Sale of Condos started to slow down...

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Sale of Condos started to slow down...

Postby Dennis Ng » Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:38 am

14 Jun 2011 Home sales slowed last week: agents, developers

Buyers seen holding back while sellers are seen sticking to their guns on price

By KALPANA RASHIWALA

DEVELOPERS and property agents reported slower home sales last week following National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan's cautionary remarks on his blog.

Global Property Strategic Alliance CEO Jeffrey Hong, whose company is marketing several condo projects for developers, said: 'Primary market sales (units sold by developers) softened a little bit last week due to the June school holiday season and official comments on the property market made last week, which may have caused some potential buyers to temporarily put their purchases on hold as they wait for clearer market direction.

'But sellers - whether in the primary or secondary market - are remaining firm on pricing.'

Some property consultants estimate that developers' private home sales in May - the official number from Urban Redevelopment Authority will be released tomorrow - may come in close to the level in April, when they sold 1,788 private homes excluding executive condos.

'Sales will probably be slower in June but are likely to start picking up again in July and August as many of the house hunters now are end-users looking for a home for their own occupation; so they can't hold off making a purchase for too long,' said Mr Hong.

Terrasse in Hougang, which has been on the market since May 21, is said to have seen sales in the single-digit last week, compared with about 20 units in each of the preceding two weeks.

The five-storey, 99-year leasehold project is priced at about $950 psf on average, with about 210 of the total 414 units now taken up, BT understands.

A developer told BT: 'Generally, the market seems to be slower, especially last weekend. My guess is the minister's comments do not help. He has been cautioning people; and people are speculating there will be more (cooling) measures coming up. The broad supply figure he mentioned, that there will be some 53,000 private homes looking for buyers in the next few years, also seems quite scary.'

Among other things, Mr Khaw said on his blog last Thursday that 'sharp property price increases cannot go on forever' and that 'rapid price increase brings with it enormous risks' and 'I think it is my duty to sound an alert . . . that things can go very wrong suddenly'.


Meanwhile, developers continue to roll out new projects. Far East Organization is said to have sold over 80 units at its Woodhaven condo project in Woodlands. The average price is said to be over $900 psf.

The 99-year leasehold project has three components - regular apartments; Soho-style apartments with greater floor-to-ceiling height; and townhouses.

Over in the Newton area, BT understands that City Developments Ltd (CDL) has sold 17 out of 25 units released at its 64-unit Buckley Classique between Friday and Sunday. The early-bird average price for the private preview, which began on Friday, was $1,950 psf.

Lump-sum unit prices are said to range from $2.27 million for a 1,098 sq ft, two-bedroom apartment on the second storey to $7.1 million for a 4,359 sq ft penthouse with five bedrooms and a family area.

The freehold development comprises two blocks (five and six storeys) on the site of the former Buckley Mansion at No 11 Buckley Road and will incorporate a conservation bungalow next door (No 9 Buckley Road) for use as a clubhouse for the project.

A property agent described the take-up for Buckley Classique as being 'in-line with current market conditions, given that things are less buoyant now'.

Analysts noted that in late October last year, CDL subsidiary Millennium & Copthorne Hotels sold 112 units at its 150-unit freehold Glyndebourne condo in Dunearn Road over a three-day period.

However, the five-storey freehold project - which was released at an average price of about $2,100 psf - includes one-bedroom- plus-study units (small units typically sell faster). Buckley Classique does not have any one-bedders.

Another project that is said to be garnering strong interest is Far East's and Frasers Centrepoint's Seastrand condo in Pasir Ris.

The average price is said to be about $850 psf and sales could begin as early as later this week if all the requisite approvals are secured in time. The 473-unit project will have one to four-bedroom units.
Last edited by Dennis Ng on Wed Jun 15, 2011 9:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby equilat » Tue Jun 14, 2011 1:45 pm

Hey, looks like prices still heading higher with the demand still sustaining. Strange that why is people holding back their purchases when they are buying for their own stay. From the report, the condo is still selling well right?
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Postby DYONG28 » Tue Jun 14, 2011 2:18 pm

Hi equilat,

I on the other hand cannot understand why people are still buying since, to me, the price is ridiculously high now. Even if for my own stay, I'm still sitting on the sideline to wait for prices to come down before I enter the market.

Buying property (be it for own stay or investing) is a mid to long term thing and it is not as liquid as stocks. We'll have to try to look further into the future to see what is most probably going to happen. If we recognise that the price is too high now, and future prices upside is limited, why go in now to expose ourselves to future risk?

