Thursday, July 9, 2009

Property Market Continues Riding On Buying Mood

Source : The Business Times, July 9, 2009

PROPERTY market activity continued in the first week of last month as more private homes were launched - or re-launched - to ride the buying momentum.

Good demand: Bukit Sembawang Estates has sold 50 of the 78 units at Luxus Hills, a 999-year leasehold landed development at Ang Mio Kio, in a preview

Bukit Sembawang Estates said yesterday that it has sold 50 of the 78 units at Luxus Hills, a 999-year leasehold landed development at Ang Mio Kio, in a preview. Intermediate terrace homes were sold for an average of $1,085 per sq ft of land area, while corner terraces went for an average of $980 psf.

BT understands that agents have also started to market prime projects, including GuocoLand's 272-unit freehold Sophia Residence, City Developments's 85-unit project on the former Garden Hotel site and Wing Tai's 346-unit Ascentia Sky in Alexandra Road.

For Sophia Residences, asking prices range from $1,400-$1,600 psf. For CityDev's project, agents are quoting $1,800-$2,000 psf. At Ascentia Sky, a limited number of units have been released at prices ranging from $1,150- $1,350 psf.

Other developers are re-launching projects. CapitaLand is believed to have re-launched Latitude in the River Valley area last week. Asking prices range from about $1,600-$1,900 psf, a significant decline from $2,600 psf fetched for the 11 units sold from September 2007 to April 2008. Far East Organization re-launched Silversea a few weeks ago, selling some units at $1,250-$1,400 psf.

Developers can be expected to expedite new launches and continue promoting already-launched projects over the next two weeks as the Hungry Ghost month - which is traditionally slow for property sales - draws near.

Sales at recently launched projects have continued apace. 'We visited show flats for a few mid and prime projects last weekend,' said DMG & Partners Securities analyst Brandon Lee in a July-6 note. 'More developers are now offering additional price discounts of 2-5 per cent during soft launches to incentivise buyers.'

Prices rose 4.8 per cent quarter-on-quarter in Q2, Mr Lee said. 'Along with a flat stock market performance, we believe this has led to a less fervent show-flat turnout. However, sales volumes remain healthy.'

In an update, Far East Organization said yesterday that it has sold 130 apartments at its 280-unit Vista Residences at Thomson.

Separately, Credo Real Estate yesterday released for sale by tender a cluster of 18 shophouses at Joo Chiat/Onan Road. The properties are owned by a family trust, which is seeking offers in the region of $25 million to $30 million. The freehold site is 35,440 sq ft and the total gross floor area of the shophouses is 62,489 sq ft.

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