Biz Times: Condo sales at showflats tapering off

Condo sales at showflats tapering off

One developer blames Livia’s pricing for ‘spoiling’ other projects’ sales

 

WHILE City Developments managed to sell 96 units last week at its Livia condo at Pasir Ris, developers of most other projects suffered rapidly declining sales at their showflats.

 

At least one developer blamed Livia’s attractive pricing – $650 psf on average – for ‘spoiling’ sales of other projects, while others said a tapering off was to be expected given negative news flows from overseas on the state of the financial and stock markets.

 

Developers and property agents generally reported still strong turnouts at showflats last weekend, although take-up slowed.

 

Sim Lian sold 19 units last week at its Clover By The Park condo in Bishan, less than the 59-unit sales it achieved in the preceding week. To date, Sim Lian has sold 273 of the total 616 units in the project. ‘That’s almost 45 per cent of a large project in just three weeks; that’s quite an achievement given current market sentiment,’ Sim Lian Group executive director Diana Kuik said when approached by BT.

 

The 99-year leasehold project’s average price remains at $750 psf.

 

Sim Lian also sold a unit at The Amery, a freehold project in the Telok Kurau area, last week – again a less sparkling performance than the four units it sold a week earlier.

 

Next to Geylang River, NTUC Choice Homes and Ho Bee found buyers for another nine units at Dakota Residences last weekend. This brings total sales to 170 units in the 99-year project, which has an average price of about $980 psf.

 

Over in the Kovan MRT Station vicinity, the developer of Kovan Residences sold about 20 units last week, bringing total sales to over 100 units since the 99-year project was previewed at a private party on June 28. The average price is somewhere in the $870-900 psf range. Nearby, MCL Land sold another three units at its D-Pavilion, a freehold project priced at $900 psf on average last week. This was a slower sales rate than initial sales of 10 units the preceding weekend.

 

The stakes will go up for these two developers when Frasers Centrepoint previews this weekend its Woodsville 28 near Potong Pasir MRT Station – which is three MRT stops closer to town than Kovan MRT Station.

 

The 110-unit condo will have an average price of $880 psf. The 99-year leasehold development comprises two 17-storey blocks.

 

‘The two- and three-bedder units, with respective average sizes of 883 sq ft and 1,195 sq ft, are about 5 to 6 per cent smaller than conventional units as we’ve adjusted our sizes to fit the profile of the market we’re targeting – those just starting their families or young couples who want to stay near the city and even retirees.

 

‘Two-bedroom apartments start at $700,000 and three-bedders from just over $1 million,’ says Frasers Centrepoint Homes chief operating officer Cheang Kok Kheong.

 

CDL’s spokeswoman said Livia saw strong take-up of various unit types last week, especially two- and three-bedders. ‘The four-bedroom apartments were purchased either for owner occupation or rental potential in view of United World College’s East Campus coming up in the vicinity.

 

‘The project’s average price remains $650 psf, with prices for certain unit types and facing being upped by 1-3 per cent for the latest release of 120 units last weekend,’ she added.

 

The 96 units sold at Livia last week contrasted with sales of 160 units in the preceding week when CDL previewed the 99-year leasehold project, resulting in total sales of 256 units. So far, 320 of the condo’s total 724 units have been released.

 

A veteran property consultant said: ‘Crowds were generally still very good at showflats last weekend, though take-up has slowed. In any development, demand for 30-40 per cent of units comes from the surrounding population catchment. Usually that’s the case, good or bad times.

 

‘Once sales in a project launch hits a certain percentage from this catchment demand, developers have to attract people from other parts of Singapore. That’s a tougher job, with a lot more convincing to be done compared with selling to people who already know the area.’

 

Another problem is that buyers are unsure of the property market’s direction. ‘Even when there are attractively priced projects, potential buyers worry if property prices will go down further. They also ask themselves whether they really need to upgrade; they worry about the economy and their jobs. The bad news coming out from financial institutions in the US is a big concern,’ a property agent said.

 

On a more positive note, Sim Lian’s Ms Kuik said: ‘If you have a good product in a location where there’s a pool of buyers and if your pricing is reasonable, there will be take-up.’

 

Source: Business Times

Today: Simon says: Home prices have hit floor

Simon says: Home prices have hit floor

 

Head of property developer SC Global still bullish on the local real estate market

 

JUDGING from recent transactions, property prices appear to have hit or are near the floor, according to Mr Simon Cheong (picture), the president of the Real Estate Developers’ Association of Singapore (Redas).

