Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Condo developers dangle big discounts


A sign that property prices might be headed south, following tough new cooling measures
The Straits Times
January 21, 2013

IN A sign that property prices might be headed south, developers have been offering significant discounts for their projects, following tough new cooling measures.

CapitaLand upped the ante in the jostle for home buyers over the weekend, offering discounts of up to 15 per cent for units in d'Leedon, one of its key residential projects in District 10.

Other developers have been deploying similar tactics - slashing prices and offering other sweeteners - in response to the new rules unveiled on Jan 11.

Far East Organization, for example, is offering discounts of up to 4 per cent for all its projects.

Last week, the 630-unit Qbay Residences in Tampines, jointly developed by Frasers Centrepoint, Far East Organization and Sekisui House, cut its average prices from $1,050 per sq ft (psf) to $985 psf for its preview sales.

Analysts noted that it may be too soon to forecast that property prices are on the way down, though there is a chance history may repeat itself.

"It's too early to tell, but if they continue at this rate, we may get a small decline," said Chesterton Suntec International's research head, Mr Colin Tan.

"After all, we had one before - a 0.1 per cent drop in the first quarter of last year, right after cooling measures were announced in December."

At d'Leedon, starting prices will now go down from more than $1,300 psf to $1,245 psf.

There are three discounts - 10, 12 and 15 per cent. The 10 per cent discounts are for one-bedroom-plus-study units, two-bedroom units, penthouses, garden houses and garden villas.

The 12 per cent discounts are for four-bedroom units and the steepest cuts of 15 per cent are for three-bedders and three-bedroom-plus-study units.

A three-bedroom unit on the 21st floor, for instance, was sold at $1.86 million - or $1,510 psf - on Saturday after the discounts, an agent said.

CapitaLand previously dangled other promotions in a bid to move sales at the 1,715-unit d'Leedon project. It has offered discounts of up to 10 per cent since the site's relaunch last November.

After a lull, the project sold 303 units in the past two months, bringing total sales to 848 units as of the end of last year.

It was first launched in November 2010. Agents said about 60 units were sold on Saturday.



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