SINGAPORE — Days after thousands of people thronged its showrooms, developers of private condominium Treasure at Tampines have pushed forward the sales launch by a week, to this Saturday (March 23).
However, analysts said that the high turnout might not translate into high sales volume, given the present market conditions.
Close to 7,000 visitors turned up last weekend at the showroom of what is touted as Singapore’s largest condominium development.
This “encouraging response” prompted Sim Lian Group and Sim Lian Holdings to launch the sale of the property units earlier, the developers said in an email on Wednesday.
The developers did not confirm how many of the 2,203 apartments on offer will be released for the first phase of sales, but they assured buyers that all models, from one- to five-bedroom units, will be available this Saturday.
Located along Tampines Street 11, the new 650,000-sqf development will be built on the site of the former Tampines Court. The former Housing and Urban Development Company (HUDC) estate was sold in 2017 during a collective sale for about S$970 million — the second largest en-bloc sale in recent years.
Treasure at Tampines has a 99-year lease starting from November last year and is expected to receive its Temporary Occupancy Permit by 2023.
Mr Ku Swee Yong, chief executive officer of real estate agency International Property Advisor, said that there are Singaporeans aspiring to buy private properties. But there are also expectations for prices to be lower because last July’s cooling measures have greatly increased the financial requirements for interested buyers.
“There is a lot of ‘browser interest’ and (many) cheque submissions, but conversion is another story,” Mr Ku added.
Sim Lian declined to reveal the number of potential buyers who registered their intent to buy through cheque submissions last weekend. It also did not reveal its expected sales target this Saturday.
Analysts said that a more accurate picture of the market would be to look at the number of cheques submitted and converted into sales.
While the number of visitors to the condominium’s opening weekend is encouraging, Mr Desmond Sim, head of research for Singapore and South-east Asia at real estate consultancy CBRE, also said that “a high footfall is not a good measure of actual intent (to buy)” in challenging market conditions.
Last July, the authorities raised the Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) by 5 percentage points and tightened loan-to-value limits, which affect housing loans granted by financial institutions. This means that buyers have to pay more upfront.
Property prices rose by 0.4 per cent in the second half of last year, compared with a 7.3 per cent increase in the first half of last year.
The volume of property transactions, including new launches and resale, fell from 12,514 in the first half of last year to 9,625 in the second half.
Mr Ku said that the sales pitch on the ground play a role in attracting numbers. “Developers are selling positive attributes about the market and their product, and agents are doing a good job to support that message,” he added.
Analysts also said that visiting showflats is almost like a “national pastime” among Singaporeans.
Mr Nicholas Mak, executive director of real estate consultancy ZACD Group, said that Treasure at Tampines’ attractive price of S$1,280 psf on average is another factor that is drawing people to pay a visit.
He said that the price is lower than other 99-year-leasehold private condominiums in the area.
Based on data from the Singapore Real Estate Exchange (SRX), units of The Tapestry, another private condominium project in Tampines, have been sold at an average price of S$1,320 psf since the beginning of this year.
Mr Mak said that among those who are interested in Treasure at Tampines may be some segments of the population who are unaffected by the cooling measures, such as those who do not own any residential property and do not mind checking out the options.