Luxury home market shows signs of revival

The luxury property segment has shown strengthening signs of revival these past few months as units at high-end residential developments such as Leedon Residence and Goodwood Residence have been picked up at an increased rate, even without discounts, deferrer payment schemes or incentives.

GoodwoodResidencesAbout 70 per cent of the sales at Goodwood Residence were from investment buyers and the average selling price was at $2,300 psf. The property situated in Bukit Timah is developed by Singapore-listed developer GuocoLand and all of it’s 3 penthouses and 210 units have been sold. The penthouses sized between 3,900 and 9,600 sq ft were sold for between $6.5 to $14.23 million.

Over at the 381-unit Leedon Residence, with variety of 2- to 5-bedroom units, more than three quarters of which have been sold. Prices here are considerable as well, with most units going for only slightly lesser than $2,000 psf. Some 5-bedders have been sold for between $8.5 to $10 million. The remaining 100 or so units may be picked up by a group in a bulk sale.

Leedon Residence on Holland Road.

Leedon Residence on Holland Road.

Property analysts are holding back their optimism for a market turnaround as they chalk most of the sales up to value-for-money deals from the sector. Due to a subdued market, more opportunities for investors have popped up and while transactions of non-landed homes with prices of $2,000 psf and above have increased by 80 per cent, most of these investors are not banking on quick or huge returns. They may however be willing to and are able to hold on to the units for when the market makes a comeback.

Luxury market boosts overall real estate figures

Ironically one of the markets which first took the hit when the property cooling measures kicked in is now the one keeping the numbers looking good.

GoodwoodResidencesFor her relative political and economic stability, Singapore is considered a haven for the rich who are hoping to park their wealth somewhere safe. And real estate here are considered stable long-term assets; not so much for those in for speedy turnarounds or hoping to make a quick buck in short-term rentals, but for investors looking at long-term capital appreciation.

Recent numbers released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has shown a 76 per cent increase in sales of luxury apartments worth above $5 million this year. Some of the best sellers in this segment were Ardmore Three, Leedon Residence, Goodwood Residence and Gramercy Park.

GramercyParkProperty prices of city fringe units also rose 0.2 per cent though prices in the suburbs fell 0.5 per cent. But property analyst are seeing the market possibly bottoming out this and next quarter as the incline of the price drops have been gradually reducing.

There were a high number of completed units entering the market in the earlier part of the year, but as developers held back on major launches for a couple of quarters, it gave the market a few chance to do some catching up in terms of sales volume. The prolonged period of low interest rates may also push consumers to pick up deals now rather than later.

Private home prices on the rise?

Twin-Peaks3Prices of completed private condominium units rose 0.3% in April, though analysts are putting it up to a technical rebound. After a relatively good start to the year, private home prices have fallen 1.1% in March based on the Singapore Residential Price Index (SRPI).

Some completed residential projects have seen promising signs of buying activity. The recent upward price adjustments could have been due to higher pickup rates of central region private homes such as units at OUE Twin Peaks and Ardmore Three.

Although the rise of home prices this year has been tentative, across the board prices have increased by more than 50% since 2009. Small apartment units lead the way with a 62.8% rise, followed by a 57.7% increase in non-central region units. Central region home prices are now 30.9% higher taking March 2009 as a point of comparison.

Ardmore THreeLast year saw a dip in luxury, prime district properties while this year, the increased supply of new completed private apartment units have pushed prices of units in the non-central regions down. Buyers remain cautious in their purchasing approach and are more price-sensitive though projects in prime locations and whose developers offer fresh new incentives will continue to bring in sales.

Slower pace of private property price decline

Resale private apartment prices have been on the decline since its peak earlier in the decade, after the effects of property cooling measures kicked in and fuelled by a recent building boom. But the pace of decline has slowed down 2.1 per cent last year, in comparison with 2014. The URA property price index indicated a 3.7 per cent fall last year as compared to 2014’s 4 per cent.That may be a sign the market is finally stabilising, and sellers are no longer pressed or enticed to sell quickly.

St. Regis Residences on Orchard Road.

St. Regis Residences on Orchard Road.

The resale private property market did however report some profit losses. For example, some resale units at St. Regis Residences registered losses of $542,30 up to $4.78 million for a 4-bedroom penthouse.

2015 saw a total of 4,999 resale transactions of private properties, up 22 per cent from the year before, though still a far cry from the 10,598 in 2012. Property analysts are expecting a continued decline in prices, though at a slower rate, as buyers and sellers are still taking time to adjust to the loan restrictions and also now to cope with the new interest rate hikes. Buyers are however gradually acclimatising to the current market situation where new properties are priced affordably and resale property prices may not be drastically reduced, and thus are re-entering the market albeit with some care.

 

A+ sales for Ardmore Park

Marina Bay and Sentosa Cove are some of the well-known areas for luxury properties. But don’t forget Ardmore Park. This district 10 prime spot is one of the most prestigious locations on mainland Singapore and has managed to hold on to its highly priced calling card in the midst of a luxury property market slump.