Remember:
1. Interest rate is very low now and it will definately rise, esp to curb the worldwide inflation.
2. Global economy outlook is dim, esp. in US & EU, where debt is a big big issue, that has a high chance of bursting into a 2nd recession, which will definately affect us.
3. According to government data, there is oversupply of private homes, esp. when moving into yr 2013 and beyond.
4. Although demand is still strong for now, to me, it is the sentiment of the mass market, who are generally not very good investors, trying to chase the market, not wanting to miss the boat and ignoring the potential risks. It's like a repeat of the 1996~1997 market frenzy. Such demand to me is not fundamentally strong and can turn overnight if recession strikes.
5. I've learn my lesson from friends who had bought properties at the peak of 1996~1997, which prices had not recuperate even up till today. Luckily he has a deep pockets to aviod foreclosure and tahan up to now, but how many of us have such deep pockets? Even if we have do we want to waste our $, which can be put to better use to grow our wealth, like that?
6. Finally, when the Singapore government try to warn your something, better listen. When they say things will go right, they may not be always correct, but when they say things might go wrong (very wrong in this case), they are most likely to be right.

Just to share my thoughts...
Cheers!!!
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Postby cellobear » Tue Jun 14, 2011 2:51 pm

For locals, I believe that the main reasons people still buy is because:

- The interest rate is low.
- The job market is doing well so people are secure. This is very important for people even though we know that job security is a myth in bad times
- They are afraid that property will still go up further.
- They want to rent to provide for secondary income as they reckon that even if they do not sell, they can rent.
- After being 'encouraged' by the many property seminars out there? :)

I am just voicing out my own thoughts IF I were to think of buying (which I am not).

The beauty of humans is that we can convince ourselves either way ALL the time.

hg.
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Postby equilat » Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:06 pm

Hi Dyong,
I understand your sentiments which many of the potential buyers out there feel the same as well. But the fact is that people are still buying and prices is still going up. This says a lot of what is happening on the ground. I always choose to see what the eye can see instead of listening to analyst and gurus etc. When the big investor are still buying properties, this shows that there is still substantial upside be it 20, 50 or even 100% more in the next few years to come Why not buy now?
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Postby DYONG28 » Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:35 pm

Hi equilat,

In fact, I believe big investors are not buying as much. See article below, which points out that big investors of luxury home is slowing down. Most people who are still buying, are typically the small investors. It is evident as the bigger sales volume are still the mass market private homes, not the luxury ones, which only the real big investors can afford...

Luxury home prices ease in Q1
Jun 7, 2011
Prices of luxury residential properties in Singapore have moderated to 0.9 percent quarter-on-quarter in the first quarter, due to the property cooling measures, according to the CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) Asian Luxury Residential Capital Value Index.

The cooling measures, which took effect in Q1, included the higher seller’s stamp duty (SSD) and a decrease of credit availability to those who already have outstanding home loans.

Rents remained unmoved but seemed to reveal signs of softening towards the end of the quarter, together with the slowdown of expatriate leasing demand.

The data also revealed that the index rose 5.5 percent quarter-on-quarter in the first quarter, up from the 0.9 percent recorded in the last quarter.
However, most markets, including Shanghai, Beijing and key Southeast Asian cities, registered a lower price growth rate as sales slowed, following the announcement of measures directed at cooling the housing markets.

Guangzhou and Hong Kong were the only markets to experience accelerated quarter-on-quarter growth of luxury residential prices.
“Home buying demand is expected to remain healthy as the regional economy continues to expand. The cooling measures introduced in a number of major markets will moderate price growth of luxury residential property over the course of the year,” said Anton Eilers, Executive Director at CBRE Residential for Asia.

“Prices and rental growth in most South East Asian cities are expected to remain stable.”

Overall prime rents in Asia continued to trend upwards in Q1 2011 and the CBRE Asian Luxury Residential Rental Index grew by 2.3 percent quarter-on-quarter.

“It will be more realistic to expect the luxury market to cruise along like it did in 2010. Although more foreign and permanent resident buyers have bought new properties in the prime residential districts in 2009-2010, the numbers were less than in 2006-2007, during the early stages of the development of Marina Bay as a global financial centre and the construction of the two integrated resorts,” said Joseph Tan, Executive Director for Residential.

