Life has returned over the weekend following the reopening of project sales galleries on Friday, June 19. Sales achieved at project galleries across the board totaled 38 units on Friday, 45 units on Saturday and 61 on Sunday, bringing the total to 144.
“There were already signs that demand has returned,” says Ismail Gafoor, CEO of PropNex. “Sales for the first week of June [1st to 7th] was 163, and 183 in the second week of June [8th to 14th] before sales galleries reopened. Sales last week, including the past weekend [June 15th to 21st] totaled 242 units,” he adds.
Some of the appointments for viewing over the weekend, however, were made by those who had purchased their units based on virtual viewing during circuit breaker. Now that the sales galleries have reopened, they want to view the actual show units, says Gafoor.
“All our appointment slots for viewings were taken up,” says Doris Ong, COO of ERA Realty. “We are not surprised by the turnout because, during the circuit breaker, our agents have been engaging and reaching out to their clients via virtual tours. We know there’s a pool of buyers waiting to view the sales galleries before they decide on their purchase. And some of them have bought over the weekend.”
At the 774-unit One Pearl Bank (redevelopment of the former Pearl Bank Apartments) by CapitaLand, there were more than 30 appointments and over 100 visitors over the weekend. “It was a pretty healthy turnout with some encouraging deals sealed too,” says a CapitaLand spokesperson.
The 309-unit Margaret Ville was fully sold during the circuit breaker. The last seven units were done based on virtual viewings only as sales galleries were closed for over 2 ½ months from April 7 until June 18. Of the units sold, only two were 463 sq ft, one-bedders that fetched $1 million apiece. The rest of the units were 1,184 sq ft, four-bedroom apartments that fetched $2 million each. The average price achieved for the units sold was $1,835 psf.
Nearby is Stirling Residences, a 1,259-unit private condominium development on Stirling Road by a joint venture between Nanshan Group and Logan Property. Over the three days from June 19 to June 21, about 400 people showed up at the sales gallery and more than 10 units were sold.
Meanwhile, at Logan Property’s The Florence Residences at Hougang Avenue 2, close to 300 people visited the sales gallery over the three days. Over 20 units were sold at 5.30 pm on Sunday. “As our sales galleries are big and spread out, we are able to accommodate 300 to 400 visitors across the three days, even while observing safe management measures,” says CB Chng, executive director of Logan Property Singapore.
For the convenience of visitors, the developer even procured a “100% contactless” kiosk system that provides temperature scanning, registration for Safe Entry and hand sanitisers at the point of arrival to the sales gallery of The Florence Residences.
Total sales at Stirling Residences have crossed 1,000 units with more than 80% of the project taken up since the project was launched in July 2018. Meanwhile, the 1,410-unit The Florence Residences is about 51% sold since its launch last year.
“Buyers like the location of the project, the facilities and the living environment we are providing at The Florence Residences,” reckons Chng. “More importantly, they perceive the project as offering value for money, and the prospect of capital gain as well as rental income.”
Oxley Holdings continued to see steady sales at three of its most significant projects, namely the 1,052-unit Affinity at Serangoon, the 548-unit Kent Ridge Hill Residences and 1,472-unit Riverfront Residences throughout the circuit breaker. Over the past three days, about 20 units were sold across these three projects, says Eugene Lim, director of marketing and sales at Oxley Holdings.
Kent Ridge Hill Residences contributed to 11 of the units sold over the three days, including a five-bedroom penthouse that fetched $3 million. This brings the June tally for the project to 30 units, says Lim. Three units were sold at Riverfront Residences, bringing the project closer to the 90% sales threshold. Half a dozen units were snapped up at Affinity at Serangoon, bringing its sales for the month to 20.
Sim Liam Group’s 2,203-unit Treasure at Tampines had 125 viewing appointments and 14 sales over the three-day period. This brings the take-up rate in the project to 55%.
