Amber Park sold the highest number of units in the second quarter of 2019, with 157 units sold at an average price of $2,480 per sq ft (psf).
It is followed by Treasure at Tampines, with 150 units sold for around $1,327 psf. The Tre Ver moved 140 units for $1,625 psf, while The Florence Residences sold 135 units for $1,445 psf, reported Singapore Business Review.
Homebuyers also snapped 117 units at Parc Esta for about $1,684 psf.
These top five selling projects mostly sold two-bedroom units measuring between 500 sq ft and 800 sq ft for below $2 million. In fact, sales for such units accounted for 47.6 percent (333 units) of the total units sold across these projects in Q2.
Those measuring less than 500 sq ft were the second most sought after units, with 131 units sold, followed by the group between 1,000 sq ft and 1,500 sq ft with 117 units transacted.
Treasure at Tampines moved the most two-bedroom units for $1.15 million. The most expensive two-bedroom units, on the other hand, was sold by Amber Park at $1.77 million.
Knight Frank noted that Amber Park also sold 23 units measuring over 1,500 sq ft, adding that some of the buyers may have been previous owners who sold the development via en bloc sale to the developer.
“The price quantum of the projects sold also suggests a three-tier market, with most of the units being sold at either the high end (more than $5 million) or low end ($800,000 to $1.2 million) of the spectrum, and considerably fewer units sold in the $2 million to $3 million range.”
Developers launched 16 new private residential projects in the second quarter of 2019, up 23.1 percent from the 13 projects registered in the first quarter or one of the highest quarterly figures since the fourth quarter of 2013.
According to a report by Singapore Business Review citing Savills Singapore, of the 16 projects, eight are located within the Rest of Central Region (RCR), with four each in the Outside Central Region (OCR) and Core Central Region (CCR).
But with the lack of large-scale project, developers only released 1,417 units for sale from the 16 new projects, which is 2.9 percent lower compared to the 1,459 units released in the previous quarter.
“In addition, given economic uncertainty and ample competitors in the market, a majority of developers have carefully paced their launches so as to test not only market acceptance to the benchmark prices set by their respective projects but also potential buyers’ purchasing power,” said Savills Singapore executive director for research Alan Cheong.
Including the 1,085 units from previously launched projects, developers released a total of 2,502 uncompleted private housing units in Q2 2019. While the figure is 16.3 percent lower from the previous quarter, it is still 2.7 percent higher from Q2 2018.
The top five projects during the period under review were Parc Komo, The Woodleigh Residences, Sky Everton, Amber Park and Stirling Residences.
In contrast to the drop in the launch of uncompleted private homes island-wide, new home sales in Q2 2019 rose 27.9 percent quarter-on-quarter to 2,350 units.
Results for the secondary market has also been encouraging, with 2,416 private homes sold in Q2 2019, up 26.8 percent from the 1,905 transacted in the previous quarter.
Meanwhile, buying activity within the luxury market segment revived in the past few months, with 137 non-landed private homes sold for at least $3,000 per sq ft (psf) in Q2 2019.
Cheong noted that this marked the highest sales number since the fourth quarter of 2007.
“With cooling measures still in place, the active sales in this segment, in particular those super luxury units worth at least $10 million each, surprised the market to some extent,” he said.
The government’s policy updates on Central Provident Fund (CPF) usage and Housing and Development Board (HDB) housing loans may have given the HDB resale market a new lease of life.
This comes as demand for older HDB flats surged in the second quarter of 2019, with the number of resale transactions for flats that were 40 years old and above jumping 40 percent to 564 units in May-June 2019, from 403 units over the same period last year, reported The Business Times citing an OrangeTee & Tie report.
Resale transactions for flats between 30 and 40 years old also climbed 10.4 percent to 1,219 units.
In May, the government unveiled the updated rules on CPF usage and HDB housing loans, which provided greater flexibility to homebuyers to use their CPF to purchase property and obtain bigger housing loans provided the property’s remaining lease could cover the buyer until the age of 95.
