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Oct 5, 2010
Slower sales despite crowded showflats

Experts blame the uncertainty created by cooling measures
By Esther Teo

NEWER showflats were chock-a-block across the island over the weekend but home seekers have turned wary and were in a look-but-don't-buy mood.

Sales eased with experts blaming the uncertainty created by the recent cooling measures implemented during a period of record prices.

DMG and Partners analyst Brandon Lee added that in the mass market, 'while interest has not waned substantially, take-up rate has slowed, reflecting a more cautious, wait-and-see approach'.

Weekend sales reflect the new mood. Developer Hoi Hup Sunway sold almost 90 units at the soft launch for Vacanza@East at Lengkong Tujoh last Tuesday but only about 20 sales have been registered since, even though the showflat was crowded over the weekend. The 473-unit project has racked up total sales of 110 units.

Mr Lee said take-up for the freehold project was tepid due mainly to the Government's recent measures, the project's location - it is about 1km away from Kembangan MRT station - and its premium pricing.

'Overall pricing of $1,100 psf represents a 38 per cent premium over the $800 psf fetched by nearby projects such as Grosvenor View and Starville... completed in 2006.'

City Developments' 642-unit NV Residences in Pasir Ris, on the market since Aug 30, has sold 358 out of the 400 units released, with 23 sales made last week. NV sold 250 units within the first week of its preview about a month ago.

There were about five sales at high-end Twin Peaks at Leonie Hill Road over the weekend, with more than half of the 70 units released at the 99-year leasehold condo sold since its launch two weeks ago.

Market sentiment will be tested again on Saturday when Far East Organization holds a preview for invited guests at its 999-year leasehold The Lanai in Hillview Avenue.

There seems to be more buoyancy in the HDB sector.

Esparina Residences, an executive condominium project near Buangkok MRT station, is said to have received almost 1,000 potential buyers registering interest on Friday in a ballot to book a preferred unit.

Experts say that many buyers, anticipating further price falls in the wake of more launches in the private market, are in no hurry to open their cheque books, although they will be happy doing some window shopping.

'We can expect reasonably crowded showflats, but no one's going to be in a rush to sign on the dotted line,' said OrangeTee's head of research and consultancy Tan Kok Keong.

Cushman & Wakefield's senior manager of Asia-Pac research, Mr Ong Kah Seng, said some projects have received encouraging buying interest.

'There are a number (of buyers) still interested... but are increasingly evaluating the decision to buy given the restrictions in re-selling,' he added.