Biz Times: Private home market stirs to life again

Private home market stirs to life again

Developers’ Q2 sales double to 1,542 from Q1 but still a far cry from 2007

 

(SINGAPORE) Developers sold 1,542 private homes in the second quarter, double the 762 units in the preceding quarter. This takes the total sold in the first half of the year to 2,304, according to the Urban Redevelopment Authority yesterday.

 

The Q2 number was shored up by the sale of 801 private homes in June alone – a huge jump from the 453 units sold in May and, in fact, the best monthly showing since August last year, when the impact of the US sub-prime crisis struck home.

 

Even so, the first-half sales – these numbers do not include executive condos – amounted to just about a quarter of the volume in the same period last year.

 

CB Richard Ellis predicts that full-year sales volume will come in at 4,000-5,000 units, less than half the record 14,811 private homes that developers sold in 2007.

 

BT’s analysis of URA’s data showed that the stock of private homes that could be launched for sale immediately but have been held back continued to mount, hitting 13,005 at end-June, up 20.5 per cent from the preceding quarter and 68.5 per cent higher than the 7,720 units as at the end of last year.

 

These units are in projects with the necessary approvals for sale – that is, they have secured sales licence and Building Plan approvals – and include projects under construction as well as those that have received Temporary Occupation Permit.

 

In addition, there were 3,379 units launched but unsold at the end of June this year – some 40.3 per higher than the end-2007 number.

 

‘Developers probably got more projects launch-ready by end-June, encouraged by the recent response at showflats,’ a property consultant said.

 

Looking ahead, this pool of yet-to-be-launched units is expected to be dynamic. ‘For the next one to two quarters, we could see the stock coming down if take-up remains encouraging. In turn, the encouraging sales may also spur other developers to get projects launch-ready and that could again add to the pool of yet-to-be-launched units,’ she added.

 

URA’s latest monthly survey of developers’ homes sales data in June showed ‘no consistent pattern of a downward adjustment in prices of new launches’, CBRE executive director Li Hiaw Ho said.

 

‘The differential between the prices contracted in June and in May or April could be attributed to adjustments for floor height and orientation. However, in line with the flash estimates, we expect only a marginal upside in residential prices in Q2.’

 

Developers launched 1,069 private homes in June, a jump of 125 per cent from 476 units in May.

 

For the whole of Q2, developers launched a total of 1,820 private homes, taking the figure for first-half 2008 to around 3,200 units.

 

Knight Frank’s analysis showed that, in June, most units were launched for sale in the Rest of Central Region (RCR) – which commanded a 57 per cent share or 612 units.

 

The region also accounted for 57 per cent of total private homes sold by developers in June. Successful project launches such as Dakota Residences and Clover By The Park helped boost RCR’s share in June.

 

For Q2, RCR also made up the lion’s share or 44.2 per cent of units launched, according to Knight Frank.

 

The highest-priced transaction in June came to $3,653 per square foot, for a unit at Nassim Park Residences, compared with $4,612 psf for a Scotts Square apartment in May. The lowest priced deal last month was $541 psf for an apartment at Sunflower Regency on Lorong 20, Geylang. In May, the lowest price of $518 psf was set by a unit at Palm Galleria in Telok Kurau.

 

Colliers International director (research and consultancy) Tay Huey Ying said: ‘As developers are increasingly forgoing aggressive pricing strategy in favour of competitive pricing strategy, cumulatively, this will result in a softening in price level for the general market.’

 

She expects developers to ramp up launches before the Hungry Ghosts Month starts on Aug 1, and predicts that launch volume could cross 1,300 units for July. As new launches are expected to be priced attractively, developers’ sales could possibly hit 1,000 units.

 

Source: Business Times

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‘Old money’ props rise in luxury home sales

‘Old money’ props rise in luxury home sales

Prices hold firm surprisingly; investment climate may have stabilised, analysts say

Strong take-up: At UOL’s 100-unit Nassim Park Residences, 39 of 70 units launched were sold in May at a median price of $2,929 per square foot, URA data show

 

 

 

(SINGAPORE) Developer sales of new homes jumped to 441 units in May from 284 units in April, with some property consultants already calling it a ‘sharp rebound’.

 

While May sales were still relatively low compared to 2007 levels, several launches in prime and city-fringe locations did well.

 

According to Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) data, at UOL’s 100-unit Nassim Park Residences, 39 of 70 units launched were sold at a median price of $2,929 per square foot (psf). Sources also told BT that most of these units were sold to Singapore’s ‘old money’.

