7,500 units to be released as experts await impact on sales after curbs
The Straits Times - February 22, 2013
AROUND 17 new condominiums comprising almost 7,500 private homes in all are being prepared over the next few months.
The bumper supply stems largely from the significant release of land from the Government Land Sales (GLS) programme over the past year, although private sites are also in the mix.
Market experts are keenly watching to see how some of the more high-profile projects fare, given that the tough cooling measures imposed last month have added an air of uncertainty to the market.
There will be plenty of choice for buyers, with projects in estates across the island from Tanah Merah, Pasir Ris and Hillview to upmarket areas like Marina Bay being primed for launch.
The larger projects lining up for release include the 912-unit D'nest in Pasir Ris Grove, Bartley Ridge in Mount Vernon Road, which has 868 units, and the 755-unit Trilinq in Jalan Lempeng.
The Trilinq showflat will be open today, with preview sales expected early next month. Indicative average prices are about $1,500 per sq ft.
While Q Bay Residences in Tampines enjoyed strong sales despite being launched after the curbs, market watchers are waiting for a second successful launch to set a positive market trend.
Savills Singapore research head Alan Cheong said the healthy take-up of units at d'Leedon after a price cut showed buying sentiment was still positive, and that there is still underlying demand.
"But the take-up rates are unlikely to be as fast as last year. It might take six months for 50 to 70 per cent of a mass market project to be sold now. Previously, 80 to 90 per cent of a smaller-sized project could be sold in three months," he noted.
International Property Advisor chief executive Ku Swee Yong said high-end homes might still face a uphill battle in lifting sales.
"The overall quantum for prime homes in districts 9, 10 and 11 is generally more than $3 million and is not within reach of the first-timer and upgrader segments," he added.
A test might come in October when the mega Marina One project, developed by Malaysia's Khazanah Nasional and Singapore's Temasek Holdings as part of a land swop agreement, is launched. The project has a whopping 1,042 units.
Developers might also delay some of their launches to assess the full impact of the measures, although 99-year leasehold projects from GLS sites will face more urgency to be pushed out compared with freehold ones.
Colliers International's director of research and advisory services, Ms Chia Siew Chuin, said if the results of the next few launches are encouraging, more developers are likely to push out their projects. "There is no need for projects to sell out within a couple of weeks for developers to gauge that buying interest is still evident, so long as showflat visitor numbers and buying volume remain and hold steady," she added.
"This would be especially so for projects in the suburban areas, where Singaporeans make up the bulk of buyers."
Colliers noted that from 2003 to last year, the total number of uncompleted residential homes launched for sale averaged 12,036 units a year.
Buyer sentiment significantly turned for the better from 2005, when the Government announced the development of the integrated resorts.
Developers responded by launching more than 10,000 units each year from 2006 to last year, culminating in a record 21,478 units released last year. The only exception was in 2008, when the financial crisis hit.
The brisk sales of GLS sites last year means 17,000 to 18,000 units could be launched this year.
"This could be the new norm, as the Government continues to inject a strong pipeline supply of housing units into the market until such time when demand falls to more moderate levels," said Colliers' Ms Chia.
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SIGN OF INTEREST
There is no need for projects to sell out within a couple of weeks for developers to gauge that buying interest is still evident, so long as showflat visitor numbers and buying volume remain and hold steady... This would be especially so for projects in the suburban areas, where Singaporeans make up the bulk of buyers.
- Ms Chia Siew Chuin, Colliers International's director of research and advisory services, on how more developers are likely to push out their projects if the results of the next few launches are encouraging
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