Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Brisk weekend home sales boost March tally

The Straits Times  |  Mar 26, 2013
Another 300 units from four launches sold, making month a likely pacesetter

March is likely to be the top month for new home sales this year, if last weekend's action is anything to go by. Despite lingering unease over the January cooling measures, developers shifted another 300 units from four recent launches.

DWG senior manager Lee Sze Teck said: "We are expecting close to 2,000 units to be sold this month."

That could make March the sales pacesetter for this year, if it trumps January's 2,016 sales. Last month, only 708 units were moved, mainly because of the Chinese New Year lull. But this month's figures stand at more than 1,700 units across just six projects, and analysts say the momentum is almost certain to slacken going into next month.

"(Sales) will be moderate in April at about 1,500 units due to fewer launches," said Mr Lee.

PropNex Realty chief executive Mohamed Ismail described this month's sales as "a real test" of the cooling measures introduced in January, adding: "I would say that the projects have performed beyond expectations, and the demand is largely driven by genuine home buyers."

However, he noted that projects were not selling as quickly as before. "The days when condos are sold out within two to three months will no longer be the norm. There will be a higher take-up rate during the preview launch, but it will take up to a year for the remaining units to be sold."

March has hosted six large suburban launches, including D'Nest, Urban Vista, Bartley Ridge and Hillion Residences.

A City Developments (CDL) spokesman said yesterday that more than 600 units at D'Nest have been sold. More than 75 per cent of the buyers were Singaporeans, while foreigners and permanent residents who bought units came mainly from Malaysia, China and Indonesia.

"Many are also young couples looking for their first home and are attracted to the pricing in view of its location so near to the Pasir Ris MRT station," said the spokesman.

The 912-unit project was going at $920 per sq ft (psf) for preview sales. Prices have been raised by about 2 per cent since. D'Nest, developed jointly by CDL, Hong Leong Holdings and Hong Realty, sold an additional 100 units in the past few days.

Urban Vista is another popular project in the east. It sold 90 units at the weekend, taking sales to 330 of the 400 units released in the first phase. Buyers paid an average of $1,400 psf to $1,550 psf for all units, ranging from one- to four-bedroom apartments.

Developed by Fragrance Group and World Class Land, the 582-unit condo is a few minutes' walk from the Tanah Merah MRT station.

Buyers also headed for Hillion Residences in Bukit Panjang, an integrated project sitting on a mall and connected to a transport hub. It shifted 125 units on launch day last Thursday and 50 more since then. More than 90 per cent of buyers were Singaporeans, and most resided in the west, said a spokesman for the developers, Sim Lian Group and Sim Lian Development.

Bartley Ridge in Mount Vernon was another project that had home hunters reaching for the cheque book. The Straits Times understands that more than 260 units had been sold, indicating that 60 were moved at the weekend.

On Friday, Kingsford Hillview Peak in Upper Bukit Timah will open for preview - making it the seventh project launched this month.

Martin Koh | 86666 944 | R020968Z
Sherry Tang | 9844 4400 | R020241C

Senior Sales Director
DTZ Property Network Pte Ltd (L3007960A)

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