Total HDB resale transactions rose 29.8 percent quarter-on-quarter to 6,276 units in Q2 2019 – its first increase since Q3 2018. For the first half of this year, HDB resale transactions grew 6.8 percent year-on-year to 11,111 units.
While sales activity in the second quarter is usually in the uptrend, total transactions for Q2 2019 also improved by 5.6 percent from last year.
“This indicates that apart from a seasonal effect, the recent CPF changes may have been a major catalyst that spurred buying demand last quarter,” said OrangeTee.
The policy changes were intended to improve the resale market’s liquidity while making it easier to buy and sell older flats.
“There were many concerns raised about the depreciating value of older flats in the earlier part of last year, and many sellers were struggling to find a buyer,” noted OrangeTee.
“Therefore, the year-on-year increase (in Q2 sales of older flats) is commendable and could signal that the recent policy changes may have started to take effect in helping to spur demand for older flats.”
Sales volume for younger flats below 10 years old also increased substantially during the period. OrangeTee, however, attributed it to the surge in housing supply of flats hitting their five-year minimum occupation period (MOP) and not the policy changes.
In terms of market share, flats aged 30 years old and above accounted for 44.9 percent of total resale transactions in May-June 2019, up from 40.6 percent in May-June 2018.
Flats that are 40 years old and above also saw their market share increase to 14.2 percent from 10.8 percent last year.
Meanwhile, the market share of younger flats that are 10 years old but below 30 years old dropped to 35.8 percent from last year’s 43.4 percent.
The shift in demand for older flats may be due to the policy changes, said OrangeTee.
Moreover, four-room and five-room flats above 30 years old registered a higher increase in sales volume compared to smaller and younger flats.
Resale transactions for four- and five-room flats aged 40 and above grew 53.5 percent and 54.5 percent year-on-year respectively.
Sales for younger flats between 10 and 30 years old, on the other hand, dipped across all flat sizes.
Looking ahead, OrangeTee expects the HDB resale market to continue to benefit from the new rules, with older flats witnessing a revival in demand.
But while sales volumes may continue to increase in the coming months, price recovery may not be as fast, considering the increasing supply of HDB resale flats as well as the influx of flats reaching their MOP this 2019.
The 1,468-unit Parc Clematis will preview on August 17 (Credit: Singhaiyi Group Ltd)
Named after the ‘Clematis Aristata’, a flower associated with ingenuity and artistry, Parc Clematis, Singhaiyi Group’s largest project to-date, will be open for public preview on August 17. Located on the former Park West site at Jalan Lempeng, the 1,468-unit Parc Clematis will be the first mega private residential launch in Clementi in three and a half years.
The project sits on a 99-year leasehold site spanning over 633,639 sq ft. With 1,468 units, Parc Clematis will be dedicating 80% of the site to an array of communal living facilities and landscaping. About 30% of the units, or 440 units, will be launched for sale on the August 31 launch.
“Parc Clematis is an inventive residential project built on the fundamental premise of community living, weaving together residents, homes and well-thought spaces to facilitate a unique kindred lifestyle community,” says Celine Tang, group managing director of SingHaiyi. The project marks the third of Singhaiyi’s flower series residential projects this year, following the launch of freehold residential developments – The Gazania and the Lilium in May.
Variety of units
To cater to various homebuyers’ needs, Parc Clematis will feature a total of 64 layout configurations. These vary from one-bedroom units, to two-bedroom, two-bedroom dual key, two-bedroom study, three-bedroom, three-bedroom dual key, three-bedroom premium, four-bedroom, four-bedroom premium, five-bedroom, and five-bedroom premium.
Larger units including the penthouse, terrace, corner terrace, and bungalow, are also available.
Unit sizes range from 452 sq ft, one-bedroom unit, to a 2,669 sq ft five-bedroom penthouse unit. The strata terrace units start from 2,659 sq ft and the bungalow units are 3,832 sq ft each.