 

As evidence, Mr Cheong, the head of high-end property developer SC Global, points to recent transactions of luxury apartments at Nassim Park and Goodwood Residences, which went for nearly $3,000 psf and $2,800 psf respectively.

 

“The high-end is the leading indicator. Why? Now you see the sophisticated investor coming in — people who spend $10 million, $20 million, $30 million (on a property) — these guys are no fools you know,” he says noting that during the 1997 financial crisis luxury flats like those at Ardmore Park were selling for just $1,000 psf.

 

Even mid-class units at developments like those at Dakota, Clover by the Park and Livia are enjoying brisk sales.

 

“Nett nett, property is still a great performer in the mid to long term. For example, the stock market index in 1998 was 800 and today it is 2900. Property appreciation is actually comparable, if not better, if one factors in rentals received,” Mr Cheong says.

 

The property market is driven very much by sentiment, and not just by the laws of supply and demand — the “feel good” factor, he says.

 

According to Mr Cheong developers’ prices have fallen by 30 per cent in all sectors of the market since their peak last year, but are still double those before the sub-prime problem kicked in last August.

 

“The current situation is timely, as since 2005 the property market has been climbing relentlessly for eight straight quarters according to URA (Urban Redevelopment Authority) figures. So, it’s time it took a breather.

 

“We developers were getting concerned that it was climbing so fast. So the sub-prime crisis, in a way hit at the right time and took some of the steam off the market. In a way it came as a relief to developers who were afraid that the steep climb in prices could tempt the authorities to take measures to curb speculation,” Mr Cheong told Today.

 

He also pointed out that it was not in the interest of developers to see prices going up too fast: “There is no reason why developers would like to see an exuberant market and see the bubble burst.”

 

But he claims that his positive outlook for the property market is also driven by fundamentals as interest rates are at present so low and the inflation rate so high it does not make sense to keep your money in the bank.

 

“What do I do if I have a lot of money in my bank account earning 0.6-per-cent interest while inflation is 6 per cent or more, and my money gets smaller and smaller by the day?” he asked.

 

One answer is to put your money in property as in the long run it is a better hedge against inflation than equities.

 

Furthermore, property rentals currently provide yields of 2 to 4 per cent, again better than putting your money in the bank.

 

And there is plenty of money around for when Standard Chartered Bank, earlier this month offered a promotional deposit rate of 2.28 per cent, it was so swamped that it had to withdraw the offer in just two days.

 

Mr Cheong expects interest rates to remain low over the next two years or so.

 

The supply of properties is also not as high as many people think. He pointed to a recent Citibank report which said that the bank sees no oversupply of homes over the next two years.

 

The report estimated that only 60 per cent of the 30,000 units forecast by the URA, will be completed during this period as by end March there were 6,000 en bloc flats that had yet to be demolished.

 

For en blocs to return, prices will have to be double what they are now, especially with no plot ratio increase in the recent announcement of the Singapore Master Plan by URA, Mr Cheong said.

 

High construction costs have also resulted in many projects being delayed. With the many building projects going on — both by the private (including the integrated resort projects) and public sectors — and high material costs caused by worldwide demand, constructions costs will remain for some years, Mr Cheong said.

 

He pointed out at the same time that construction costs here are currently higher than those of Dubai or Hong Kong.

 

“It takes three months to tear a building down but three years to put them up. Once you have taken it down, supply is taken off immediately but to put that supply back it will take three years,” he said.

 

Construction costs are now double what they were a year ago, with high end building costs between $600 and 800 psf and at the low end from $300 to $350 psf.

 

Sometimes Singaporeans also do not realise that market here being relatively small, it would take less than 1 per cent of the available global funds to see the market run up. So, it is not unreasonable to expect a strong turnaround when the sentiment improves, Mr Cheong said.:

 

He added that Singapore has also become a global city and price comparisons of property were now benchmarked against cities like London, Hong Kong, Shanghai and New York rather than against historical prices here.

 

“And contrary to market perception, funding is not an issue, There is no shortage of funding for end purchasers as evidenced by various bank packages (for mortgage loans),” he noted.

 

“My advice to potential buyers is that if you do not have high exposure to the property market, it is an opportune time to consider property”, he said.

