SINGAPORE - The Hong Leong group sold 60.3 per cent of its Penrose condominium over its launch weekend, with the reception among buyers in line with recent data showing bullish new home sales defying the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
As at 5pm on Sunday (Sept 27), 341 units out of 566 in the 99-year leasehold development in Sims Drive had been taken up, said Hong Leong in a media release.
The units were sold at prices starting from $788,000 for a one-bedroom apartment, $943,000 for a two-bedder, $1.33 million for a three-bedder and $2.11 million for a four-bedder, said Hong Leong in a media release on Sunday.
The condo's apartments sizes range from 474 sq ft for a one-bedroom unit to 1,389 sq ft for a four-bedroom unit.
Take-up was good across all unit types, with the selling price working out to $1,500 to $1,700 per sq ft, said Hong Leong.
It added that nearly 85 per cent of the weekend's buyers were Singaporeans, with permanent residents and foreigners making up the rest. "Keen interest was also seen from HDB upgraders across areas islandwide," the company added.
Sales of new homes - mostly newly-launched condominiums - hit an 11-month high last month, defying the Hungry Ghost Month, and more importantly, the pandemic, the resultant recession and a surge in job losses.
Market observers have ascribed this to pent-up demand after Singapore's two-month circuit breaker upended sales and planned launches. But other reasons given for the surge in new home sales were more buyers parking their money in property, which they see as a safe-haven asset amid an uncertain economy and volatile markets, and record-low interest rates making it seem a "good time" to get a home loan.
Ms Betsy Chng, head of sales and marketing at Hong Leong Holdings, said "timing and sensitive pricing" were the main factors behind the good response to the Penrose's sales launch.
"Given the current climate, it is crucial to identify the right timing and price our projects thoughtfully according to market sentiments and each project's value that includes location, design, and quality interiors," she added.
The project is jointly developed by Hong Leong Holdings and City Developments, another member of the group. The District 14 development, which comprises five 18-storey towers, is a short walk to Aljunied MRT station and near the Pan-Island Expressway and Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway. The Central Business District and Orchard Road are about 15 minutes' drive away.
Property experts said new home sales may start to moderate in the coming months as pent-up demand from local buyers is absorbed into the market. But the gradual reopening of the economy and the setting up of fast lanes for essential travel could also result in more foreign demand for private homes here.
In line with Covid-19 preventive measures, balloting and booking of Penrose units were done virtually via Zoom. Online balloting began on Friday to determine the queue sequence of buyers for booking day, which started on Saturday.