Buyers shun luxury city apartments despite price falls

Luxury apartment sales in the city centre sank markedly in the first half of 2014, revealed a CBRE report.

According to caveats data for the Core Central Region (CCR), there were 48 transactions of properties costing $5 million and above in the first six months of the year, compared to 78 and 107 deals in H2 2013 and H1 2013 respectively.

CBRE attributed the drop in sales over the past year to the TDSR framework which took effect at the end of June 2013.

At the same time, foreign buyers who used to be big players in Singapore’s prime residential market, appear to be retreating since the ABSD was raised to 15 percent.

Purchases by foreigners plummeted to 14 units in H1 2014 from 35 the year before.

Weak market conditions have also put pressure on prices, with the average price of completed luxury apartments at $2,800 psf, down slightly from $2,825 psf at end-2013.

Helped by the sale of 16 units at Goodwood Residence after factoring price discounts and rebates, the average price for new developments was $2,400 psf.

As at end-June, three luxury residential projects were completed, namely Tomlinson Heights, TwentyOne Angullia Park and Le Nouvel Ardmore. But the report noted that approximately 70 percent of the 167 units from these developments remain unsold, on top of 300 unsold units from other projects completed over the last one to two years.

To help close deals, CBRE said: “Some developers are looking for bulk purchasers while others are seeking to attract buyers via direct discounts and ABSD rebates. With prices softening, sales volume might see improvement in H2 2014.”

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