The sales gallery for SingHaiyi Group’s 1,468-unit Parc Clematis only reopened on Saturday, June 20. During the weekend, the developer managed to sell seven units, mostly two- and three-bedroom apartments. The sales gallery drew 550 visitors, even with safe management measures in place, including viewings by appointment only. The latest sales bring total sales in June to 59 to date.
“We are encouraged by the response from potential buyers who visited the Parc Clematis sales gallery over the last two days,” says Gregory Sim, deputy CEO of SingHaiyi Group. “We hope that by being able to visit the sales gallery, see the layout of our units and the quality of the fittings, it will help potential buyers make up their minds.”
Projects such as Parc Clematis, Treasure at Tampines and The Florence Residences had already chalked up strong sales during the circuit breaker, observes PropNex’s Gafoor. “Demand came mainly from HDB upgraders because of the absolute pricing of the units and their location in the OCR [Outside Central Region].”
Another project that achieved strong sales during the circuit breaker was Qingjian Realty’s 1,206-unit JadeScape. It sold 58 units from April 7 to June 1, making it the best-selling private residential development in the Rest of Central Region (RCR) during the circuit breaker, says Yen Chong, deputy general manager of Qingjian Realty (South Pacific) Group. Since its sales gallery reopened on June 19, it secured close to 130 viewing appointments and moved 11 units, she adds.
Other RCR projects like the 327-unit Daintree Residence by SP Setia had benefited from the reopening too. A total of 14 units at Daintree Residence were sold over the weekend. “These buyers are attracted to Daintree Residence’s proximity to Beauty World MRT station and the many choice schools in the Bukit Timah area,” says Neo Keng Hoe, general manager of SP Setia International.
In the Core Central Region (CCR), Chip Eng Seng Corp’s property development arm, CEL Development, sold five units at Kopar at Newton. Four of the five units sold were a mix of two- and three-bedroom apartments priced from $1.55 to $2.45 million. The fifth unit was a three-bedroom junior penthouse that went for $3.7 million, says Michael Ng, executive director of CEL Development.
A 378-unit luxury development located in prime District 9 near Newton Circus and the Newton MRT station, Kopar at Newton was launched on the first weekend of April, just before the circuit breaker, and to date, about 112 units have been sold.
Giant developer Far East Organization reopened seven properties for viewing by appointment, and that brought in more than 25 groups of potential homebuyers to the sales galleries. Three of the seven projects are recent launches, namely mixed-use development One Holland Village at Holland Village; boutique mixed-use project Parksuites at Holland Grove Road; and Cashew Green, a terraced housing project at Cashew Road. The other four are completed developments, namely Bijou at Pasir Panjang, Alana at Sunrise Terrace, River Place on Havelock Road and luxury condominium, Skyline @ Orchard Boulevard on Angullia Park.
“Understandably, some of our potential homebuyers are still cautious,” says Cheryl Huan, COO of sales and leasing group at Far East Organization. “As such, we have been scheduling our viewings gradually while we continue to host virtual appointments. We are heartened by the sales of a 3,068 sqft triplex unit at Parksuites viewed virtually.”
GuocoLand reopened its show gallery at Kallang Airport Way for two of its projects, the 219-units Midtown Bay and 200-unit Meyer Mansion on Saturday, June 20. Viewings were limited to just two groups per hour, says Dora Chng, general manager (residential) at GuocoLand. All the viewing appointment slots on Saturday and almost all on Sunday were taken up, she adds.
Virtual viewing will continue at GuocoLand’s 450-unit Martin Modern at Martin Place, says Chng. This is because the project is currently at the final stages of construction and slated for completion by early next year. There are fewer than 50 units available for sale in the project.
Will there be a rebound in sales in the second half of 2020? In 1Q2020, new home sales totaled 2,149 units, which translates to over 700 units per month, says PropNex's Gafoor. With the exception of April and May, when monthly new home sales amounted to 277 units and 484 units respectively, Gafoor reckons sales could rally in the second half of the year. He is forecasting that the year could end with 7,500 to 8,000 new homes sold.