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Condos: Buy Now Or Wait?

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Condos: Buy now or wait?

Home buyers keen to upgrade from a Housing Board flat to a private condominium will have plenty of choice this year. That is going by data compiled by real estate services company CB Richard Ellis.

A total of 82 projects are currently ready to be put up for sale throughout this year, said CBRE, an international company with a research team in Singapore.

From the coastal areas of Pasir Panjang and Punggol to the residential zones of Simei and Sixth Avenue, there is a private apartment development waiting to be launched in almost every corner of the island.

Most are in the non-landed condominium category, aimed at Housing Board upgraders and young family starters.

CBRE’s list defined the projects on the list as those that are ‘launch-ready’. By this, it means projects that have all the necessary permits from the authorities so they can be marketed, although construction work may not have started.

Already, four have been launched - including the latest, Mi Casa condominium at Choa Chu Kang, whose units went on sale this weekend. A further two are expected to be launched within the next two months.

With private property prices falling when HDB resale flat prices are still holding fairly steady, it is music to the ears of those who want to upgrade but have not been able to amid high prices and not so many mass-market launches in recent years.

Writer Ng Hui Hui, 28, who is looking for a private apartment but finds prices a bit high now, feels the high number of launches will increase her chances of finding one at the right price.

‘I’m more hopeful because the number of launches offers a lot of choices. There’s more for me to consider,’ she said.

HDB upgraders have flexed their muscle at condo launches so far this year, buying many units at The Caspian beside Lakeside MRT station, Double Bay Residences in Simei and The Quartz in Buangkok, for example.

Mr Joseph Tan, CBRE’s executive director, residential, notes: ‘If there are a number of HDB upgraders who are ready to enter the market, the sales momentum can be sustained.’

Over at the 18-storey The Mercury in Shanghai Road launched three weeks ago, all 67 units - priced from over $700,000 for a 635 sq ft apartment - were snapped up.

Mr Victor Soh, director of the developer, Fortune Shanghai Road, said: ‘There was no delay in launching the project despite the bad market - we launched it when the project was ready. There were quite a number of people waiting for us to launch.

‘All our units have already been sold and we’re ready to start construction.’

While house-proud Singaporeans will enjoy poring over the launch-ready list, imagining their dream home, most projects may not actually go up for sale soon, as developers wait and see how the economy goes.

Only 10 out of the 82 could name a date or period, but even they said their dates are subject to change.

Still, judging by the small amount of dates given, the hold-out may not go beyond this year or the early part of the next, as the furthest indicated date a developer gave was the first half of next year.

Such delays also mean prices will not plummet too sharply, said a spokesman for listed developer City Developments.

He said: ‘This has helped to balance current demand and supply by mitigating the supply of new apartments entering the market.’

The tough economic times are weighing on some developers, with Ms Chua Chor Hoon, a senior research director for global real estate adviser DTZ, saying: ‘Some have been responding to the slow market by deferring projects that are due for completion to later years.’

A spokesman for residential project Verdure - a planned 75-unit, freehold development in Holland Road - said: ‘The market is so bad, we can’t launch it.’

Another, representing the exclusive 26-unit The Verv @ River Valley, said it was putting off its launch, explaining: ‘Blame it on the economy.’

Both spokesmen declined to be named.

The experience of upcoming mid-market, 24-unit Evergreen View at Geylang Lorong 36 echoes this.

Mr Thomas Sim, associate manager of real estate firm PropNex Realty, which is the selling agent, said: ‘We’ve only had the soft launch last month so far because the show unit is only slated for completion in May, and also partly because the market is poor now. As it is, the reaction from the soft launch wasn’t very good.’

A key part of marketing a condo is to build a show flat to entice prospective buyers. Another reason some projects are being delayed is that developers are reviewing their plans in order to reconfigure units to a smaller size, say industry players. The smaller sizes make the units more affordable.

Knowing about the list of 82 ‘launch-ready’ projects is good news for the likes of home-hunter John Yeo, 38.

