10 July 2018 :

What cooling measures? Weekend buyers still flocking to showflats

Despite surprise cooling measures that took effect on Friday, sales at three mass-market properties here continued to garner what experts considered a fair amount of interest over the weekend.

The number of units moved at Park Colonial, Riverfront Residences and Stirling Residences was significantly lower than the more than 1,000 units sold on Thursday, when the projects were launched in knee-jerk reaction to the announced changes to the additional buyer’s stamp duty (ABSD) and loan-to-value (LTV) limits.

But some observers reported weekend crowds at the showflats. Enquiries on projects were still streaming in and agents were bringing invites to the showflats.

Park Colonial, jointly developed by Chip Eng Seng’s property arm CEL Development, Heeton Holdings and KSH Holdings, moved 50 units over the weekend. It has so far sold about 350 units at an average pricing of S$1,700 psf, CEL Development said in response to a media query.

Logan Property and Nanshan Group’s Stirling Residences also sold around 50 units between last Friday and Monday, at around S$1,800 psf. It is 65 per cent sold for its first phase of 380 units. It had moved close to 200 units on Thursday.

“We are overall pleasantly surprised by the response,” Logan Property (Singapore)’s sales and marketing manager Stacy Elvin told The Business Times. “We’re confident of our product, given the scarcity of new high-rise projects in District 3.”

The one-bedders and two-bedders were the most popular, she said.

After moving some 510 units at Riverfront Residences on Thursday night, Oxley Holdings has since sold another 65, according to a corporate presentation it posted on Singapore Exchange on Monday.

Analysts said the performance of these mass market projects were reasonable and reflected follow-through momentum after the large amount of buying activity on Thursday.

To buyers, prices at the three properties may still be affordable. “You can’t really force market psychology down when it is still early days in the market recovery,” a consultant said.

A factor could be that the majority of buyers are first-timers who are less affected by the cooling measures, save for the slight reduction in borrowing.

Eugene Lim, key executive officer at ERA Realty, said the cooling measures were adjustments “that could slow the market down but it is not a total standstill”.

Adapted from: The Business Times, 10 July 2018