SALES of new homes took a dive last month, but they might pick up soon as developers prepare to launch a string of projects over the next few months.
Almost 30 new condominiums could come on the market by early next year, said property consultancy Knight Frank.
‘Market sentiments are gradually picking up following the United States sub-prime crisis, and launches could also increase in tandem,’ said Mr Nicholas Mak, Knight Frank’s director of research and consultancy.
He estimates that more than half of the launches will be in the prime districts of 9, 10 and 11 - Orchard, Holland, Bukit Timah and Newton - as well as in luxury enclave Sentosa Cove.
If all these projects are launched as planned, about 2,000 high-end homes could flood the market over the next six months, added Mr Mak. Broadly speaking, these are properties that will cost at least $2,000 per sq ft (psf), with a three-bedroom unit going for at least $2.5 million, he said.
‘We are definitely counting on foreigners to come in and help absorb these homes, so we don’t end up with an oversupply problem in the top tier,’ he said.
Residential areas likely to be in the spotlight include Bukit Timah, Thomson, Holland Village and East Coast. This is because prices in these areas have not moved as much as those in areas such as River Valley, Newton and Orchard.
Colliers International also predicted benchmark prices for two upcoming projects: the Ritz-Carlton Residences in Cairnhill and the development on the former Asia Hotel site. Prices at these projects could hit $4,500 psf on average, said Mr Vincent Chong, Colliers’ residential sales director.
Mr Mak believes there will be few launches in the closely-watched mass-market segment until the middle of next year because developers started acquiring sites only recently.
‘Most launches will come in nine to 18 months’ time, and they are likely to be priced on the high side at $800 to $900 psf,’ he said. ‘Until then, most activity will be in the resale market, where a lack of new launches could push prices up significantly.’
Source : Sunday Times - 21 Oct 2007