Tag Archives: developer sales

Primary Sales in February picking up in momentum

DEVELOPERS’ sales momentum had picked up this year, even before the recent easing of the property cooling measures; sales figures for February bear this out and March figures are projected to be even more sterling.

A total 977 new private homes and 329 executive condominiums (ECs) were sold by developers last month – respectively 2.6 times and 1.8 times more than the numbers sold in January.

Compared to a year ago, the number of private homes sold in February was nearly 3.2 times greater; that of ECs was 2.5 times higher.

The sales data were collated by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) through a survey of developers. Many property observers said that the fact that some 79 per cent of the new private homes sold in February came from previously launched projects reflects a broad-based recovery in demand.

With highly anticipated projects such as Seaside Residences to headline sales in the coming months, sales momentum are expected to continue.

The top selling project in February was The Clement Canopy by UOL Group and Singapore Land. The 505-unit development in Clementi, the first project to be launched this year, moved 207 units at a median pricing of S$1,343 per square foot (psf). Its launch in February cast buyers’ attention on the Clementi/West Coast area, and this benefited EL Development’s Parc Riviera, which was priced lower on a per square foot basis. Parc Riviera, located in West Coast Road sold 200 units at a median S$1,281 psf. There was also strong pick-up in sales in the Sol Acres EC project by MCL Land, which sold 82 units in February at a median S$782 psf, and at The Santorini by MCC Land, which moved 51 units at a median pricing of S$1,041 psf in February.

CEL Development sold another 23 units at 720-unit Grandeur Park Residences in Tanah Merah last weekend, following the news on the cooling measures. This takes its total sales this month to 462. About 60 per cent of units in the project are one- and two-bedders.

Qingjian Realty also moved nearly 170 of the total 497 units in EC project iNz Residence on booking day this month. Three in every four private residential units sold were in the suburban region or Outside Central Region last month, in tandem with the higher proportion of new launches in the region, URA data shows.

Since the start of this year, developers have continued to move units in delicensed projects. These are completed projects that have received Certificate of Statutory Completion and individual strata titles issued to buyers, and are hence not included in the monthly compilation of licensed developers’ new home sales. PropNex data indicates that, in the first 71 days of this year, about 50 units at The Peak @ Cairnhill II and 30 units at OUE Twin Peaks were sold.

Developer sales fall 15% in August


Developers’ residential sales continued to languish in August, falling 15 per cent to 432 homes sold as launches were delayed until after the Hungry Ghost Festival.

This was the lowest number of new private units sold in a month so far in 2014, according to figures from the Urban Redevelopment Authority. It excludes executive condominiums (ECs), a public-private housing hybrid. Including ECs, developers sold 490 homes last month, a 13 per cent drop from July.

Developers usually avoid launching projects during the Hungry Ghost month because superstitious buyers consider it inauspicious to purchase property during that period. SLP International executive director Nicholas Mak counted 21 days in August that were part of the Hungry Ghost month.

As a result, only 351 new units were launched in August, a 20 per cent drop from July and the lowest in the year so far. In fact, no new residential project was launched, but only various phases of previous projects were launched.

For this reason, CBRE research head Desmond Sim thinks that simply looking at the decline in the number of units sold, which is a function of supply, does not offer a full picture. Case in point: when the number of units sold shot up to about 1,500 in May this year in tandem with a spike in launches.

“If this month the butcher is not selling meat, you can’t say no one is buying meat,” he said, thus preferring to use a six-month rolling average, which produces a smoother trend line with less volatility and knee-jerk reactions (see chart). But the slow activity can also be put down to buyers taking their time to look over properties while holding out for possible price cuts.

“In light of the existing total debt servicing ratio (TDSR) ruling and property cooling measures, prospective buyers are maintaining a wait-and-see approach in anticipation of further price changes,” Knight Frank Singapore research head Alice Tan said.

CBRE’s Mr Sim agrees that there is no need for buyers to commit very quickly to a project, given the array of options available in terms of location and product type.

But while developers will probably continue to price their projects competitively to maintain sales momentum, real estate lawyer Lee Liat Yeang, partner at Rodyk & Davidson LLP, believes price cuts, if at all, will not be drastic.

First, some cannot afford it, having bought the land at high costs. Secondly, its effectiveness is limited, especially when the discount is slight. Thirdly, it might never end; further cuts may be required once units stop moving again. Fourthly, developers also risk upsetting buyers who had bought units earlier.

“Everybody’s waiting for developers to cut prices. The more they cut, the more buyers expect them to cut. It’s a psychological mind game which is why I think many developers are not cutting prices,” he said.

In August, suburban projects sold best, making up over half of new private home sales, with Wheelock’s Panorama taking the lead (54 units sold). This was followed by Coco Palms (23 units) and Lakeville (21 units). Units at city-fringe project Eight Riversuites at Whampoa East also moved quickly, with 22 units sold.

The slowdown in the market this year becomes more evident when compared to 2013. From January to August 2014, about 5,600 and 5,350 new private homes have been launched and sold respectively – just about half of the 11,480 and 11,180 units launched and sold in the corresponding year-ago period, noted Mr Mak.

Consultants expect the full-year number of units sold to range from 8,000 to 9,000. Sales and launches in September are expected to improve with the launch of Keppel Land’s Highline Residences, as well as the expected launches of Marina One Residences, 70 St Patrick’s and Bellewoods EC.

Already, Highline Residences, which began closed-door sales over the weekend, has sold more than 80 per cent of its 160 launched units at an average S$1,900 per square foot (psf) after discount.

Marina One Residences also held a private preview of its show gallery on Saturday. Sales have not started but prices will likely average S$2,600 psf. 70 St Patrick’s is also open for advance showflat viewing now.