Tag Archives: Sophia Residences

Singapore Property : Better value for older homes

While the local property market plunged in late 2008 along with the global economy, home values have since bounced back to its normal level. Since the second quarter of this year, a larger number of interested home buyers have lined up outside the showrooms of new condominium launches.

Property developers have responded quickly by pushing their launches to attract potential home buyers despite the high-prices. Houses in the heartlands are being sold higher than those in prime districts 9, 10 and 11. The 99-year leasehold Centro Residences at Ang Mo Kio was sold quickly at a starting price of $1,150 per square foot (psf).

“We have been seeing a bottom-up recovery in Singapore’s property market since February. Buying was initially driven by HDB upgraders who benefited from resilient HDB prices and price-cutting by developers. Subsequently, buying spilled over to the mid-end segment, with local and foreign investors returning to the market,” said Foo Sze Ming, an investment analyst from OCBC Investment Research.

The improvement in the property market was fuelled by the increased demand from home buyers who postponed their purchases last year, the recovery of the economy, high consumer liquidity, low interest rates and the possible en-bloc sellers who cashed out two years ago.

While the fast recovery of the property market must be applauded, home prices have driven up too quickly to a level that experts agree is unsustainable. CB Richard Ellis’ analysis showed that the price quantum of non-landed homes between Q1 and Q2 this year have increased by 28 percent. Between Q2 and Q3, prices escalated 11 percent from $825,000 to $916,000 for apartments ranging from 400 square feet to 700 square feet.

“In the first quarter, most of the new freehold homes sold were shoebox-sized units in mid- to high-end projects like Alexis, Newton Edge, Parc Sophia, RV Suites and The Mercury at a median price of $1,000 psf to $1,200 psf.

In the second quarter, a significant proportion were larger family-sized suburban projects like I Residences, The Arte and Versilia On Haig, which reflected a median price of $830 psf to $925 psf,” explained Joseph Tan, executive director of CB Richard Ellis.

The buying pattern for the property market shows that recession fears are over. The latest figures from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) indicates a total of 2,767 sold private houses in July, showing a 52 percent jump from 1,826 units in June.

By the end of September, Viva sold 203 units at $1,537psf, Volari @ Balmoral sold 82 units at $2,059 psf and Sophia Residences sold 210 units at $1,590 psf.

As developers push their prices, the resistance from home buyers sets in. “There appears to be a small upward trend. While the number of transactions declined, those that went through achieved slightly higher prices,” said Colin Tan, the international director for research consultancy firm Chesterton Suntec.

Source : PropertyGuru – 16 Nov 2009

Sustainable home sales

Strong sales volume has been the cause for the government’s concern that a bubble was building up, says HAN HUAN MEI

DEFYING all expectations, Singapore’s residential property market has rebounded in the thick of the worst recession the country has seen. Buyers turned up in droves at recent project launches, sending the home sales figures in July to its highest level since the peak in June 2007. New home sales between January and August were just 21 per cent below the total number of homes sold for the whole of 2007.

But going forward, prices of mass market and mid-tier projects are expected to face some resistance. The number of launches is also expected to be limited for the rest of the year. Even as the market was debating the outlook, the government announced anti-speculative measures mid-month which makes it almost certain that sales volume and prices will moderate.

The robust residential market of the past few months seemed to mirror the peak in 2007, notwithstanding the recession. Market sentiment ran high as the stockmarket rally continued for four months starting in March. The strong take-up of new homes, led by mass-market projects back in February, filtered up to the mid-tier segment by April and to the prime segment by May.

Buyers have been prowling showflats, concerned that home prices may be rising again after having corrected from peak levels. It appears that what started out as pent- up demand progressed into investment demand, and to some extent, speculative demand. Developers launched 10,496 new homes for sale from January to August, compared to 6,107 units in 2008. The total number of new homes sold up to end-August was 11,721 units, far exceeding the 4,264 new homes that were sold in all of 2008. Continue reading