 

Savills Singapore director (marketing and business development) Ku Swee Yong said: ‘Based on what we have seen in the past few months, high net worth individuals (HNWIs) have not been affected by the slowdown in the global economy.’

 

While these buyers may be more ‘picky’ now, ‘they don’t want to wait for prices to fall just to save 5 per cent’, he said. And with banks generally offering low interest rate returns, these HNWIs are looking to ‘park’ their money in real estate instead.

 

A check with UOL revealed that since last week, Nassim Park Residences has been marketed overseas and more than 50 units have now been sold. UOL Group’s general manager of marketing, Dolly Lian said that as things stand, more than 30 per cent of the buyers are foreigners and the average selling price is $3,300 psf. This is higher than $3,000-$3,200 psf average selling price that some market watchers expected.

 

It is understood that most of the foreign buyers are from Indonesia.

 

Another popular development in May was Macly Group’s 102-unit Vutton, with 72 units sold at a median price of $1,225 psf. A market watcher said this is in the same price range as UOL’s Pavilion 11, also off Moulmein Road, which was sold in 2007.

 

Also selling well in May was Ascend Land’s 106-unit The Verve, off Balestier Road. During the month, 42 units were transacted at a median price of $985 psf. According to URA data, 84 units have been sold so far. In April, eight units were sold at a median price of $1,055, while in March the median price was $1,187 psf.

 

Collier’s International’s director for research and advisory Tay Huey Ying said that while the rebound in sales activity could be ‘just a monthly fluctuation, it may also be a sign that most genuine buyers have come to accept that the current price levels have reached a fair level’.

 

Ms Tay noted that the number of new launches increased 74 per cent in May from April. ‘This encouraging response could be just what is needed to trigger more of such launches in the coming months,’ she said.

 

She added, however, that developers will remain cautious with regard to pricing, ‘as buyers in today’s market tend to be price-sensitive’.

 

CB Richard Ellis executive director (residential) Joseph Tan said: ‘Based on the transactions in May, contrary to market expectations, there was no downward adjustment of prices.’

 

Luxury prices in particular ‘seemed to hold firm’ as projects like Boulevard Vue, Scotts Square and Nassim Park Residences maintained $3,000-psf levels, he said. And in the eastern and western parts of Singapore, prices held at $800-$900 psf at projects including Breeze by the East, Blu Coral, The Ambrosia, The Lakeshore and Crystal Heights.

 

Still, not everyone was as sanguine about the state of the property market.

 

Knight Frank director (research and consultancy) Nicholas Mak said that while total new sales in the Core Central Region (CCR), Rest of Central Region (RCR) and Outside Central Region (OCR) rose 60.9 per cent month on month, the OCR saw a 14.6 per cent drop in sales volume month on month.

 

According to Mr Mak: ‘Essentially, the slight rise in sales volume can be attributed to some stability in investment sentiment. However, it should be noted that this escalation is still 32 per cent below the 12-month average figure.’

 

Looking at take-up rates (new sales versus new launches) in the three regions, Jones Lang LaSalle local director and head of research (South-east Asia) Chua Yang Liang said these were 87 per cent for CCR, 84 per cent for RCR and 146 per cent for OCR.

 

He said the strong take-up rates in CCR and RCR were a result of ‘latent demand spurred on by softening prices’, while the take-up rate in OCR was ‘the result of low supply of new launches over what appears to be a minimum demand threshold – an average of 113 units over the past six months – in the region’.

 

Source: Business Times

New private home sales up 55%

New private home sales up 55% 

 

Highest monthly figure so far this year follows softening of prices, surge in total units launched

By Joyce Teo, Property Correspondent 

 

SINGAPORE‘S private residential property market has started showing some signs of life after several months in the doldrums, thanks in part to an easing of prices.

Last month, developers sold 441 new homes, excluding executive condominiums, a sharp 55 per cent jump on the figure for April – albeit a low base – of 284 home sales.

 

That made May the best month so far this year, according to the monthly sales figures released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority yesterday.

 

The improved sales came on the back of 474 new homes launched by developers – a 75 per cent surge over April – though many of the units sold were from earlier launches.

 

Still, consultants caution against reading too much into the latest figures. They say the market is generally still taking a breather, as many buyers prefer to stay on the sidelines.