The sales manager says: ‘This means I have time and don’t have to rush. I can take my time to choose. But of course, price and location must also be right.’

Source : Straits Times - 11 Apr 2009

 

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Many people buying condos in developed estates like Simei, Jurong, etc at around $600psf. But I don't think prices have come down yet.

$600psf is not cheap ... I bought mine at $500psf back in 2005 when private properties were on the uptrend after the downturn in 2004.

 

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Many people buying condos in developed estates like Simei, Jurong, etc at around $600psf. But I don't think prices have come down yet.

$600psf is not cheap ... I bought mine at $500psf back in 2005 when private properties were on the uptrend after the downturn in 2004.

$500psf is not the bottom either, I bought my freehold condo for $400++ pfs only in 2005, and prices of suburban condos were going for $300++ psf only for leasehold properties......

i think its a matter of time the prices should adjust downwards further, as the economy now is SO MUCH WORSE than 2005......

 

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I bought my 99yr-brand new-near MRT-Upp Serangoon-2,100 sq ft unit (inclusive of a private roof terrace) at $565,000 in 2005 too.

I am praying very hard to see 2005 prices again. Nothing is impossible but if you can't wait, just buy. If you can wait, please wait but don't curse if the price doesn't fall that much.

It will take a few years for the prices to fall back or it might never at all. I remember through my previous research, the psf currently is almost the same around 2001 period. It took 4 years till 2005 for the price to fall way below 2001 pricing so...up to you to speculate.

Good luck!

Edited by Bachie
 

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I don't think prices today will bot fall to 2005 again. Reason being back then there was an over supply of HDB flats. With HDB flats' prices being lower, there is a wider gap between public and private housing. Thus private property prices were able to fall to such rates.

However, since HDB has now limit the flats that it builds and mostly go for DBSS or other buy-first-build-later schemes, over supply of HDB flats is unlikely to repeat again. So the gap between public and private housing is much more narrow and HDB prices is unlikely to fall much with supply now fixed.

For me, I have just very recently bought a about to TOP private apartment 3bed 1087 sqft in D15 at $650 psf. Everybody tells me it is a very good buy, my banker, the lawyer, my colleagues and even the property agent. I think I have struck gold! hehe.... :dribble: More so after finding out that the 2nd floor unit was sold for $880k while mine on the 3rd floor was bought at $706k from developer. :dancingqueen:

There are definitely good buys around. Just keep a look out for those gonna TOP or fire sale units. Mostly developers want to sell them fast as the original buyers either defaulted or didn't secure a bank loan. However, check the smaller listing websites instead of the major ones.

I bought my 99yr-brand new-near MRT-Upp Serangoon-2,100 sq ft unit (inclusive of a private roof terrace) at $565,000 in 2005 too.

I am praying very hard to see 2005 prices again. Nothing is impossible but if you can't wait, just buy. If you can wait, please wait but don't curse if the price doesn't fall that much.

It will take a few years for the prices to fall back or it might never at all. I remember through my previous research, the psf currently is almost the same around 2001 period. It took 4 years till 2005 for the price to fall way below 2001 pricing so...up to you to speculate.

Good luck!

 

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I don't think prices today will bot fall to 2005 again. Reason being back then there was an over supply of HDB flats. With HDB flats' prices being lower, there is a wider gap between public and private housing. Thus private property prices were able to fall to such rates.

However, since HDB has now limit the flats that it builds and mostly go for DBSS or other buy-first-build-later schemes, over supply of HDB flats is unlikely to repeat again. So the gap between public and private housing is much more narrow and HDB prices is unlikely to fall much with supply now fixed.

For me, I have just very recently bought a about to TOP private apartment 3bed 1087 sqft in D15 at $650 psf. Everybody tells me it is a very good buy, my banker, the lawyer, my colleagues and even the property agent. I think I have struck gold! hehe.... :dribble: More so after finding out that the 2nd floor unit was sold for $880k while mine on the 3rd floor was bought at $706k from developer. :dancingqueen:

There are definitely good buys around. Just keep a look out for those gonna TOP or fire sale units. Mostly developers want to sell them fast as the original buyers either defaulted or didn't secure a bank loan. However, check the smaller listing websites instead of the major ones.

