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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

New homes released into the Singapore market this year may hit decade-high

SINGAPORE: The number of new private homes hitting the market this year would likely be the highest in a decade, thanks to a surge of launches recently, said analysts.

Experts said that about 18,300 new homes could be released this year, surpassing the 16,500 last year the highest so far in a decade and easily trumping the annual average of 9,900 between 2001 and 2010.

The numbers have been rocketing this quarter as developers rush out homes in what is usually a quiet period.

There were several major launches in October and last month, including Sim Lian's Parc Vera condo in Hougang, City Developments' The Palette in Pasir Ris, and Bedok Residences from CapitaLand.

More new projects were likely to follow this month, said industry watchers, bucking the festive season trend for a sales slowdown.

Rushing to release projects earlier allowed developers to ride on the prevailing home-buying momentum, said Chia Siew Chuin, director of research and advisory at Colliers International.

“Some developers have managed to expedite the sales preparation process and shorten the period from a typical timeline of between nine and 12 months to between six and nine months,” Chia said.

Pushing homes out for sale now also meant getting a headstart on the large batch of government land sales sites that were sold this year and which were expected to debut in the market next month, said Nicholas Mak, head of research at SLP International.

An UOL Group and SingLand joint-venture started sales of its Archipelago project last Friday with average prices hovering just above S$1,000 per sq ft (psf). About 200 homes were expected to be launched in the first phase of sales.

The UOL Group declined to reveal sales figures, saying more details would be released next week.

Far East Organisation's 231-unit The Scotts Tower in Scotts Road will be launched next week, two years after plans to reconfigure the then 68-unit luxury development into smaller units were announced.

Far East said in a statement on Monday that 34 of the 56 units released during the preview sales had been bought.

Prices started at S$1.94mil, or S$3,109 psf, for a 624-sq-ft one-bedroom SoHo apartment.

Far East's The Hillier, a 528-unit project in Hillview Avenue, near the upcoming Hillview MRT station, and the 435-apartment The Nautical in Sembawang, being built by MCC Land, would be launched within the next two weeks.

Agents said prices at The Hillier were expected to be around S$1,200 psf, with 503-sq-ft one-bedroom units to go for about S$750,000.

Indicative prices for The Nautical are expected to range between S$850 and S$1,000 psf.

By Straits Times Singapore

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