months’ time. Sturdee Residences, The Visionaire and Parc Life executive condominiums and a new private condo in Toa Payoh will all be launching soon.


Wander-ful Wandervale

The year is starting off strong for the executive condominium (EC) segment as the latest addition to the market. The 534-unit Wandervale EC in Choa Chu Kang is already half sold within the first weekend of its launch last week.

Photo credit: Sim Lian

The average price is currently at $755 psf and response has been overwhelming, with a record-high subscription rate and first-weekend-conversion for over a year. Wandervale will join the other Choa Chu Kang EC, Sol Acres and 2 more are expected to join their ranks by the end of the year. Sol Acres was launched last August and also sold well at $780 psf, with 247 units sold within the launch weekend.

The demand for executive condominiums have remained steady, with a almost-certain potential of value appreciation as they qualify for public housing grants on the initial purchase but become valuable private properties after a 10-year period. Location however could play a big part in determining the sales success. Since its launch in September last year, Criterion EC in Yishun has only sold 76 units at a median price of $807 psf. The Signature, also in Yishun, has sold 116 units at $768 psf as of January this year. Some of the more popular EC projects launched last year included The Brownstone on Canberra Drive, Westwood Residences and The Vales.

New private homes market dependent on stock

Last month’s new home sales was a little lacklustre. But that could simply be due to the fact that there were no major or new launches in January. Only 146 units from previously launched projects were released. And January is after all known to be a slow month for property sales.

The Wisteria CondoPhoto: The Wisteria condominium 

The GladesThe new property market looks all set to be bright and exciting after the lunar new year, with new projects such as The Wisteria, Sturdee Residences, Wandervale EC (executive condominium) and The Visionaire EC. Property analysts are expecting new private property sales volume to reach 7,000 this year. In 2015, 7440 new units were sold.

Of late, developers are more focused on selling existing stock, with some even offering up discounts and Chinese New Year promotions. At High Park Residences, some 20 units were offered up with $33,888 in discounts while at The Glades, some units were going at a $38,000 discount while most other units had $8,000 shaved off.  Executive condominiums however were the big sellers, with an average of 155 units sold monthly despite there not being any new EC launch in the last quarter.

Resale properties are giving new units a run for their money, with prices rising last month. There may be a fair fight for buyers in the private property market as buyers shop their options and wait out market volatility.