Small units the big draw at new launch

Newly-launched Gem Residences accounted for most of the new private homes sold last weekend, while other previously-launched projects recorded slow but steady sales.

Developers Gamuda, Evia Real Estate and Maxdin sold 315 units or 55 per cent of their Toa Payoh project at an average price of $1,426 per sq ft (psf) over the period. About 300 of these units were sold at its VIP sales booking day on Friday.

Under current market conditions, a sales rate of over 50 per cent of a project’s units in the first month is considered very good, experts said.

When any project is launched, most of the sales are typically in the first two to three weeks, said Mr Joseph Tan, CBRE executive director of residential services.

“Post-cooling measures, the demand has been muted due to loan curbs and the Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty. But demand is also project-specific – if a project is in a good location, there will be demand.”

Smaller units were sought after at Gem Residences. About 60 per cent of the 471 units that are smaller than 1,000 sq ft each were sold, while about 20 per cent of the other 107 units larger than 1,000 sq ft were sold.

“We have kept prices fair, and we believe this has played a huge part in drawing in buyers,” Mr Chow Chee Wah, managing director of Gamuda Land, said of its maiden project in Singapore.

Gem Residences has also been notable for its various concepts, including tri-key units or trios. These are 980 sq ft and the developers are believed to have sold about five of 37 available trios at the project.

The project has a 24-hour concierge service able to fulfil “more challenging requests, including helping residents get a table at Michelin-starred restaurants overseas or that limited edition Hermes bag”, the developers said. This is provided by local company Djenee and the London-headquartered Ten Group. It is on-demand and service fees are involved.

Separately, about 10 units were sold at the public launch of Stars of Kovan over the past weekend. Developer Cheung Kong Property had sold about 60 units at an average price of $1,408 psf at its VIP pre-sale the prior weekend.

A handful of sales were recorded as well at The Trilinq, Sturdee Residences, The Poiz Residences, Principal Garden, Botanique at Bartley and Symphony Suites.

Among executive condominiums, The Terrace, Sol Acres, The Amore and Belle-waters also registered sales.

“While the market may not have the horsepower to accelerate, there is still underlying torque, or a steady state of demand,” said Mr Alan Cheong, Savills Singapore research head.

“The initial launch is where you see a spurt in sales, but this will peter out later as there are other factors impacting sales – expectations about the economy and job security, which may leave potential buyers more circumspect.”