Tag Archives: housing market

Developers get creative to sell units

To entice home buyers amidst the challenging housing market, developers are resorting to new marketing gimmicks, like holding games where everyone wins a prize, organising trips to Singapore, and launching their projects in other countries, reported The Straits Times.

For instance, Kingsford Development held a ‘Property Tycoon Challenge’ for buyers of Kingsford Hillview Peak in Upper Bukit Timah over the weekend.

Styled after Singapore’s Mandarin version of ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’, the top prize at stake is a $250,000 cash rebate. But every contestant will be leaving with at least $5,000 in cash rebates, which will increase if they give the correct answers to the questions in the game. Buyers also have a chance to win an electric scooter and two hoverboards in a separate contest.

Meanwhile, Guangzhou-based Country Garden has teamed up with travel agencies to host Singapore tours for Chinese tourists, in the hope they will purchase units in Forest City, a mega project sited on man-made islands near the Tuas Second Link.

According to its spokesperson, the three-day trip, which includes a drive into Johor Bahru, is mainly for shopping and sightseeing, with expenses to be borne by the visitors.

The developer is also dangling discounts of up to 20 percent for those who purchase early, and pay in cash. “Promotions vary by property type, payment formality and time period,” said the spokesman.

In addition, some developers are launching their new projects in emerging economies to woo affluent buyers there.

For instance, City Developments Limited (CDL) held a property showcase in Jakarta over the weekend for its Gramercy Park project, to be followed next weekend in Surabaya, wherein one tower with 87 units is being offered in the range of $2,800 psf.

The 174-unit project will be unveiled in Singapore soon, and there are also plans to hold similar events in Hong Kong and mainland China, noted a company spokeswoman.

CDL’s move follows CapitaLand’s successful launch of Cairnhill Nine in Indonesia. It rolled out the development in Jakarta in late February before launching it here last month.

The project has found buyers for 193 of its 268 units, with foreign buyers, mostly Indonesians, contributing 50 percent of the sales, added a CapitaLand spokesman.

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10 years on, Iskandar is struggling

Iskandar’s housing market continues to struggle, as evidenced by the drop in new launches and sales transactions last year, reported The Straits Times recently.

In fact, the number of high-rise residential projects launched last year fell to about a dozen, from 24 in 2014 and 49 in 2013, revealed property consultancy Savills.

Data from the National Property Information Centre (Napic) showed that sales of apartments and condo units for the first three quarters of 2015 dropped 23 percent year-on-year to 1,368 units.

Christopher Boyd, Executive Chairman at Savills Malaysia, noted that the drop in launches can be attributed to developers exercising self-regulation and restraint. In addition, some may be struggling to secure financing.

The slowdown first hit the market in mid-2014 following reports of rising property prices and oversupply concerns. The introduction of the goods and services tax, cooling measures, and the country’s turbulent political scene inevitably affected market confidence.

Fears of a glut were also stoked by the aggressive marketing of mega projects by Chinese developers.

The instability of the ringgit and the general economic slowdown saw most investors adopting a wait-and-see approach, said Landserve (Johor) Executive Director Wee Soon Chit.

Iskandar, which has entered its 10-year mark since its development plan was unveiled, still lacks proper industrialisation, whereby more business activity could help spur demand for property. In fact, people are only buying houses there to use as second homes.

Nonetheless, developers and property consultants remain confident about the region’s prospects.

“We are encouraged by the massive infrastructure improvements in Iskandar, as well as the investment that has gone into job-creating industries. This, and the logic of the location, guarantees substantial future demand for housing,” said Boyd.

“Sure, some developers jumped the gun, but it is only a matter of time before the market takes off again, and, at some time in the future, house prices in Iskandar could easily become the highest in the country.”