5 most popular condos in January

Sales of new private homes shot up 62 percent month-on-month to 372 units in January 2015, revealed data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).

Only two new private condominium projects were launched in the month – Symphony Suites and Marine Blue, which contributed to the jump in developer sales.

According to an OrangeTee report, Symphony Suites in Yishun was the top performer. The 99-year leasehold project is currently the cheapest new condo on the market. It sold 54 units out of 180 units launched at a median price of $1,010 psf.

This was followed by Marine Blue along Marine Parade Road. The freehold condo saw 32 units transacted at a median price of $1,829 psf.

Despite the monthly rise in sales activity, volumes are down 35 percent from a year ago when 572 units were sold in January 2014.

“January’s tally this year marks the lowest monthly volume in January since 2009, when only 108 units were sold,” OrangeTee noted.

“One reason for the relatively poor sales stemmed from developers timing their launches. The other reason, of course, was the continued weak market sentiment; buyers were waiting on the sidelines for better price offers from developers and more attractive project launches,” said PropNex Realty’s CEO Mohamed Ismail.

Looking ahead, PropNex expects the private property market to remain soft as it foresees no changes to the government curbs on the horizon in 2015. Also, any sustained pickup would be reined in by lending rules.

The consultancy predicts new private home sales this year will reach about 9,000 units.

Meanwhile, the relatively quiet market conditions could put pressure on developers to price units more competitively, noted Ismail.

“In the first half, we will see the launch of North Park Residences and Sims Urban Oasis. At the same time, developers will also be adjusting their pricing strategy to move units in their past launches – as evidenced in three of the top five best-selling projects in January being from previously launched ones,” he shared.

The report added that there is a build-up in home buying demand due to the anticipation of falling prices since 2014. In fact, Ismail recommends that purchasers should buy now while interest rates are still low.

Here’s a look at the five top-selling private condos in January – Symphony Suites, Marine Blue, Trilive, Lakeville and City Gate.

1. Symphony Suites (OCR)

Developer:  EL Development
Tenure: 99-year leasehold
Location: Yishun Avenue 9 (D27)
Nearest MRT station: Yishun
Median price: $1,010 psf
Total no. of units: 660
Sales update: 54 of the 180 units launched were sold.

2. Marine Blue (RCR)

Developer: CapitaLand
Tenure: Freehold
Location: Marine Parade Road (D15)
Nearest MRT station: Marine Parade (future)
Median price: $1,829 psf
Total no. of units: 124
Sales update: 32 of the 50 units launched were sold.

3. Trilive (OCR)

Developer: Roxy-Pacific Holdings
Tenure: Freehold
Location: Tampines Road (D19)
Nearest MRT station: Kovan
Median price: $1,562 psf
Total no. of units: 217
Sales update: 22 units sold last month.

4. Lakeville (OCR)

Developer: MCL Land
Tenure: 99-year leasehold
Location: Jurong West St 41
Nearest MRT station: Lakeside
Median price: $1,378 psf
Total no. of units: 696
Sales update: 20 units sold last month.

5. City Gate (RCR)

Developer:  World Class Land and Fragrance Group
Tenure: 99-year leasehold
Location: Beach Road
Nearest MRT station: Nicoll Highway
Median price: $1,825 psf
Total no. of units: 311
Sales update: 19 units sold last month.

Romesh Navaratnarajah, Singapore Editor at PropertyGuru, wrote this story. To contact him about this or other stories email romesh@propertyguru.com.sg