“In the absence of similar government initiatives in 2011, we can expect minimal growth in both the inflow of foreign investors and home prices. As such, the volume of luxury transactions in 2011 is likely to be around 150-200 units with prices averaging at S$3,000 psf and S$3,500 psf for resale and new projects respectively (equating to a 5.0 percent–10.0 percent increase).”
Cheers!!!
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Postby Dennis Ng » Tue Jun 14, 2011 4:03 pm

cellobear wrote:For locals, I believe that the main reasons people still buy is because:

- The interest rate is low.
- The job market is doing well so people are secure. This is very important for people even though we know that job security is a myth in bad times
- They are afraid that property will still go up further.
- They want to rent to provide for secondary income as they reckon that even if they do not sell, they can rent.
- After being 'encouraged' by the many property seminars out there? :)

I am just voicing out my own thoughts IF I were to think of buying (which I am not).

The beauty of humans is that we can convince ourselves either way ALL the time.

hg.


Hi all,
if one analyse with a Rational and Logical Mind:

1. Interest rates now at historical low, means it can only go up, not down. Interest rates on Home Loans can shoot up to 3% to 4% based on previous experience.

2. next 2 years, more than 30,000 condo units completed, with huge supply coming, guess Rental rates will go up or down?

3. If rental rates go down and interest rates go up, guess will this make Property Investment more attractive or less attractive? Rental yield now at current rental rates is 3% to 4%...so if rental rates drop, what would the revised rental yield be?

4. HDB built 8,000 units in year 2008. But for year 2011 and year 2012, going to build 26,000 units in each year, or 52,000 units in 2 years.

5. With Supply of both Condos and HDB flats expected to SURGE in next 2 years, if coupled with a slowdown in economy due to the next Global Financial Crisis, guess what will happen to Demand for properties?

6. Yesterday, on News Radio I shared that last month report show Job advertisements at Record High in 5 years, after reaching Mountain top, the way is Up or Down? Remember I share often in Seminars that Good News may be Bad News instead?

If one use a logical and rational mind to analyse ALL above factors I mentioned, will you think using Upside/Downside Analysis, which is More, Upside more or Downside more?

And what will be your Decision as to whether to invest into Condos now?

I seem to be able to see the future, not becos I know how to predict, but becos I train myself to use a Logical and Rational Mind to analyse information and draw my own conclusions.

I'm teaching all of you the Thinking Process I go through, this is Teaching. I think anyone who think through this proper Thinking Process will more or less come to the same conclusion, unless the person has a very Biased View on markets.

And if you think that instead of investing into Condos, then maybe you switch to invest into Commercial Properties (as some Trainers out there are now advocating), then you might be wrong again. I chatted with 2 multi-millionaires who specialise in investing into Commercial Properties and they shared with me their view is that now the Upside/Downside is NOT in investor's favour, and they themselves are NOT considering to buy more Commercial properties, but may sell if the price is Attractive enough for them.
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Postby equilat » Tue Jun 14, 2011 6:23 pm

I guess a lot of the condo buyers are buying to stay. If they are, then now is the best time to buy isn't it to lock in the low interest rates (some banks offer fixed rates for 5 years). Furthermore, you can now choose the best units without much competition as a lot of potential buyers held back becos of the cooling measures. Next, you have the pentup demand coming in from enbloc sellers and those ugraders. Caveat emptor but there is a potential upside Compare our property prices to London and Kong Kong, we are still a way way behind isn't it.
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Postby Dennis Ng » Tue Jun 14, 2011 10:59 pm

equilat wrote:I guess a lot of the condo buyers are buying to stay. If they are, then now is the best time to buy isn't it to lock in the low interest rates (some banks offer fixed rates for 5 years). Furthermore, you can now choose the best units without much competition as a lot of potential buyers held back becos of the cooling measures. Next, you have the pentup demand coming in from enbloc sellers and those ugraders. Caveat emptor but there is a potential upside Compare our property prices to London and Kong Kong, we are still a way way behind isn't it.


since you have your own view and more or less decided, just go ahead to buy lor.
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Postby moneyisfreedom » Tue Jun 14, 2011 11:14 pm

Dennis Ng wrote:
equilat wrote:I guess a lot of the condo buyers are buying to stay. If they are, then now is the best time to buy isn't it to lock in the low interest rates (some banks offer fixed rates for 5 years). Furthermore, you can now choose the best units without much competition as a lot of potential buyers held back becos of the cooling measures. Next, you have the pentup demand coming in from enbloc sellers and those ugraders. Caveat emptor but there is a potential upside Compare our property prices to London and Kong Kong, we are still a way way behind isn't it.


since you have your own view and more or less decided, just go ahead to buy lor.


