Developers of completed condominiums are again offering sweeteners to home hunters that proved successful in shifting unsold apartments last year.
Real estate agents told The Straits Times that one of the latest projects to offer a deferred payment scheme - an attractive proposition to many buyers - is TG Development's The Peak@Cairnhill II.
Two other projects that have been on the market for some time - CapitaLand's Sky Habitat and Ardmore Three by Wheelock Properties - also rolled out such a scheme recently to woo buyers.
The Peak@Cairnhill II, a 60-unit freehold condo near Orchard Road, was launched for sale on Monday, offering a 15 per cent discount and an enhanced deferred payment scheme.
Under the scheme, buyers pay a 20 per cent down payment to secure an option to purchase, but have two years to exercise the option.
"In the meantime, they sign a master tenancy agreement with the developer which allows them to rent out the unit and get a rental income," said PropNex Realty branch district manager Dominic Lee, who is marketing the project.
He added that the property tax and maintenance fee payable during the two-year period will also be absorbed by the developer.
All units at The Peak@Cairnhill II are two-bedders, with the smallest unit type, at 829 sq ft, going for $2.085 million. The average selling price after factoring in the discount is about $2,550 per sq ft, Mr Lee said.
Good response to creative marketing schemes, including deferred payment, at OUE Twin Peaks last year had sparked similar moves by other developers to move unsold units at completed projects.
Since its sales relaunch last April, the 462-unit OUE Twin Peaks sold about 220 apartments as at the end of last month, according to caveats lodged, noted real estate agency OrangeTee.
Last June, CapitaLand rolled out its own version of a deferred payment scheme, known as the stay-then-pay programme, at two mega projects, d'Leedon and The Interlace.
It allows Singaporeans and permanent residents to make a 10 per cent down payment within eight weeks to exercise the option to purchase, live in the unit and pay the other 90 per cent a year from exercising the option. For foreign buyers, the down payment is 15 per cent.
CapitaLand said the programme, which was "well received", was extended to its 509-unit Sky Habitat project in Bishan this month.
There were 128 unsold units at Sky Habitat as at Sept 30 - the developer was unable to disclose the updated figure before its next quarterly earnings announcement.
Units available under the stay- then-pay plan include two- to four-bedroom apartments ranging from 1,012 sq ft to 2,228 sq ft.
"The average selling price is $1,500 psf (nett after discount), with prices starting from $1.5 million," said a CapitaLand spokesman.
OrangeTee told The Straits Times that Wheelock Properties this month also introduced a deferred payment scheme at its high-end condo Ardmore Three - which still had about 25 unsold units as at the end of last month.
"A buyer has the option to defer 80 per cent of the price for two years," said Ms Emily Eng, director of residential services at OrangeTee.
The developer started offering discounts and rebates at Ardmore Three last year, with selling prices at more than $3,000 psf.
Two other projects being marketed by ERA Realty Network - Corals at Keppel Bay and One Balmoral - are also providing incentives to sweeten the deal.
Luxury development Corals at Keppel Bay is taking $50,000 off prices of selected units, such as those without a waterfront view. ERA said the average selling price works out to about $1,850 psf after the discount.
Meanwhile, One Balmoral - a freehold 91-unit condo in prime District 10 by Hong Leong Holdings - offers a 13 per cent discount on the prices of all units. The cost of a one-bedder starts from about $1.4 million, with average prices of units around $2,150 psf to $2,200 psf.
Despite the prospect of more completed projects coming on the market with innovative sales schemes, analysts do not expect demand for newly launched condos to be hard hit.
The completed projects make up a very small percentage of the primary sales market, said ERA key executive officer Eugene Lim. "New launches will continue to form the bulk of the sales in that market."