Nouvel Ardmore 1Although the number of sales may have dipped over the past two years, prices have been consistent. Part of the reason could be the holding power of the property owners in the area. In light of the rising property prices all around, home owners or investors may be choosing to hold on to their Ardmore properties simply because it may be difficult getting similar properties within the same size and price range in the current market. Median selling prices psf is currently at $3, 311.

Unique to the Ardmore Park location is its commitment to luxury. Unlike other luxury property areas such as Marina Bay and Sentosa Cove where there are a mix of smaller and average-sized apartments, Ardmore Park only has large-sized, spacious units. At the freehold Ardmore Park condominium, each unit averages 2, 885 sq ft.

What will the architectural landscape of Ardmore Park look like?

What will the architectural landscape of Ardmore Park look like?

Other condominium developments in the area include the 118-unit Ardmore II which was ready for occupation in 2010; the Sculptura Ardmore, Le Nouvel Ardmore and Ardmore 3 which are all being constructed. Units at Ardmore 3 have been sold between $3, 160 and $3,485 psf. But with rental reaching $18, 118 a month, home owners may not be in any of a hurry to divest of their investment. With an eye on the global macroeconomic situation, any movement upwards may mean increased activity in the luxury property market. When will the market see a revival?

90 per cent of Marina Bay Suites sold

Luxury properties may not be hogging industry headlines right now, but from the looks of it, sales of high-end apartments may not be slipping as much as we think. Buyers know what to look out for, if the 90% of units sold at Marina Bay Suites is anything to go by.

Marina Bay SuitesAThe residential private condominium development is situated next to The Sail @ Marina Bay and has already received its Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP). 198 of its 221 units have been sold at an average of $2, 700 psf. Singaporean buyers made up half of the owners of units in the establishment and Indonesians, Malaysians and Chinese made up majority of the other buyers.

Though Marina Bay Suites has yet to be launched, units sold have been through previews in Singapore as well as in Malaysia and Indonesia from as far as five years back. One of the highest priced units sold was a penthouse for $19.3 million. Out of the 23 units left are 2 four-bedders and 2 penthouses above the 48th floor. Mr. Thomas Tan, head of residential marketing at Raffles Quay Asset management is certain all will be sold by the end of this year.

Marina Bay Financial Centre

With the fast and furious development of the area since the inception of Marina Bay Sands, the Marina Bay Financial Centre and other private condominiums, prices of units of residential property in the area, such as Marina Bay Residences, have risen from $2,000 to as much as $3,000 psf since 2006. By the looks of it, the area could indeed be a money-making machine.

Singapore’s Luxury home prices remain stable

In most countries across Asia, high-end properties are seeing a considerable rise in prices. Only in Singapore and Hong kong, where property cooling measures were implemented, did prices remain stable.

While luxury homes here saw a 0.6 per cent dip in prices, in other major Asia cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Jakarta and Mumbai, prices leaped an average of 6.1 per cent year on year. Singapore is the only city where year on year high-end home prices fell, at 4.3 per cent.

Corals at Keppel Bay.

Corals at Keppel Bay.

Which city saw the largest jump in luxury property prices? Jakarta – with an increase of 8.7 per cent in Q1, that is a whooping 32.9 per cent year on year. Kuala Lumpur and Beijing saw steady quarterly rise in property prices as well. But it is worth noting that the Chinese government is quite aware of a possible property bubble and may be clamping down on building and investments soon. Jones Lang LaSalle‘s head of Asia Pacific research, Ms Jane Murray, is predicting a fall of up to 5 per cent for high-end property here in SIngapore. As population and economic growth slows, the same is expected of the property market.

Have investors veered away from Singapore properties to focus on real estate  elsewhere in Asia and are Singaporean investors doing the same? As property cooling measures continue to kick in, will they deter home buyers even further? What will it mean for Singapore’s real estate market and is this the intended purpose of the property cooling measures?

Property Price Rise in 2013

The dawn of a new year may bring great joy for property sellers as property experts expect a continual rise in property prices. Rising land costs may be the leading cause of the rise. And low interest rates will keep the buyers coming. Non-landed mass market homes are again expected to be the first in the race, running far ahead with a 10 to 15 per cent rise. The luxury property sector is also expected to rise, but at the lower margin of 3 to 5 per cent.

Singapore property condo

Neck in neck with the suburban mass market private homes are Executive Condominiums (ECs). This particular property type has been enjoying spectacular success with home buyers this year, and especially this quarter. By the end of 2012, the target sales of EC units will hit 4000. That’s still more than the number of units sold in 2010 and 2011 combined.

Despite the government’s efforts to cool the market, it seems to have a life of its own and the growth is too strong to be suppressed. What were the government’s motivation behind the cooling measures, and is it enough that those aspects are controlled, leaving those who can afford to push up overall prices? Or should the authorities be doing more to ensure that the little people and the middle class is still able to afford what they can.

Demand and supply. The balance awaits scrutiny. And the guessing game continues.