I agree with your analysis. I have sold my property and will NOT buy a condo anytime soon. Even the Government is sounding the alarm...AND they are making it VERY clear. Government measures are a given...but better to slow the craze down before the external world causes a complete and sudden crash, and for even more people to suffer.

My only question is whether to go fully into cash now (with the exception of commodities). I am looking at liquidating stocks and unit trusts....have a bad feeling looking at both the numbers and the macro-economic factors. China and Greece (not to mention the US, Japan and Middle East) are all turning very bad. Any `rally' in the US Dow seems like a dead cat bounce...generally not sustainable.

My only question is....why do you advocate waiting for the STI to go below 3000 for 10 days before liquidating totally ? In 10 days, won't the value be VERY significantly wiped out ? Is this 10 day guide based on historical precedence ?
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Postby Dennis Ng » Tue Jun 14, 2011 11:30 pm

moneyisfreedom wrote:
I agree with your analysis. I have sold my property and will NOT buy a condo anytime soon. Even the Government is sounding the alarm...AND they are making it VERY clear. Government measures are a given...but better to slow the craze down before the external world causes a complete and sudden crash, and for even more people to suffer.

My only question is whether to go fully into cash now (with the exception of commodities). I am looking at liquidating stocks and unit trusts....have a bad feeling looking at both the numbers and the macro-economic factors. China and Greece (not to mention the US, Japan and Middle East) are all turning very bad. Any `rally' in the US Dow seems like a dead cat bounce...generally not sustainable.

My only question is....why do you advocate waiting for the STI to go below 3000 for 10 days before liquidating totally ? In 10 days, won't the value be VERY significantly wiped out ? Is this 10 day guide based on historical precedence ?


Hi moneyisfreedom,

you don't just sell immediately but wait for at least 10 CONSECUTIVE Trading Days that STI goes below 3,000 level is becos there are "false alarms" from time to time. Last year May 2010, STI went below 200 day Moving Average for close to 1 month before moving higher from Jul to Oct 2010. This is possible to happen this time round AGAIN.

No even if you sell after 10 days, you're selling stocks at around 3,000 level, but if the overall Market Trend turns from uptrend to downtrend, STI can go all the way down to 1,600 (50% down from 3,200 level), so you would have still avoided a Large Part of the Stock Market Crash.

I can see many seminar graduates are like "Chicken Little" who start to worry and panic when market down 10%..come on, market down 10% is called a Correction...please go and refer to any Market Chart from year 2007 to Mar 2009 to understand what is a Stock Market Crash.

P.S. in fact, STI only went down 4.4% from 3,200 to 3,059.

If people cannot even tolerate 10% to 20% movement in stock prices, my advice to those people is then they should just stick to Bank Fixed Deposits that pay 1% steadily and steadily lose 3.5% per year if inflation rate is 4.5% per year.

On the other hand, I reached S$1 million by end of year 2008 and reached my 2nd Million dollars by 1 Nov 2010 (in 1 years 10 months). So please don't learn from me, learn from your old self or your neighbours and colleagues, go back to your old routine of just putting money in Fixed Deposits.

Volatility is Risk. Yes, this is what textbook teach, follow textbooks and see whether you'll be Richer or Poorer over time.

Volatility to me is Money Making Opportunity. Many people still cannot even grasp what I shared in "Path to Financial Freedom Workshop" nor in my other seminars, no wonder my sifu warned me I'm wasting my time trying to teach and educate. He said I should just keep all these knowledge to myself since many are not convinced or willing to be open minded enough to "empty their cups" to learn.
Cheers!

Dennis Ng - When You Master Your Finances, You Master Your Destiny

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Postby Dennis Ng » Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:00 am

Sure, go ahead to buy property. "Property prices can only go up one." This is what property agents said, go listen to them.

Please ignore all the news about potential supply of Private Condos in next few years, "the supply should be fully absorbed by demand, there'll be NO Financial Crisis, Singapore economy only grow and grow and does NOT slow down one...go ahead to have such views and opinion, things will be ok one," said the Property agent.

"don't listen to this Dennis Ng, he's just a founder of HousingLoanSG.com, what does he know?"

Please bear in mind that everyone has an Opinion, but not everybody's opinion is worth listening or considering.

