Q1 mortgagee sale listings close to 2008 crisis level

Mortgagee sale listings in the first quarter continued at elevated levels last seen during the global financial crisis, according to a Colliers International report out yesterday.

A total of 70 mortgagee listings were made in the three months, the same as the fourth quarter of 2015, and up 25 per cent from a year back.

This was comparable with 71 listings in the second quarter of 2008.

Homes again formed the bulk of the listings, but the number of industrial, office and retail mortgagee sale listings have risen as well, noted Ms Grace Ng, deputy managing director of Colliers International.

"The year-on-year jump in (overall) mortgagee listings reflects the increasing difficulties that property owners are facing in servicing their monthly mortgages," she said. It is especially tough for those owning multiple properties, she added.

The number of industrial mortgagee listings rose from 11 in the fourth quarter to 13 in the first quarter, the highest in five years.

These were typically strata-titled factories, including units at Ubi Techpark, UB One and Entrepreneur Business Centre in Kaki Bukit and Ubi area; as well as at Pantech Business Hub in Pandan Loop and Pioneer Junction in Soon Lee Street.

Industrial leasing has been challenging, with industrialists generally cautious. Competition for tenants has intensified as well, due to ample supply.

In the first quarter, lenders put two offices and seven retail outlets up for auction - up from no office listings and three retail listings in the fourth quarter. A total of 48 mortgagee residential listings were put up, comprising 33 non-landed homes and 15 landed homes.

Of the non-landed homes, 15, or about 45 per cent, were larger and pricier apartments with floor area of above 1,500 sq ft. Five of these were in the prime districts of 9, 10 and 11, she noted. Many of the landed homes were larger types, with some at over 3,000 sq ft in land.

Eight properties were sold at auctions in the quarter, of which six were mortgagee sales, with a total sale value of $9.6 million.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 31, 2016, with the headline Q1 mortgagee sale listings close to 2008 crisis level. Subscribe