Singapore Property Market 2019: A Spike in New Launches Welcome The New Year

January 21, 2019 Singapore

Singapore Property Market 2019 Has a Better Outlook than Last Year

The smooth flow of the Singapore property market last 2018 was disrupted after the implementation of the 5% increase in the Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty as well as the tightened Loan-to-Value Ratio.

Despite this, the first month of 2019 shows a spike in new property launches, a rarely seen feat. With about 60 projects for launch this year, the Singapore property market this 2019 undoubtedly started the year with high energy.

In January alone, a number of developers have already lined up their properties for preview. Some even started their preview ahead of the Chinese New Year.

In a report by EdgeProp, PropNex’s executive chairman and CEO Ismail Gafoor said that such properties that had an early preview include Roxy-Pacific Holdings’ Fyve Derbyshire and RV Altitude; TEE Land’s 35 Gilstead (the former Casa Contendere); One Meyer by Sustained Land; and Jervois Prive (former Jervois Green) by a consortium led by the owner of Spring Court restaurant.

 Singapore Property Market 2019: A Spike in New Launches Welcome The New Year

Right after Chinese New Year, expect another string of bigger launches. Anticipated properties include SingHaiYi’s The Gazania (former Sun Rosier) and the Lilium (former How Sun Park).

The former Normanton Park with 1,882 units and the Treasure at Tampines (former Tampines Court) with a staggering 2,000 units poses as the biggest and major developments this 2019, said Gafoor.

As multiple property launches greet the new year, many developers are likely to use “all kinds of marketing strategies – from special offers at soft launches to incentivising agents – to make the best of their launches,” said Desmond Sim, CBRE executive director of research for Singapore and Southeast Asia.

Furthermore, Sim said that property launches during the Hungry Ghost Month can’t be helped. There will still be buyers, “but not in a cautious market,” he added.

Most Launches to be Seen in These Areas

Trisha Song, Colliers International head of research for Singapore, said that there are 55 to 60 projects offering 17,000 to 18,000 units to be launched next year.

 Singapore Property Market 2019: A Spike in New Launches Welcome The New Year

“Prime locations such as Holland Road and Bukit Timah in District 10 and the popular East Coast enclave in District 15 have not seen new launches of large projects — more than 250 units — in a long time,” adds Song. “These new larger projects are able to provide a variety of facilities and social spaces for residents,” she said.

On the other hand, JLL’s senior director of research Ong Teck Hui said that new condo launches along Amber Road-Meyer Road neighbourhood should see “keen interest” due to its proximity to the East Coast Park and Katong. He said that the popularity of the east coast among the expatriate community do both the owner-occupation and investment good.

Another hot spot to look out for are the properties near the Thomson-East Coast MRT Line. Set to launch in 2023, Song notes that residents in these areas will enjoy the convenience of the commute to the city as well as the proximity of the projects to good schools.

Megaprojects Already Set this 2019

District 5 may only have three new projects, but these Singapore properties have a combined number of units equating to more than 5,000 units. The redevelopment of the Normanton Park en bloc site (1,882 units), the former Park West condo (1,454 units), and the former Tampines court now Tampines condo (2,225) beat all the other launches in other areas with its sheer size.

These megaprojects are near new launches as well, such as the Kent Ridge Hill Residences, Twin View, and Whistler Grand. The Former Florence Regency is another new launch to look out for.

The launch of multiple properties had Ong anticipating creative concepts these properties might use to attract buyers.

The 800-unit new project on the site of the former Pearl Bank Apartments is another highly anticipated large-scale development because of its city-fringe location, said Ong. He expects the new project to “set new benchmark prices” in the neighbourhood, owing to “the breath-taking views” from the high-floor units and its proximity to Outram MRT station.

Prime Districts with Most Launches

 Singapore Property Market 2019: A Spike in New Launches Welcome The New Year

Districts 9, 10, and 11 contain almost 40% of projects that will be launching this 2019. These districts attract international buyers because of freehold properties. Proximity to Orchard Road and top international schools also play an important factor.

In District 9, CBRE’s Sim points to two properties which he considers “attractive”:  Frasers Property’s Rivière located along Jiak Kim Street, fronting the Singapore River, and City Development’s HAUS on Handy Road, just across Plaza Singapore and Dhoby Ghaut MRT interchange station.

2019 Might Just Beat 2018’s Home Sales

Units sold this year could range between 8,000 to 10,000, estimates JLL’s Ong. “Demand will depend on economic and business conditions, which are contingent on external factors such as the [US-China] trade war.”

As expected, the Singapore property market homes sales would be more challenging this year. This is especially so due to the imposed cooling measures last July and the new regulation regarding minimum average unit sizes outside the Central Area announced last October.

Still, Colliers’ Song said that 2019 sales could do better if the demand is supply-led. As she recalls, 1H2018 was plagued with the lack of available launches and choices. Song said that this year should see a “gradual acceptance to the new cooling measures.”

Price Sensitivity

PropNex’s Gafoor said that Singapore condo prices will be in such a way that attracts home buyers.

Nicholas Mak, ZACD Group executive director and head of research, held the same sentiments. He explained that most developers are realistic. They know that it will take more than a year to sell their project with more than 400 units. This is why buyers should expect developers to be sturdy about their selling price, until the fourth year of launch when they might need to adjust prices. “They (developers) will still have one more year to sell all the units in the project before the 25% ABSD kicks in at the end of the fifth year,” Mak added.

With that, Mak projects price growth of 0% to 3% for 2019.

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