Tag Archives: Executive Condominium

Almost 2,500 EC units sit empty

After slipping to 11.5 percent in Q4 2014, the vacancy rate in the executive condominium (EC) market started to increase again in the first quarter of this year to 15.1 percent, according to data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and reported in the media.

In fact, there are 2,446 vacant EC units in the market. These refer to completed units that were not sold or units which have been acquired but were left unoccupied by owners – probably because they need more time to move in.

Usually, ECs attract HDB homeowners looking to upgrade their homes. They account for about 50 percent of those buying ECs. HDB rules give these upgraders six months within which to sell their current flats, after collecting the keys to their new units.

But given the falling resale prices of HDB flats, more EC buyers are finding it harder to sell their units.

As a result, HDB is seeing more requests for extension.

Last year, it received a total of 56 extension requests from EC buyers, which works out to an average of 14 requests per quarter. But in Q1 2015, the housing board received 29 such requests.

Nonetheless, the rising vacancy rate may also suggest that the EC market is attracting investors since most EC projects were fully sold, said property firm Century 21.

“We also sense that there are many who are investors in ECs, they are not buying the ECs because they want to live in it. They are buying the ECs for probably a financial investment motive and having taken the keys. They are probably still staying with their parents or they are staying elsewhere and they are not moving in,” said Ku Swee Yong, chief executive officer of Century 21 Singapore.

Although ECs are developed and sold by private property developers, buyers can still receive a maximum grant of $30,000 per household. After 10 years, these units become privatised and can be sold to foreigners.

BREAKING NEWS: 80% monthly rise in April home sales

Sales of new private homes climbed more than 80 percent during April 2015 from last month’s figure to reach 1,124 units, excluding Executive Condominiums (ECs), according to data released by Singapore’s Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) at lunchtime today.

Comparing month-on-month data, there was a 83 percent increase in sales of new private homes in Singapore from April’s tally of 613 units (692 units including ECs). Year-on-year there was a healthy 47 percent rise compared with the same month in 2014 when 762 units were sold.

A total of 1,124 new private homes were sold during April 2015 by Singapore property developers. Including ECs the figure was 1,218 units.

The most expensive unit sold last month, at S$2,636 per sq ft, was one unit at V On Shenton, while the highest number of sales took place at North Park Residences which saw 486 transactions at a median price of S$1.374 per sq ft.

In a statement published last month, URA revealed that developers launched 1,189 uncompleted private residential units (excluding ECs) for sale during the first quarter of 2015, lower than the 1,592 units that were launched during the fourth quarter of 2014.

The statement also noted that developers sold 1,311 private residential units (excluding ECs) during the first quarter of 2015, a decline from the 1,376 units sold during the fourth quarter of 2014.

Excluding ECs, Singapore was home to 6,530 launched but unsold new private home units at the end of March 2015.

In April 2015 developers launched a total of 1,344 new private homes for sale, according to the URA data.

According to URA, prices, as well as the number of units sold during the month, are based on Options to Purchase (OTPs) issued by developers and reported to URA. Not all OTPs result in confirmed sales.

An OTP is a right or option given by the vendor to an intending purchaser to buy the property at a specified price within a specified period – the validity period of the option. The intending purchaser must pay a booking fee of between 5 percent and 10 percent of the agreed price for this right or option. The purchaser has to exercise the OTP within its validity period to buy the property.

Because OTPs change daily, the number of units sold by developers also changes on a daily basis.