Executive condos chalk up bumper sales

The turnout at the launch of the Hundred Palms Residences executive condominium in Yio Chu Kang Road on July 22. All 531 units were sold that day at a median price of $834 per sq ft.
The turnout at the launch of the Hundred Palms Residences executive condominium in Yio Chu Kang Road on July 22. All 531 units were sold that day at a median price of $834 per sq ft.PHOTO: ERA REALTY NETWORK

978 units snapped up in July; analysts tip improved buying momentum for rest of year

Executive condominium (EC) sales hit fever pitch last month, which saw the highest figure recorded since monthly data became available in 2007.

Buyers snapped up 978 units, boosting total sales of private and EC homes to 2,086 - nearly double the 1,064 units sold in June.

The number of EC units sold last month was also around 17 per cent higher than the 838 shifted in the same month last year, which had recorded the highest monthly EC sales figure since November 2014.

July's strong sales numbers, which were released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority yesterday, are likely due to projects such as the Hundred Palms Residences EC in Yio Chu Kang Road, which sold all 531 units at its launch at a median price of $834 per sq ft (psf).

Other popular ECs included iNz Residence in Choa Chu Kang, which sold 65 units at a median price of $796 psf, and Parc Life in Sembawang, where 63 units went at a median price of $790 psf.

Mr Nicholas Mak, ZACD Group's head of research and consultancy, noted that excluding the sales of Hundred Palms Residences, 447 EC units were sold, which is far higher than the monthly average of about 250 units over the past two years.

 

He said: "The demand for ECs has jumped significantly in July and is expected to increase due to the projected widening price gap between the prices of HDB resale flats and mass-market condominium units.

"As there is only one executive condominium yet to be launched, there could be a looming shortage of EC units in the primary market."

Ms Tricia Song, Colliers International's Singapore research head, noted that four ECs were among the top 10 selling projects last month, moving between 62 and 65 units, compared with the typical 10 to 40 units per month.

Excluding EC units, the number of new private homes sold last month jumped by 35 per cent to 1,108 units from June's 820 units.

July's sales were comparable to the 1,092 units moved in the same month last year.

The top-selling condo last month was high-end Martin Modern in Martin Place, which moved 109 units. The Santorini in Tampines followed with 82 units.

"The property market is now out of the thawing state and has gone into sous vide mode," said Mr Desmond Sim, CBRE research head for Singapore and South-east Asia.

All in all, developers sold 7,675 private residential units in the the first seven months of the year - up 56.4 per cent on the same period last year - while 3,061 ECs have been moved, a 12.3 per cent increase.

Mr Sim noted that new home sales this year have already reached the 7,000 to 8,000 annual average of the preceding three years.

"That range had been identified as underlying demand, and we are now seeing the possible swing of pent-up demand coming into the market," he added.

Mr Sim noted that the strong EC take-up last month was not surprising as the premium between private residential and EC prices had widened due to higher land bids.

Analysts are tipping improved buying momentum for the rest of the year, although the Hungry Ghost Month that starts next Tuesday could slow sales.

Mr Ong Teck Hui, JLL's na- tional director of research and consultancy, said that last month's home sales show that buyers are "also purchasing from previously launched projects, with many of these enjoying encouraging sales progress and reducing unsold inventory".

He predicts that total sales for the year will be between 11,000 and 12,500 units, while Mr Mak of ZACD forecasts a figure between 12,000 and 14,000 units.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 16, 2017, with the headline 'Executive condos chalk up bumper sales'. Print Edition | Subscribe