Upgraders behind resurgent home sales: Wing Tai chairman

Home upgraders are setting the pace in the resurgent residential market while speculative investment and foreign buying remains suppressed, said Wing Tai Holdings chairman and managing director Cheng Wai Keung.

The result has been a “strange phenomenon”, noted Mr Cheng, where prices in the general upgraders’ market have been driven up to the point where they are now close to values in the costly Orchard Road fringe area.

Mr Cheng told the group’s results briefing yesterday that in the past, prices in that fringe area “would most probably be 8 per cent higher” than the traditional upgrader zone.

But now the gap is closing, thanks to sales activity by upgraders, while the fringe area is flatlining due to a lack of investment buyers.

The recovery here looks like a two-speed one, so Mr Cheng is “still very uncertain” about the market outlook. “This is a very different and difficult period in my 40 years in the property market,” he said. “It has stabilised but you are not sure if it will continue to be like that. But that does not mean that we do not look at property that will give us value.”

Last month, Wing Tai and Keppel Land made the top offer of $446.3 million ($964.81 per sq ft per plot ratio) for a plot at Serangoon North Avenue 1.

Adapted from: The Straits Times, 25 August 2017

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