 

Source: Today Newspaper

Biz Times: Varying pace of sales at recently released projects

Varying pace of sales at recently released projects

 

DEVELOPERS selling private homes had a mixed bag of results at the weekend.

 

The 99-year-leasehold Livia in Pasir Ris, where previews started last Friday, has chalked up relatively strong sales of 160 units at an average of $650 per square foot (psf).

 

But sales were slower for most other recently released projects.

 

At Kovan Residences, another 20-plus units were sold at the weekend, taking total sales to more than 80 since the 99-year-leasehold project next to Kovan MRT Station was previewed at a private party on June 28.

 

The average price is between $870 and $900 psf.

 

Riding on the buying interest in Kovan Residences, MCL Land accelerated the preview of its 50-unit  D’Pavilion, a freehold condo on Upper Serangoon Road slightly further away from Kovan MRT. It sold 10 units on Saturday and Sunday at an average price of $900 psf.

 

In Bishan, Sim Lian found buyers for another 59 units last week at its Clover by the Park condo, taking total sales to 254 since it previewed the 616-unit project on June 25.

 

The average price for the 99-year-leasehold project is $750 psf. Sim Lian also sold four units at The Amery in Telok Kurau last week, taking the total to 31 of the 78 units in the freehold development. The average price is $860 psf.

 

NTUC Choice Homes and Ho Bee Investment sold another 10 units at the weekend at Dakota Residences. The sales tally is 161 for the 348-unit, 99-year condo that is currently selling at an average price of $980 psf.

 

Commenting on the varying pace of sales, a developer said it is not unusual for transactions to taper off after the first weekend or two weekends of a launch, after initial demand has expressed itself and choice units are taken up.

 

Another developer said: ‘I think potential buyers are nibbling. If they see a project they like and it’s priced attractively, they’ll go in. But buyers are very price-sensitive.’

 

Giving his take, a property consultant suggested: ‘I’ve got the feeling these developers may be slowly pushing up prices; so demand has been tapering off.

 

‘Once a developer has sold at least 30-40 per cent of units in a project, it may be slightly more comfortable with cash flow.

 

‘It may then be prepared to sell the rest of the project at a slower pace if it can achieve higher prices.’

 

A more worrying reason could simply be that demand has dropped.

 

‘People ask themselves: ‘With all the global economic uncertainty, do I really need to buy a new home now?’ said a market watcher.

 

City Developments Ltd said yesterday that most of the buyers at Livia are Singaporeans, while foreign buyers come from China, Indonesia, India, Malaysia and the Philippines.

 

Most people bought for owner occupation. The 160 units sold so far achieved prices of between $570 psf and $740 psf.

 

Prices start from $597,000 for a two-bedroom unit, $793,000 for a three-bedder and $991,000 for a four-bedder.

 

Hayden Properties starts to preview The Hamilton Scotts this week.

 

Prices are expected to start below $3,000 psf, though the average price is expected to be around $3,500 psf.

 

The freehold project comprises 54 apartments and two penthouses.

 

Source: Business Times

Kovan Residences preview sells 50

Kovan Residences preview sells 50

Average price is $870-900 psf; buyers mostly Singaporeans

 

MORE than 50 units have been sold at Kovan Residences since a private preview party last Saturday.

 

The average price at the 99-year leasehold condominium next to Kovan MRT Station is between $870 per square foot (psf) and $900 psf. And the units sold so far include three penthouses that fetched about $2 million to $3 million each.

 

Buyers up to now are mainly Singaporeans, most of whom have private home addresses, although a few HDB upgraders have also bought.

 

‘We have attracted buyers who are purchasing for their own occupation as well as for investment because of the convenient location next to an MRT station,’ said Centurion Properties CEO Tony Bin, whose company is the majority shareholder of the project’s developer Centurion Kovan. Lian Beng is another shareholder, with a 19 per cent stake.

 

Centurion Properties is ultimately controlled by UOB-Kay Hian stockbrokers Han Seng Juan and David Loh Kim Kang.

 

Last Saturday, they invited 150 business associates, friends and relatives to a private preview at the showflat, which eventually resulted in the 50-plus units being sold. Kovan Residences is also being marketed to Messrs Han and Loh’s business associates in China and Hong Kong.

 

The lowest-priced unit in the development is a two-bedroom apartment for just over $700,000. The most expensive is a penthouse below $4 million. Three-bedroom apartments start from $1 million.