June 9, 2011, 4.11 pm (Singapore time)
Update: MND says more land supply to be released under 2H2011 GLS

By JASMINE NG

The Ministry of National Development (MND) announced on Thursday that it will inject 17 private residential sites, which can yield about 8,100 residential units, into the Confirmed List of the second half 2011 (2H2011) Government Land Sales (GLS) Programme.

The 17 Confirmed List sites comprise 16 residential sites (including 2 Executive Condominium (EC) sites) and 1 commercial and residential site.

In addition, the Reserve List in 2H2011 will have 13 sites which can yield about 6,100 residential units.

Both the 2H2011 Confirmed List and Reserve List supplies are comparable to the supply made available in the first half of the year.

The 2H2011 GLS Programme will therefore have a total of 30 sites for residential development, including 4 EC sites and 1 commercial & residential sites, which can generate about 14,200 private residential units.

The MND revealed that 34,270 private residential units out of 68,890 are unsold as at the first quarter of 2011.

This figure may rise to about 53,000 units if the potential supply from recently sold GLS sites and sites from the Confirmed List of the 2H2011 GLS Programme is considered. There is also an additional 4,220 EC units in the pipeline.


The Confirmed List will also see the inclusion of new commercial sites - Sims Avenue / Tanjong Katong Road and Sengkang West Avenue / Fernvale Road - for sale.

A 'white' site at Marina View, which gives developers more flexibility in development options, will be made available on the Reserve List.

'This will provide the opportunity for the market to initiate more office space, in particular prime office space in the CBD, for development, if needed,' MND said.

It added that more supply of commercial space can be expected from the development of six plots of land at Marina Bay and Ophir Road / Rochor Road.

These land parcels can potentially yield a combined GFA of about 500,000 sqm.

A new hotel site at Rangoon Road / Farrer Park Station Road and a 'white' site with hotel component at Thomson Road / Irrawaddy Road will be added to the Reserve List.

This brings the total number of Confirmed List and Reserve List sites to 19 and 24 under the programme respectively.

Apart from the GLS Programme, the government plans to initiate about 35,000 sqm GFA of commercial space outside the programme, which includes the leasing of vacant state properties for commercial uses and localised retail facilities at Sentosa, parks, MRT stations and community centres.
Cheers!

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Postby equilat » Wed Jun 15, 2011 1:37 am

Dennis Ng wrote:[since you have your own view and more or less decided, just go ahead to buy lor.


Pls don't get me wrong. I'm just offering an alternate view as to why people are still buying because they have told me the exact reasons that I have stated above and I do understand why they are buying because if they are buying to stay, there is no issue since they need a roof above their head. What if there is no crash and the government carry on to recruit new FT who are super rich and these people keep on buying and buying. Our property prices will be at least double in 10 years time. So I just want to offer the view that what if there is no crash, do you still want to wait forever?
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Postby Dennis Ng » Wed Jun 15, 2011 8:31 am

equilat wrote:
Dennis Ng wrote:[since you have your own view and more or less decided, just go ahead to buy lor.


Pls don't get me wrong. I'm just offering an alternate view as to why people are still buying because they have told me the exact reasons that I have stated above and I do understand why they are buying because if they are buying to stay, there is no issue since they need a roof above their head. What if there is no crash and the government carry on to recruit new FT who are super rich and these people keep on buying and buying. Our property prices will be at least double in 10 years time. So I just want to offer the view that what if there is no crash, do you still want to wait forever?


Sure, there'll be NO fall in property prices. Property prices can only go up. haha.

If a person buys a house as home, KEY thing to consider is affordability. I think my seminars already teach when you buy a Home, how to make sure you don't over-borrow; to have enough Cash or CPF to pay for 6 months to 1 year of Housing Loan instalments.

I've been discussing about whether one should INVEST in a property NOW, and of course when investing, the KEY thing to consider is Upside Potential vs Downside Risks, and it is quite obvious what a person should do after considering both Upside and Downside.

Always remember my No. 1 question is "What if I'm wrong, will I be ok?" I'm always prepared to be wrong, so make sure when you invest or do anything, you're prepared to be wrong as well.

Time will tell whether property prices can ONLY GO UP FOREVER without Price Correction or Crash as you opined.
Last edited by Dennis Ng on Wed Jun 15, 2011 9:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Dennis Ng » Wed Jun 15, 2011 8:57 am

Hi all,

another symptom or sign that we are probably very close to the PEAK of the current property cycle is that sales of NEW condos is about 50% less than last year, only 3,796 units sold. If we multiply by 2, that works out to 7,592 units, or if you prefer, maybe 2nd half of year is more active, maybe we can sell total of 9,000 units of new condos in year 2011, that would still be 40% less than year 2010.