Hi Aoiaoi

Indeed, at $706k, it's a good price. I remember in 2005 when i was shopping around, i actually almost wanted to buy a brand new apartment located near bendeemeer, freehold unit, about 1200 sq ft for $640k for unfurnished unit or $680k for showroom unit. What you're paying now is definitely quite reasonable, although smaller, the location i believe should be better in perceived value than bendeemeer.

 

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I don't think prices today will bot fall to 2005 again. Reason being back then there was an over supply of HDB flats. With HDB flats' prices being lower, there is a wider gap between public and private housing. Thus private property prices were able to fall to such rates.

However, since HDB has now limit the flats that it builds and mostly go for DBSS or other buy-first-build-later schemes, over supply of HDB flats is unlikely to repeat again. So the gap between public and private housing is much more narrow and HDB prices is unlikely to fall much with supply now fixed.

For me, I have just very recently bought a about to TOP private apartment 3bed 1087 sqft in D15 at $650 psf. Everybody tells me it is a very good buy, my banker, the lawyer, my colleagues and even the property agent. I think I have struck gold! hehe.... :dribble: More so after finding out that the 2nd floor unit was sold for $880k while mine on the 3rd floor was bought at $706k from developer. :dancingqueen:

There are definitely good buys around. Just keep a look out for those gonna TOP or fire sale units. Mostly developers want to sell them fast as the original buyers either defaulted or didn't secure a bank loan. However, check the smaller listing websites instead of the major ones.

D15 at 650psf is pretty low.. i reckon it's kurau area?

 

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It's very near to Still Road and Koon Seng Road intersection, opposite Telok Kurau. The property just TOP last week. Now waiting for my mortgage bank and CPF to pay the remaining amounts and I can collect my key. :rolleyes:

D15 at 650psf is pretty low.. i reckon it's kurau area?
 

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It's very near to Still Road and Koon Seng Road intersection, opposite Telok Kurau. The property just TOP last week. Now waiting for my mortgage bank and CPF to pay the remaining amounts and I can collect my key. :rolleyes:

oh.. congrats.. the famous black pepper crap!!!

 

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$500psf is not the bottom either, I bought my freehold condo for $400++ pfs only in 2005, and prices of suburban condos were going for $300++ psf only for leasehold properties......

i think its a matter of time the prices should adjust downwards further, as the economy now is SO MUCH WORSE than 2005......

property prices on the slide is a given now. but to say prices will definitely go down to pre-2005 levels is anybody's guess. If it's so easy to predict the market, then I will not need to work.

if we are to follow the argument abv, then for argument sake, a 400+ psf FH propoerty bought in 2005 will be deemed more expensive then my dad's 22 sqft terrace he bought in 1969 for $30k.

our loaf of Gardenia bread is still at $1.85. why hasn't it come off to $1.55? A 5kg of branded rice is still more than $10 compared to $7-9 previously. Motorist are getting used to $1.55/ltr ron85 petrol after seeing highs of more than $2.00. but they have forgotten ron95 was previously the "unwanted" grade when ron98 (or even ron100, v-power) was at 1.50 per litre. i can site a few more examples. but you get my drift. Inflation has kept everything up. Prices of construction materials though off the highs are still abv pre-2007. Govt has reduced land sales to lessen supply. Developers having made a pile during the boom times are holding back most projects, releasing some just to keep cash flow moving and finance their loans

what the current mkt has done is to weed out a lot of speculators. There are more "real" buyers and sellers. Classifieds on saturdays are a lot thinner.

If you are looking for a place to stay, it is a good time to shop around. other than price alone, a lot of factors come into play when deciding on buying a place that you will likely stay for 10 years or more

having watched the mkt for quite a while, i am quite surprised by how resilient the sellers are. Like a lot of vultures, I was expecting a slew of sellers by those who were flipping properties. So far, there are some, but not a lot. As long as current offers are around 30% lower than the peak period, there will be takers. I've been to a few launches and also a few landed viewings and was amazed by the interest levels.

