Oldies can be goodies too, as homebuyers showed by snapping up units at projects launched before last year.

A check with developers found that those which enjoyed buoyant sales last year – Hong Leong Group, MCL Land, Qingjian and MCC Land, for example – got a sizeable boost from selling apartments released in 2015 and earlier.

Hong Leong sold 1,140 units last year for a total value of about $1.45 billion. Earlier projects, such as Commonwealth Towers in Commonwealth Avenue and Coco Palms in Pasir Ris, which were both launched in 2014, accounted for 715 of the units sold.

Chinese developer Qingjian sold 768 units last year, with 466 coming from two projects rolled out in 2014 – Bellewoods in Woodlands and Bellewaters in Sengkang.

A Qingjian spokesman told The Straits Times that the average price per square foot of the units sold at Bellewaters last year was $786, which is within the $750 to $820 psf range announced at the launch.

Analysts said there were several reasons for the popularity of existing projects.

There was a “spillover” effect from successful new launches in the area. A case in point is The Santorini. With the successful launch in September of The Alps Residences in Tampines, some of the sales spilled over to the nearby Santorini.

The 597-unit Santorini was launched in March 2014.

Mr Tan Zhiyong, managing director of MCC Land, said it sold 106 Santorini units last year, versus 32 in 2015. In all, MCC Land sold 745 units last year – 360 at The Alps Residences, 277 at The Poiz Residences and the rest at Santorini and TRE Residences.

Demand for private homes last year was driven by the total quantum in terms of price, as well as upcoming areas with potential like Bidadari and Jurong Regional Centre.

MCL Land benefited from the Government’s plan to develop the Jurong Lake District as a second central business district.

It sold 1,010 units, up from 594 in 2015.

The boost was largely due to its Lake Grande project in Jurong West, where 553 of the 710 units have found buyers.

Sim Lian, another top-selling developer last year,said it had sold 1,003 units at its two executive condominium projects – Wandervale in Choa Chu Kang and Treasure Crest in Anchorvale Crescent.

A Hong Leong spokesman said this year’s outlook is expected to be challenging owing to the uncertain interest rate environment, slowing economy and property cooling measures.

However, she added that the moderation of residential-home supply through the Government Land Sales programme will hopefully help developers sell more unsold units.

Adapted from: The Straits Times, 21 January 2017

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