Prices start from about $1,550 psf for a one-bedroom unit, $1,540 psf for a two-bedroom unit, and $1,530 psf for a three-bedroom unit
Parc Clematis has over 400,000 sq ft of recreational spaces and communal facilities.
About 30% of the units, or 440 units, will be launched for sale on the August 31 launch (Credit: Singhaiyi Group Ltd)Community spirit
To promote communal living and provide an extension of living space for residents, there are themed dining pavilions such as the Chef’s Kitchen, the Wok It Dining Pavilion and the Teppanyaki Pavilion. These are all fitted with communal culinary equipment and furnishing.
Other facilities include study/working lounges, clubhouses, multi-purpose entertainment and game rooms, thematic playgrounds including an inclusive playground, as well as a laundry pavilion with self-service large washing machines and dryers, are also available.
There are themed dining pavilions such as the Chef’s Kitchen (Credit: Singhaiyi Group Ltd)
A one-year free shuttle bus service will be provided to the nearby MRT stations, and this will continue at a subsidised rate from the second to fifth year.
Parc Clematis is within walking distance to The Clementi Mall, where the Clementi Bus Interchange, and Clementi MRT Station on the East West line is situated. West Coast Plaza, JEM, JCube, and Westgate mall, are just a 6-minute drive away.
Parc Clematis is a six-minute walk from Nan Hua Primary School, a four-minute drive to NUS High School of Mathematics and Science, and a 10-minute drive from Anglo-Chinese Junior College and the National University of Singapore. Business gateways, such as the OneNorth Research and Development (R&D) Park, and the Jurong Lake District, are nearby.
“We are confident that Parc Clematis will attract strong interest from both homeowners and investors alike, given its stellar location, extensive list of communal facilities, and engaging concept,” says Tang.
The project is being marketed by Huttons Asia, OrangeTee &Tie, PropNex and ERA Realty Network.
While data is limited, property agents said they observed a noticeable increase in apartments being purchased by rich families for their children since the cooling measures came into effect in July 2018.
Not a lot of 24-year old university students get to live in a $1.2 million penthouse, especially in Singapore, one of the world’s priciest property markets, reported Bloomberg.
Shawn, whose apartment in central Bukit Timah region was bought by his mother, is among the lucky few. But his group is growing as families find ways to work around the cooling measures by purchasing properties for their children.
The measures set the additional buyer’s stamp duty (ABSD) at 12 percent for second homes and 15 percent for third and succeeding properties.
“Anecdotally we’ve observed more young home buyers entering the market,” said Christine Sun, OrangeTee & Tie Pte head of research and consultancy.
She added that while first-time home purchasers who are unaffected by ABSD dominate, many citizens see the value of accumulating real estate as a store of wealth.
In fact, parents are now taking the lead when it comes to house hunting.
“The high ABSD rate has induced parents to act vicariously, using their children’s names to acquire another private residential property,” said Savills (Singapore) executive director of research and consultancy Alan Cheong.
“Parents are either genuinely concerned that their children won’t have the wherewithal to acquire private residential properties on their own or using the first reason as an excuse to acquire properties for themselves.”
Such tactic will only work if the child is at the legal age to own property.
If the child is below 21, Cheong said families go around the ABSD by setting up a trust account under their child’s name, allowing parents to hold the property for them.
“A trust is a structure whereby a parent can hold a property for their minor child. But the property belongs to the child, and not to the parent,” said Dentons Rodyk & Davidson LLP senior partner Edmund Leow.
This is, however, a more expensive route to take.
“The costs involved are usually quite steep, and it’s only a viable option for the wealthiest of families in Singapore,” said Nicholas Mak, APAC Realty Ltd. unit ERA Singapore head of research.
Meanwhile, Leow does not see the trust option as a case of tax avoidance.
“This is not a way to avoid stamp duty,” he said. “The liability for ABSD will be assessed looking at the profile and property count of the child beneficiary. For example, any rental income, or proceeds of a subsequent sale, will belong to the child and not the parent who bought the property.”