 

Kovan Residences will have 512 apartments in eight blocks, all 18 storeys high. The 16 penthouses in the development range from around 2,400-4,600 square feet and come with a private pool or a Jacuzzi. The project is being developed on a 190,000 sq ft site bought in a state tender in October last year for $436 psf per plot ratio.

 

Another new project being offered this weekend is Livia at Pasir Ris Drive 1. The average price is said to be $650 psf.

 

Source: Straits Times

Homebuyers, get ready for more property launches

Homebuyers, get ready for more property launches 

Developers will release projects to capitalise on recent healthy home sales

 

A STRING of new private residential projects is hitting the market as developers move quickly to capitalise on encouraging recent home sales.

In the Kovan area alone, two new projects – Kovan Residences and D’Pavilion – are holding previews this weekend.

 

The 99-year leasehold Kovan Residences, which has 521 apartments ranging in size from 883 sq ft to about 1,700 sq ft, is next to Kovan MRT station. Prices range from just below $800 per sq ft (psf) to more than $900 psf.

 

More than 50 units have already been sold, said Mr Tony Bin, the chief executive of Centurion Properties, known until recently as Duchess Development.

 

Centurion is largely owned by well-known UOB-Kay Hian stockbroker pair Han Seng Juan and David Loh. The rest is held by private investors and Lian Beng Group.

 

Not far from Kovan Residences is another new project, D’Pavilion, priced at an average of $895 psf for the preview. This freehold 50-unit project in Upper Serangoon Road is within walking distance of Kovan MRT station. It has two- to four-bedroom apartments and six penthouses.

 

Over in Pasir Ris, the preview for 724-unit Livia has already started. It is priced at $650 psf on average, or from $597,000 to $636,000 for the two-bedroom units and $793,000 to $835,000 for the three-bedroom units. Some have been sold, sources said.

 

These launches come in the wake of healthy sales at the 348-unit Dakota Residences in Dakota Road. The developers, Ho Bee and ChoiceHomes, have sold about 150 units of the 99-year leasehold property for between $940,000 and about $3.38 million since they went on sale a fortnight ago.

 

The Sim Lian Group has also sold more than 200 units of the 308 launched units of Clover by the Park since its preview late last month. Transacted prices ranged from $582 psf to $877 psf. It has just launched for sale the remaining units at the 616-unit 99-year leasehold project in Bishan.

 

United Engineers is also ready to launch its condo-like Housing Board project in Ang Mo Kio Street 52, but it has yet to commit to a date.

 

Called Park Central, the project will have more than 550 units and comes under the HDB’s Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS).

 

A market watcher said the firm will have to launch it below the prices of the previous DBSS project in Boon Keng.

 

‘They will have to learn from the Boon Keng project, which still has leftover units. When it was launched, many people came but not all later bought,’ he said.

 

The 714-unit City View@Boon Keng, which was launched in January, had 474 five-room flats priced from $536,000 to $727,000, a range that some considered too high.

 

Launches will not be confined to mass- and mid-tier properties for long.

 

Next Tuesday, Hayden Properties will launch The Hamilton Scotts, its luxurious Scotts Road project with 54 apartments and two penthouses, which all come with private car porches.

 

Still, this new project and a few others such as the freehold 100-unit Newton Road project L’VIV, were already expected.

On the market

 

Kovan Residences

Units: 521 apartments

Prices: From below $800 psf to more than $900 psf

 

 

Livia

Units: 724

Prices: $650 psf on average

 

 

Clover by the Park

Units: 616 units, of which 308 were launched earlier

Prices: Transacted prices for launched units ranged from $582 psf to $877 psf

 

 

 

Source: Straits Times

CDL opens Livia condo at Pasir Ris for preview

CDL opens Livia condo at Pasir Ris for preview

Initial units are priced at $650 psf on average; Kovan Residences launched

 

 

CITY Developments Ltd (CDL) has begun to preview its much-awaited Livia condo at Pasir Ris at an average price of about $650 psf for the initial batch of units, BT understands.

 

 

And next to Kovan MRT Station, the 512-unit Kovan Residences is being soft launched today and the average price is said to be $870 psf. Both projects are 99-year leasehold.