 

Sales have improved from a very low base but they remained 32 per cent below the 12-month average, said Knight Frank’s director of research and consultancy, Mr Nicholas Mak.

 

The figures ‘do not necessarily imply that the private residential market has overcome the protracted lull sparked off by global economic woes’, he said.

 

‘The market is still at a plateau. Going forward, we will still see range- bound prices and volume of between 300 and 600 units a month. Sentiment is still very cautious,’ he said.

 

Jones Lang LaSalle’s head of research for South-east Asia, Dr Chua Yang Liang, said median prices have eased.

 

The chief executive of PropNex, Mr Mohamed Ismail, said that most May sales were done at a median price of below $1,000 per sq ft (psf), a stark contrast to the end of last year when the median price of almost two-thirds of all sales was over $1,000 psf.

 

‘Upon closer scrutiny, we can see that less than 50 per cent of the units launched were actually sold.’

 

Also, slightly over half the sales were from earlier launches, he said.

 

Still, there are a few bright spots. While some are struggling to sell, developer Macly Group sold 72 out of 102 units of Vutton in the Novena area at $1,057 psf to $1,416 psf.

 

In the luxury market, the 100-unit Nassim Park Residences is the star performer, logging in sales of over 50 units since its soft launch at end-May.

 

As these are large apartments, prices range from about $10 million to a whopping $19.5 million, sources said.

 

The prime Nassim Road project – being developed by UOL Group, Kheng Leong and Orix Corp – has already hit a high of $3,800 psf – far better than its low of $2,318 psf.

 

One buyer is Mr Wee Ee Cheong, son of UOL chairman Wee Cho Yaw, who bought a penthouse for $18.33 million.

 

Just over 30 per cent of the buyers are foreigners. The project has already been launched in Jakarta and Hong Kong, said UOL.

 

Another luxury development Scotts Square in the Orchard area registered sales of four units at a median price of $3,818 psf last month.

 

The relatively strong sales in central Singapore were the result of ‘latent demand spurred on by softening prices’, said Dr Chua.

 

‘Going forward, we reckon that developers are likely to keep prices competitive to keep the market demand stable,’ he said. As long as prices remain affordable, price-sensitive buyers will return, he added.

 

Savills Singapore’s director of business development and marketing, Mr Ku Swee Yong, said the level of transactions and price levels seen last month are sustainable.

 

Source: Straits Times

Private property sales jumped 52.6% last month

Private property sales jumped 52.6% last month

 

Judging by home sales for May, the worst may be over for the private residential market.

 

But analysts aren’t counting the chickens just yet.

 

The private residential market may have seen the worst for the year.

 

The number of private residential units sold in the month of May was up by 52 per cent over April to 441 units including executive condominiums.

 

According to the Urban Redevelopment Authority, there were an additional 152 units sold for May as compared to the month before.

 

Joseph Tan of CB Richard Ellis said this was partly a function of supply as developers launched more new units for sale compared to April, to provide potential buyers with more choices

 

Savills Singapore’s Director of Marketing and Business Development Ku Swee Yong.

 

“I think there are certain circles that are thinking that the bad news has been mainly priced in. I think we’ve defintely seen the worst for number of transactions in April. So 441 transactions in May looks pretty healthy. Over the next 2 months, it depends on whether developers are willing to launch. There may be a few launches coming up just before the hungry ghost festival.”

 

The average median price per square foot for a unit sold last month also rose slightly, to around 1,222 dollars, from April.

 

And the priciest unit sold for the month of May was from Scotts Square at 4,612 dollars per square foot.

 

Mr Tan of CB Richard Ellis said contrary to market expectations, prices of luxury homes seemed to hold firm.

 

Some projects such as Boulevard Vue and Scotts Square continue to see sales at around 3,000 dollars per square foot.

 

He said the sales momentum in May has continued in June so that the number of new homes sold is likely to be better.

 

This is also because more projects are expected to be launched such as Dakota Residences and The Amery.

 

In all, the property consultancy expects the total sales volume of new homes in the second quarter to be about 80 percent more than the 762 units in the first quarter.

 

But Nicholas Mak, of Knight Frank, says that the road ahead is still uncertain.

 

“I think we’re still going to continue to see some turbulance in terms of prices as well as in home sale volume. It’ll probably fluctuate within a certain narrow range, for example, we expect home sales by developers to fluctuate between 300 to 600 units sold every month for the remainder of 2008.”

 

Source: 938Live