New properties rode the big wave earlier this year in the first quarter. Now, the tide has brought them back on the ground.
But the reason may not be because the fish are not biting. There are simply fewer launches in April. Although new home sales saw a spike in March, industry analysts are putting it down to pent-up demand following January’s cooling measures. Are April’s numbers more reflective of the actual effect of the property curbs? As the heat from Q1′s fever dies down, home buyers who are shopping for a home may be holding back in wait of potential launches in the coming months.
The most recent launches were Sant Ritz in Potong Pasir , Jade Residences in Upper Serangoon, Cosmoloft in Balestier and The Siena at Farrer Road. Data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) indicated 104 units sold at the 214-unit Sant Ritz, at an average of $1,494 psf. At Jade Residences, buyers snapped up nearly half of the 171 units at a medai of $1, 592 psf.
Buyers are becoming more savvy, and are increasingly not only drawn by a property’s location but also design and potential investment value. Do buyers now have the upper hand and will developers be pressed to lower selling prices? CBRE executive director of residnetial Joseph Tan believes that buyers now draw the line at properties ranging between $900 to $1, 600 psf. Properties selling above that price line may not see as many takers. For now.
Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam’s statement last month which spoke to the unlikelihood of more cooling measures could also mean buyers are now in less of a hurry to buy up properties and can well afford to play the waiting game. It may seem like a supply glut could be near, but as soon as population increases, and depending on how fast a rate, demand will soon rise as well. Is it better to buy now than to wait for prices to drop?