Condo sales show buyers are still keen

Condo sales show buyers are still keen

Sep 09, 2010

New steps to cool the property market failed to deter a group of buyers rushing for a new mass-market condominium in Pasir Ris Grove yesterday.

Sales were brisk at NV Residences, with 160 of the 200 released flats snapped up at $830 per sq ft on average.

About 75 per cent of the buyers were Singaporeans, with the rest foreigners or permanent residents, according to developers City Developments (CDL) and joint venture partners Hong Leong Holdings and Hong Realty.

The 642-unit condo is the first large residential project to be released after the Government introduced cooling measures last week, and was eagerly watched for signs of buyer resistance.

That seemed in short supply amid the rush, but experts say the 99-year leasehold has plenty of appeal.

NV Residences, which is within walking distance of Pasir Ris MRT, is priced at an average of $830 psf. That makes a one-bedroom flat (495 sq ft to 657 sq ft) about $557,000, while $1.9 million gets a 2,497 sq ft penthouse, said CDL.

It is next to Livia, which was re-launched at $620 psf early last year, though prices in the area have since shot up considerably.

Knight Frank's managing director (residential services) Peter Ow said the $830 psf price is attractive given new mass-market properties can easily cost $1,000 psf or more. The units at NV Residences are also fairly small and that keeps the total price affordable, he added.

Colliers International's director of research and advisory,

Ms Tay Huey Ying, said the robust response is 'a testament to the strong underlying demand for mass market homes by genuine home buyers as well as investors who are in a healthy financial position'.

A Hong Leong group spokesman said the measures had some impact as some potential buyers did not commit because of the new financing rules: 'If the measures were not there, we would have sold more on the first day.'

One keen first-time buyer was civil servant Justin Koh, 29. He bought a 797 sqft two-bedroom unit for less than $800,000 for his own use.

Experts have predicted that the HDB resale market and the mass private property market will be hit by the measures.

HDB resale prices are at record highs, while mass market prices have been described as 'peakish', having exceeded the 1996 highs.

While interest was keen yesterday, the new homes market is largely quiet, with few launches going on and most buyers in a 'wait and see' mood, experts said.

Info courtesy: SPH