 

Market watchers reckon that the $650 psf average pricing for the initial phase of Livia’s marketing effort is about 10 per cent lower than what the developer could have fetched 12 months ago. ‘It might have been priced at $730-750 psf last year,’ an industry observer suggested. The 724-unit condo is being developed at Pasir Ris Drive 1 on a plot that is part of the group’s historical Pasir Ris landbank acquired decades ago.

 

CDL is developing Livia jointly with Hong Leong Holdings and Hong Realty. All three companies are part of Singapore’s Hong Leong Group. Livia will have a total of 10 blocks, either 15 or 16 storeys high with units ranging from two-bedroom apartments to four bedders. There are also 12 penthouses.

 

Next to Kovan MRT Station, Centurion Kovan, controlled by UOB-Kay Hian stockbroker pair Han Seng Juan and David Loh Kim Kang, has been testing the waters for its 512-unit Kovan Residences. The average price is believed to be around $870 psf and industry talk is that some 20 cheques were offered to the developer after a well-attended dinner preview for Messrs Han’s and Loh’s stockbroking community contacts last Saturday. It is not known if options have been issued.

 

‘Perhaps some of the potential buyers may have found the developer’s proposed price a little challenging and made their counter offers with cheques,’ a market watcher suggested.

 

Kovan Residences’ soft launch begins today, BT understands. Officials from Centurion Kovan, part of the Duchess Development group, have not been returning BT’s calls over the past few days.

 

Meanwhile, the project that started the current home buying wave, Ho Bee’s 99-year leasehold Dakota Residences, is said to have sold 150 units since sales began a fortnight ago.

 

Source: Straits Times

Healthy weekend home sales as attractive pricing draws buyers

Healthy weekend home sales as attractive pricing draws buyers 

Price levels set below those at nearby units launched recently or not yet completed

 

THE anaemic property market received a shot in the arm during the weekend, with robust sales and buyers keen to show that they will still deal if the price is right.

Suites 123 at Rangoon Road was sold out – a rarity these days – while Oxley Ventures offloaded 50 units of Parc Sophia in Adis Road. Sales were also healthy at Dakota Residences in Dakota Crescent.

 

Market watchers said the sales at these mid-market projects show that homebuyers can be drawn off the sidelines if prices are attractive.

 

‘Buyers will bite if you price your developments below recently launched or yet-to-be completed projects nearby and about 10 to 15 per cent above older properties in the vicinity,’ said Savills Singapore’s director of business development and marketing, Mr Ku Swee Yong.

 

Ho Bee Investment and NTUC Choice Homes have sold more than 80 units of the 99-year leasehold Dakota Residences since Saturday morning.

 

The developers released 122 units in the 348-unit project at an average price of $970 per sq ft (psf) – under the $1,100 or so they wanted a year ago.

 

Said an investor who went to the launch on Saturday: ‘This project is not exactly cheap. What it offers is value for money, especially in view of the makeover plans for Kallang.’

 

Ho Bee’s general manager of marketing and business development, Mr Chong Hock Chang, added: ‘Another reason the project did well in the current market was pent-up demand. It shows that there are people on the sidelines who are waiting to come out to buy at the right price.’

 

Suites 123, a 43-unit development marketed by Huttons Real Estate Group, was sold out yesterday.

 

The 37 residential units next to Little India and Farrer Park MRT station went for $940 psf to $1,277 psf, while the six shop units fetched between $375,000 to $595,000.

 

In the Mount Sophia area, buyers snapped up all 50 flats released at the 152-unit Parc Sophia over the weekend. Prices ranged from $1,500 psf to around $1,650 psf, or between $742,000 and about $1.2 million.

 

Developer Oxley Ventures, which is also behind Zenith in Zion Road and Tyrwhitt 139 in Tyrwhitt Road, offers an interest absorption scheme. It lets buyers postpone the bulk of their payments on new purchases.

 

Listed developer Sim Lian also started sales at the The Amery, a 74-unit development in Telok Kurau at the weekend. It sold 16 out of 39 launched units at an average of $860 psf, or between $1.16 million and almost $2 million.

 

More launches are expected in the next couple of weeks, including mass-market projects such as the 724-unit Livia in Pasir Ris and the 616-unit Clover by the Park in Bishan.

 

Meanwhile, the Strata Titles Board gave the go-ahead yesterday for the collective sale of the 342-unit Minton Rise. Kheng Leong, which bought the site early last year, plans to build 1,300 flats for launch next year.  

 

Source: Straits Times