For me, i am a buyer....or rather ex-buyer. after having look around over 90 units in span of 6 over months and also being front runned by better buyers for a few units, we have finally gotten our little nest. Prices may come off more in our area, we never know but so far, we haven't seen one for sale in the area we bought.

then again, i may be a buyer still....IF prices really collaspe.

 

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hi, im a first timer looking for private housing in D15 or D16. Looking at 3 room with a budget of $750k

you mentioned:

"There are definitely good buys around. Just keep a look out for those gonna TOP or fire sale units. Mostly developers want to sell them fast as the original buyers either defaulted or didn't secure a bank loan. However, check the smaller listing websites instead of the major ones."

there's some question i need to seek youe help.

1) where or how should i go around to find those TOP or fire sales units?

2) what are the smaller listing website?

i appreciate your help. Thanks

 

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hi, im a first timer looking for private housing in D15 or D16. Looking at 3 room with a budget of $750k

you mentioned:

"There are definitely good buys around. Just keep a look out for those gonna TOP or fire sale units. Mostly developers want to sell them fast as the original buyers either defaulted or didn't secure a bank loan. However, check the smaller listing websites instead of the major ones."

there's some question i need to seek youe help.

1) where or how should i go around to find those TOP or fire sales units?

2) what are the smaller listing website?

i appreciate your help. Thanks

i haven't been keeping track of prices in D15 or 16. but i think your best bet will be to be in touch with a few agents that are specializing in that area.

if there are quite some developments going on now, then i suggest you shortlist 2 or 3 so that you can keep focus

Also, do your homework, find out what was the last transacted price for that particular development, what was the price sold during launch (since the property may have been flipped a few times already).

Lastly, your perceived "fire sale" price will be different from another buyer. so be ready for some dissapointment. but after a few dissapoitment, you will be a better buyer.

i find renotalk.com very useful compared to the URA site as it shows the exact unit for that price sold.

 

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hi, im a first timer looking for private housing in D15 or D16. Looking at 3 room with a budget of $750k

you mentioned:

"There are definitely good buys around. Just keep a look out for those gonna TOP or fire sale units. Mostly developers want to sell them fast as the original buyers either defaulted or didn't secure a bank loan. However, check the smaller listing websites instead of the major ones."

there's some question i need to seek youe help.

1) where or how should i go around to find those TOP or fire sales units?

2) what are the smaller listing website?

i appreciate your help. Thanks

I found my value buy at www.sgadsonline.com. There were a few properties that I saw which would have fallen within your $750k budget for a 3 bedroom but that was in end Feb period. I think prices may have risen a bit since. Celestia at Joo Chiat Terrace was quoted at $750 psf and One @ Pulasan at Pulasan Road at $700 psf. I bought the One @ Pulasan at $650 psf. These 2 properties just TOP in end Apr...

Other 3 bedroom properties I saw include

a) Palm Galleria @ Telok Kurau (was a 3 + 1) 1119 sq ft for $750k (tried negotiating for $700k but agent wouldn't even consider and submit my offer to the developer duh...),

b) Ivory @ Ceylon Lane $650k (1044 sq ft) but was too near to the sleazy Joo Chiat nightspot for my liking. My friend made an offer successfully but he changed his mind subsequently on the purchase and

c) Ricchezza @ Telok Kurau $700 psf (1033 sq ft). The agents were dishonest and pulled a lousy trick on me as another of their colleague quoted $650 psf just 2 weeks ago and then they said no such price existed ever. How sneaky is that.... So I learnt fast! ALWAYS bring YOUR CHEQUE when you see a too-good-to-be-true deal. You never know.

I think Naturalis seems to be on "clearance sale" now as developer is looking to clear their remaining units b4 show flat is torn down. No harm taking a look. Bliss Ville at Kembangan seems to be quite reasonably priced also.

Good luck!

 

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