Condo launches to drive new home sales up

Last month’s tepid new private home sales tally that spelt a soft end to an otherwise bright year could soon be a distant memory.

In a lively start to the year, the new private home market is expected to welcome as many as four project launches by April.

One standout is the highly anticipated Park Place Residences at Paya Lebar Quarter (PLQ) – part of a $3.2 billion mega mixed-use project by Lendlease and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.

The other three upcoming condominium launches are Grandeur Park Residences in Tanah Merah, Clement Canopy in Clementi and Seaside Residences in Siglap.

New home sales typically get a lift when a major project debuts on the market, particularly with brisk demand for smaller and more affordable units.

Last month, developers sold just 367 new units – the lowest level in 10 months – on the back of a paltry 90 new units launched. Despite the subdued monthly sales, the number of new private homes sold last year still hit 7,972 units, up by about 7 per cent from the 7,440 shifted in 2015.

Consultancy Knight Frank expects the sales volume to be around 8,000 to 9,000 units this year amid “gradually returning interest” from locals and foreign buyers.

This upturn in market sentiment, market analysts say, bodes well for new home sales.

“With more people believing that the market is now close to the bottom of the down cycle, interest in the new launches will likely be sustained,” said Cushman & Wakefield research director Christine Li.

Property agents expect Singland Homes and UOL Group’s Clement Canopy to be the first cab off the rank, launching perhaps as soon as the middle or later part of next month.

One-bedroom units – popular with investors of late – will, however, be conspicuously absent at the 505-unit condo development. Clement Canopy will feature two- to four-bedroom apartments with sizes ranging from 635 sq ft to more than 1,500 sq ft. The Straits Times understands that the two-bedders will likely account for over a third of the total apartments.

Among the upcoming launches, the highest profile project is probably the 429-unit Park Place Residences at PLQ, Lendlease’s first residential development here.

The project, expected to hit the market in March or April, is part of a massive integrated development in Paya Lebar Central that will also feature three office towers and a retail mall with 200 stores.

Analysts say it is a project to watch, given its proximity to the MRT station and a sizeable mall.

“(Such projects) are expected to attract good demand, looking at the take-up rates of previous launches such as North Park Residences (77 per cent sold) and The Poiz Residences (80 per cent sold),” noted Mr Wong Xian Yang, head of research and consultancy at OrangeTee.

Park Place Residences at PLQ offers a mix of one- to three-bedroom apartments.

Market sources said the indicative price for a one-bedder starts from about $780,000.

Responding to an ST query, Lendlease said about a quarter of the total units, or 107 units, are one-bedders. The development will feature three pools, including a 50m lap pool.

Another project vying for buyers’ attention in March will be the 720-unit Grandeur Park Residences in Bedok South Avenue 3 by CEL Development, a unit of Chip Eng Seng Corporation.

The condo project is near Tanah Merah MRT station and will likely include a childcare centre and two shop units, which are for sale.

Indicative prices of the apartments are not out yet but property agents say they are likely to track close to prices of nearby projects such as The Glades at about $1,300 to $1,400 per sq ft (psf). Typical unit sizes at Grandeur Park Residences could range from about 420 sq ft to 1,450 sq ft across various types of one- to five-bedders.

“The residents will enjoy exclusive Grandeur Park Club membership where complimentary fitness and lifestyle classes will be given,” CEL Development told ST.

In April, Frasers Centrepoint Singapore will roll out the 843-unit Seaside Residences in Siglap, featuring four 27-storey blocks offering one- to five-bedroom apartments and penthouses.

The development, near East Coast Park and the future Siglap MRT station, could be priced between $1,550 and $1,650 psf, according to analysts.

Pent-up demand for homes has stayed resilient despite the weaker economic outlook and property cooling measures.

Market watchers expect home buyers to remain selective and price-sensitive, opting for projects that are well-located and competitively priced.

“They will transact only when they perceive a good deal… However, a rapid rise in interest rates would impact market sentiment, which may cause demand to retreat,” Mr Wong said.