And compare this information with over 30,000 units of New Condo units to be completed in the next 2 years...oh, don't worry, things will be OK, Singapore economy will Grow healthily forever, even if there is a Global Financial Crisis; Singapore Property Prices can only go up, even though history told us that prices plunged 50% in 1998 and dropped 10% to 30% in year 2008...but somehow, I don't know about such FACTS, I think property prices can only go up.

Sure, continue to ignore all the News or Signs that Supply likely to go up in the next 2 years, and there are many possible reasons why Demand might go down in next 2 years; that interest rates on Housing Loans likely to go up in next 2 years; that rental rates (with huge New Supply coming) likely to go down...ignore all such news and signs...ignore what Dennis says, who is Dennis anyway, just founder of www.HousingLoanSG.com , what does he know anyway, listen to Kwek Leng Beng, Chairman of City Development who has NEVER, NEVER, NEVER said anything negative about Property throughout these many, many years. Listen to property agents, they are the "experts" and they will tell you the Truth, the whole truth, and nothing else. Listen to your neighbours, listen to your colleagues, listen to your relatives, why bother to listen to Dennis?

P.S. in my seminars, I also suggest that people do NOT invest into any condos with floor area of less than 500 sf...but of course, why bother to listen to Dennis, what does he know?

Cheers!

Dennis Ng

15 Jun 2011 New Home Sales Plunge By Half


CBRE data also show a drop in sale volumes: 3,796 new private homes were sold this year till last week, well down from the 7,189 sold in the first half of last year
.


NEW home sales appear to be cooling, with key indicators down by half so far this year from those in the same period last year.

Not only has there been a plunge in the number of new private homes sold, but the total value of sales has also more than halved, according to a new report by property consultancy CB Richard Ellis (CBRE).

Experts attribute this to weaker market sentiment this year, as well as the cooling measures in January, which were the strictest seen in the past few years.

CBRE also highlighted how smaller homes are gaining favour. Median sizes of new homes hovered around 1,200 sq ft in the first six months of last year, but they have shrunk to around 900 sq ft now.

These smaller units, with their lower overall prices, could be partly to blame for the reduced transaction values, said CBRE.

About $5.1 billion worth of new homes have been sold so far this year, less than half of the $12.3 billion in the first half of last year.

CBRE data also show a drop in sale volumes: 3,796 new private homes were sold this year till last week, well down from the 7,189 sold in the first half of last year
.
This translates to a median price of around $1 million for each home sold this year, compared with about $1.2 million last year.

Analysts say the muted numbers this year could be a sign that the recent cooling measures are taking effect.

One such measure slashed the loan-to-value limit on a mortgage for a subsequent property from 70 per cent to 60 per cent. Buyers taking up a second or third mortgage now need to pay 40 per cent of the purchase price upfront.

Last month's election may also have prompted buyers to adopt a wait-and-see approach, with many expecting new cooling policies, said Ms Chia Siew Chuin, director of research and advisory at Colliers International.

She added: 'Price sensitivity and affordability have set in... as prices continued to escalate. Potential buyers may find it more affordable to commit to smaller units.'

Developers have responded by building more compact units in their projects. But some market watchers argue that even buyers who prefer larger homes have little choice but to opt for smaller units, since these are what developers are pushing out.

Far East Organization's Woodhaven project in Woodlands is one example. Seventy per cent of the 337-unit development consists of one- and two-bedroom units and small home offices, or Soho apartments. The developer has sold 83 of the 152 units released for sale at an average price of $910 per sq ft, it said yesterday.

Small homes look to be here to stay, and may even shrink further.

Dr Chua Yang Liang, Jones Lang LaSalle's head of research, said trends emerging from other mature cities worldwide indicate that less is more.

'Younger individuals who are more prepared to stay out on their own will welcome smaller units. The increase in foreigners who are more familiar with such unit sizes in their home countries is likely to lend further support,' he said.

But OrangeTee's research and consultancy head, Mr Tan Kok Keong, noted that even when buying smaller homes, buyers are becoming more selective.

'Now, developers trying to sell apartments sized between 300 sq ft and 400 sq ft might be facing resistance, especially if their projects are not in good locations.'


cherlim@sph.com.sg
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Dennis Ng - When You Master Your Finances, You Master Your Destiny

Note: I'm just sharing my personal comments, not giving you investment advice nor stock investment tips.
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