Sparked by new project launches Forest Woods and The Alps Residences, the pick-up in developers’ new private home sales is expected to continue this month.

 

Two new major condo developments have been launched this month – Queens Peak near Queenstown MRT station and Parc Riviera in the West Coast.

 

Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) data released on Tuesday shows that developers found buyers for 1,252 private homes last month. This was more than twice the 509 units they moved in September, and the 549 units sold in October last year.

 

Last month’s sales were the highest in any month so far this year; and the best showing since July 2015.

 

Buying interest was reignited by the launch of Forest Woods, attractively located near Serangoon MRT station and Nex mall, and The Alps Residences, an affordably priced project in Tampines.

 

A City Developments-led consortium sold 364 units in Forest Woods at a median price of S$1,412 psf in October; MCC Land moved 334 units at The Alps Residences at a median price of S$1,078 psf.

 

These projects accounted for just over half (56 per cent) the total number of private homes sold in the primary market in October.

 

For one-bedders, (a price of) S$600,000 to S$700,000 is quite sweet. For two-bedders, up to S$800,000 is quite acceptable.

 

Three bedders and larger units are more for owner-occupiers – and for this segment of buyers, livability, the size of rooms and proximity to schools are important factors.

 

Softening property prices, low interest rates, and a lack of appealing investment alternatives continue to endear property to investors.

 

A number of issues continue to plague private home sales – the mounting supply of new private residential property completions which will continue to depress rentals and the ongoing strict financing requirements.

 

Developers will have to remain mindful about keeping prices competitive, given price resistance.

 

In the private-housing segment, an indicator of improved demand is the monthly take-up in previously launched projects.

 

These projects averaged 512 units in the first 10 months of 2016 – 23 per cent more than the 416 units moved in the same period last year.

 

This trend suggests that primary-market sales volume could have bottomed out, barring a major shock to the economy.

 

Launch activity is likely to resume after mid-February and continue in March and April.

 

Major launches expected for next year include The Clement Canopy in Clementi Avenue 1 by a UOL Group-Singapore Land tie-up; and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and Lendlease’s Park Place Residences in Paya Lebar; in New Upper Changi Road, Chip Eng Seng is expected to release a condo of about 720 units.