Weekend launches see robust take-up rates

Apr 10, 2018

Brisk sales at private home projects raise hopes of a strong year for housing market

Lynette Khoo

Buyers were out in force over the weekend with robust take-up rates at new launches raising expectations that the year will be a good one for the housing market.

Local developer Oxley Holdings sold 129 homes or 76 per cent of the 170-unit The Verandah Residences at an average $1,815 per sq ft (psf) in two days, while Lendlease sold 149 units in the phase two launch of Park Place Residences.

Savills Singapore research head Alan Cheong noted that the sales take-up in these projects is underpinned by strong home-buying demand.

"There's a big pot of wealth waiting to be invested in real estate. Developers who have bought sites at higher land prices can take heart from this encouraging performance that they may be able to sell their units at expected selling prices," he said.

The Lendlease performance over the weekend capped a stellar campaign for the Australian firm, which moved 210 units in a single day in the project's phase one launch last year.

The firm has now sold about 84 per cent of the 429-unit residential component at its mixed-use project Paya Lebar Quarter.

Sources note that the $2,000 psf average pricing for units sold in the phase two launch reflects a 11 per cent increase from the average $1,800 psf for sales in phase one.

Lendlease said prices for phase two of Park Place Residences, which comprises one-to three-bedroom units, range from $900,000 to $2.2 million.

The sterling showing at the two weekend launches came on the heels of strong take-up at City Developments' The Tapestry, where buyers snapped up 315 of the released units at the 861-unit project during the launch weekend last month.

The project has shifted 338 units - about 75 per cent of the 450 apartments released - at an average $1,310 psf.

The 3.1 per cent quarter-on-quarter increase in the Urban Redevelopment Authority's private home price index, based on its first-quarter flash estimate, was the steepest rise since the second quarter of 2010, when the index rose 5.3 per cent.

This has prompted consultants to raise their forecasts for this year from a 3 per cent to 8 per cent increase in the benchmark property price index to a rise of between 7 per cent and 15 per cent.

Smaller units proved to be more popular at Oxley Holdings' The Verandah Residences at the junction of Pasir Panjang and South Buona Vista roads.

Balloting was carried out for the one-and two-bedders. All one-bedroom, one-bedroom with study, two-bedder and two-bedroom premium units were sold out.

The freehold development - with a design inspired by black-and-white colonial bungalows - comprises 167 apartments in four blocks of five-storey buildings, and three strata houses.

Oxley Holdings said the strong demand came from home seekers and investors, including overseas buyers. About 85 per cent of the buyers were Singaporeans with the rest being permanent residents and foreigners.

"There were a lot of inquiries for the project before the launch and the sales progress proved that the pent-up demand was real," said Oxley Holdings executive chairman and chief executive Ching Chiat Kwong.

UOL Group is slated to open the show-flat of Amber 45 for preview before starting sales early next month. It is believed to be looking at an average price of above $2,300 psf for the 139-unit freehold project, which sits on a site acquired by private treaty from a single owner.