Visitors at The Florence Residences sales gallery. Over 20 units of the 1,410-unit development were sold over the weekend. PHOTO: PROPNEX
SALES for new private homes got off to an encouraging start for developers as showflats reopened their doors over the weekend after a 10-week hiatus.
Starting on Friday, visitors made their way to sales galleries for the first time since the circuit breaker kicked in, with mass market and mid-market segments garnering the attention, real estate agencies told The Business Times.
The pace of sales has picked up compared to the circuit breaker, possibly due to pent-up demand, said Emily Eng, executive director (residential services) at OrangeTee & Tie, adding that some projects saw sales of between five and fifteen units each over the weekend. OrangeTee & Tie was marketing over 50 projects.
"Activities are still concentrated on mass to mid-tier projects, as opposed to the luxury segment," Ms Eng added. Projects marketed by OrangeTee & Tie that have been selling well include Daintree Residence, The Florence Residences, Parc Esta, JadeScape, Stirling Residences and Treasure at Tampines.
According to ERA Realty Network key executive officer Eugene Lim, viewing slots for showflats were full. As at Sunday night, developers had sold a total of 140 units over the weekend across nearly 60 show galleries, he added. The tally includes units sold by other real estate agencies in addition to ERA.
Not all developers chose to reopen their showflats over the weekend, BT understands.
Alvin Tan, executive director of PropNex International, told BT: "People are coming in to the showflats, most of the slots were taken."
Of the sales conducted, most were for the mass-market projects, while the high-end segment is still on the slow side, added Mr Tan, who thinks that new home sales for June could top May as sales pick up. PropNex is currently marketing 90 Singapore residential projects.
During the circuit breaker, overall sales of new private homes took a massive tumble, plunging 58 per cent month on month to 277 units in April, before rebounding by over 75 per cent month on month to 486 units in May. Sales for both months were down significantly from the 737 units and 952 units sold in April 2019 and May 2019 respectively.
As per guidelines from the Urban Redevelopment Authority's Controller of Housing, viewings of the show galleries have to be by appointment, with a maximum of five people per group (including the real estate agent). Generally, developers appear to be allotting time slots of between one and two hours.
Developers also have to limit the number of people in the show gallery and within show units to not more than one person per 10 square metres of space. As such, the number of groups that the show gallery can entertain at any one time will vary depending on its size.
Logan Property sold over 20 units for 1,410-unit The Florence Residences over the weekend, which takes the total number of units sold over the 51 per cent mark, group executive director CB Chng told BT. Meanwhile, another of its projects, the 1,259 unit-Stirling Residences in Queenstown, sold over 10 units; with this, it is more than 80 per cent sold.
"We're encouraged with the sales performance, said Mr Chng. "I hope the momentum can be sustained."
Over 100 units at The Florence Residences were sold during the circuit- breaker period while Stirling Residences sold more than 40 units, he added.
SingHaiyi Group opened its show gallery for the 1,468-unit Parc Clematis on Saturday and Sunday, during which it received 550 visitors (including real estate agents). Over the two days, seven units were moved, the majority of which were two- and three-bedroom units.
Gregory Sim, deputy chief executive officer of SingHaiyi, said: "We are encouraged by the response from potential buyers who visited the Parc Clematis sales gallery over the last two days. We hope that being able to visit the sales gallery and seeing for themselves our unit layouts and quality fittings will help potential buyers make up their mind."
In April and May, the developer sold nine units and 55 units at Parc Clematis respectively, and a further 52 units from June 1 to 18 before Singapore commenced Phase 2 of the circuit breaker.
According to SingHaiyi, about half of the sales during the period before Phase 2 when the sales gallery was closed came from home buyers who made their decision after virtual viewings, and the other half from those who had visited the sales gallery prior to the circuit breaker.
Over the weekend, Sim Lian sold 14 units for Treasure at Tampines, while Chip Eng Seng Corporation's subsidiary CEL Development sold five units at its Kopar at Newton project. These included one two-bedroom unit at S$1.55 million, three three-bedroom units at S$2 million to S$2.45 million and a three-bedroom junior penthouse for S$3.7 million.
CSC Land moved a four-bedroom, 1,249 square foot (sq ft) unit for close to S$1.9 million at its 520-unit Twin VEW project. To date, 90 per cent of Twin VEW - which was launched for sale in May 2018 - has been sold.
Qingjian Realty (South Pacific) Group sold 11 units of JadeScape since it re-opened its sales gallery on June 19.
Cheryl Huan, chief operating officer, sales and leasing group, for Far East Organization, said: "Since Friday, we have opened seven properties for viewing by appointment and have brought more than 25 groups of potential homebuyers to the show galleries."
She noted that some prospective homebuyers are still cautious, adding: "We have been scheduling our viewings gradually, while we continue to host virtual appointments where our staff talk potential homebuyers through a virtual viewing."
On Friday, it sold a 3,068 sq ft triplex unit at Parksuites after a virtual viewing. The mixed-use development in Holland Grove Road has 119 residential units and 18 retail units.