Suburban condominiums may be in for a downturn

The recent property measures seemed to have been forgotten, but its effect may just be taking root. Despite all the suburban homes which developers have been launching and selling this first quarter, it may be headed towards a limp finish.

Urban VistaOnly 1,544 resale homes were sold up till March 12, maybe hitting 2, 200 by the end of the month. But this is a far cry from the 3, 647 homes sold in the last quarter of 2012. In 2011, 3,761 homes were sold on a year-on-year comparison. Recent private residential apartment launches such as Sennett Residences, D’Nest and Urban Vista may pick things up by the scruff of the neck and pull numbers up after all. Since their launches, 1,400 new homes have been sold, including three other property launches.

So new homes seem to be doing well. But resale homes may be at the opposite end of the success spectrum. Most owners are keeping their current private home, what with the increased ABSD (Additional Buyers’ Stamp Duty) and tighter loan limits which were part of January’s property cooling measures. And it seems they are not so quick to lower their prices as well, unlike developers who have dangled discounts and other incentives to new home buyers.

What the ABSD has done is to increase the stakes for property owners who are looking to buy their second home. There will now be a 7 per cent stamp duty. And owners of completed homes may not see the urgency to offload their current property, perhaps only with the exception of those looking to downgrade. But until resale HBD flat prices drop, they may not act so quickly as well.

Activity will not wane in the private property market, but instead, it seems like it may be the battle between new and resale. Which will you go for?