ECs the main draw in recent sales

Singapore’s lacklustre property market showed some signs of life at the weekend but interest was mainly confined to executive condominiums (ECs) The best performer was The Terrace, an EC project in Punggol, where more than 100 units were sold, out of a total of 747. But sales at older launches remained tepid as many potential buyers are on holiday and sentiment remains poor, experts said.

At The Terrace, launched on Sunday, prices start at $710 per sq ft for a three-bedroom unit, a spokesman for developer Kheng Leong said. Unit sizes are from 1,001 sq ft for three-bedders to 1,711 sq ft for a five-bedroom penthouse.

Three-bedroom units with views of both the swimming pool and Punggol Waterways were popular, she added. Buyers were mostly upgraders, and included several young families.

At other ECs, more than five units in total were sold at Qingjian Realty’s Bellewaters and Bellewoods in the past week.

So far, about 150 units have been sold at Bellewaters in Sengkang, launched a month ago. But interest in Bellewoods has been weaker. Sales are understood to be in the double digits at the Woodlands project, which was launched on Nov 1.

No units were sold at Lake Life EC in Jurong over the weekend. The project, launched a month ago, has about 12 unsold units.

As a whole, the EC market is seeing more activity than the private housing market, said Mr Donald Han, Chestertons managing director.

While it is too early to assess the impact of the mortgage servicing ratio – loan restrictions applying to ECs – the market is still location-specific, he said.

“In locations where you have first-mover status like Lake Life – the first EC to be launched in the area after many years – you see pent-up demand. Response to Bellewoods and Bellewaters has been more muted as there are already other ECs in the area.”

The Amore EC in Punggol is expected to be launched in January. E-applications start on Friday.

Sales were gloomy outside of the EC segment for the weekend, with no sales at the 250-unit TRE Residences, launched on Nov 15 with about 50 units so far.

Marina One is also believed to have drawn a blank at the weekend, while three units were sold at 696-unit Lakeville, which is about 52 per cent sold.

December is typically a slow month, being holiday season for many people, including expatriates and permanent residents who could be the target market for some private condos, said Mr Mohd Ismail, chief executive of PropNex.

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