Attractive pricing draws strong interest at property launches
Martin Modern by developer GuocoLand attracted strong demand, with close to 90 units sold in its first phase. Photo: GuocoLand
SINGAPORE — Homebuyers were out in force over the weekend, with three new property launches attracting strong interest.
Analysts told TODAY, however, that it is too soon to characterise the surge in demand as a sign of market exuberance, pointing to the specific location of the new project launches and reasonable pricing as main motivating factors.
At the high end, the Martin Modern condominium developed by GuocoLand attracted strong demand, with close to 90 units sold in its first phase.
The initial plan was to launch between 50 and 60 units, the developer said, but due to “overwhelming interest” more units were released for the 99-year leasehold property.
The units sold ranged from two- to four-bedrooms at the price range of S$2,009 per square foot (psf) to more than S$2,500 psf. The value of the apartments ranged from S$1.75 million to S$4.55 million, and the total value of all apartments sold at the weekend was more than S$200 million, the company added.
Mr Cheng Hsing Yao, group manager at GuocoLand Singapore, described the response as “fantastic” for a high-end project. “What is more encouraging is that more than 70 per cent of the units sold were the larger units and 80 per cent of the buyers are high-income Singaporeans who know the market very well and are savvy investors,” said Mr Cheng, adding that many of the buyers are considering the units for their own use.
Mr Ismail Gafoor, chief executive officer of PropNex Realty, one of the four appointed agents for the project including the developer, said it was reassuring that the majority of buyers were Singaporeans.
“These were buyers who recognised the attractions of Martin Modern, including its discounted entry price into the luxury segment, the rental yield and the capital appreciation,” said Mr Ismail.
He quipped that three of his property lead managers snapped up units in the project, and claimed that the firm had received over 100 signed blank cheques prior to the official launch as serious expressions of interest.
In Hougang, all 531 units of the Hundred Palms Residences executive condominium (EC) by Hoi Hup Realty were sold within seven hours of sales booking last Saturday. More than 2,700 applications were received during the preview period from July 4 to 17, making it the most oversubscribed EC.
The project comprises three to five-bedroom apartments from 883 sqft to 1,636 sqft. Units sold were at an average price of S$836 psf. Prices started from S$715,000 for a three-bedroom unit, S$1.03 million for a four-bedder and S$1.288 million for a five-bedder.
“There hasn’t been an EC launch in the locale since 2000, with the last launch being The Florida. Seventeen years is a pretty long time to wait, and there was a lot of pent-up demand in the relatively mature estate,” said
Mr Tan Tee Khoon, executive director and head of residential (project marketing), Knight Frank.
The reasonable pricing, coupled with the fact that EC launches are relatively few and far between, as well as the development’s attractive location and proximity to good schools were in its favour, said Mr Tan, adding that buyers can apply for housing grants from the Central Provident Fund.
Elsewhere, the Le Quest mixed development at Bukit Batok by Qingjian Realty also drew strong interest, with substantial crowds attending the project preview over the past weekend, according to PropNex’s Mr Ismail.
The units will not be officially launched until the first weekend of next month. He noted that expressions of interest are “very strong” because of the proximity to the upcoming high-speed railway line and the fact that Bukit Batok has not had a new project launch in the past 10 years.
A total of 516 residential units and 49 shops are up for sale, with housing units ranging from studios to four-bedroom apartments from 436 sqft to 1,319 sqft.
Noting the broad-based demand that cut across all segments — from the high-end luxury category to the mass market and EC developments — Mr Ismail said the recent surge in demand was a clear signal that the real estate market has become “more exciting” as buyers who were waiting on the sidelines have come on board.
“There is a sense that prices are starting to creep up, and they would stand to lose out if they don’t make a quick, early decision.”