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Demand for new launches still going strong

Chalking up the majority of the sales from Jan 22 to Feb 4 are three projects that were launched last year. Taking the crown is MCL Land’s 1,399-unit Parc Esta, which dominated with 92 transactions, according to caveats lodged with URA Realis. Affinity at Serangoon, the 1,052-unit residential project developed by a consortium led by Singapore-listed Oxley Holdings, was next with 73 units sold, followed by City Developments Ltd’s (CDL) 716-unit Whistler Grand which closed 48 transactions, according to caveats lodged.

While Affinity at Serangoon was launched in June, Parc Esta and Whistler Grand were both launched in November. Parc Esta is located within the city fringe or Rest of Central Region (RCR), and is just a short walk from Eunos MRT Station.

Meanwhile, Affinity at Serangoon and Whistler Grand are suburban or Outside Central Region (OCR) projects. PropNex’s CEO Ismail Gafoor attributes the number of transactions at Parc Esta and Whistler Grand to the “continued momentum in demand that carried through after the initial launches” towards the end of last year.

Also, Affinity at Serangoon benefitted from the Jan 25 announcement of the 12 new stations in the first phase of the upcoming Cross Island Line. “Quite a fair bit of units at Affinity at Serangoon were sold after the announcement,” says Lee Sze Teck, Huttons Asia’s head of research. This is because the new Serangoon North MRT Station on the Cross Island Line is located just 350m from Affinity at Serangoon.

PropNex’s Gafoor sees the strong sales as a confidence boost to projects that will benefit from the new line. “This can be a defining moment for buyers who were undecided before,” he says. “It would prompt them to make a decision to purchase and benefit from the future convenience of the MRT station.” Hence, he foresees continued steady sales for Affinity at Serangoon.

Of the three projects, none of the developers have reduced their prices in the form of “star buys” or discounts, notes Gafoor. Momentum, however, has continued to be positive, he adds.

Another reason for the continued demand for these projects could be the dearth of new launches in the city fringe or suburban areas at the start of 2019. New launches in January were exclusively in the prime districts of 9, 10 and 11. The most notable was Allgreen Properties’ 476-unit Fourth Avenue Residences in District 10, which was previewed on the weekend of Jan 5 to 6 and launched a fortnight later on the weekend of Jan 19 to 20.

Fourth Avenue Residences’ preview and launch coincided with those of Roxy-Pacific Holdings’ two projects: the 140-unit, freehold RV Altitude on River Valley Road in District 9, and the 71-unit Fyve Derbyshire in District 11.

This weekend of Feb 16 to 17 will see the preview of two projects: Logan Property’s 1,410- unit Florence Residences at Hougang Avenue 2, and the freehold Nyon – a 92-unit boutique development at Amber Road in District 15.

With about 60 new projects in the pipeline for launch this year, homebuyers will be spoilt for choice, says Huttons’ Lee. “They will take their time to look around and compare prices,” he adds.

Even though it’s currently a “buyers’ market”, PropNex’s Gafoor expects the sales momentum of existing projects that are “sensitively priced” to be sustained. “We see keen interest from serious HDB upgraders and investors,” he observes.

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