Developers launch nine new projects in May , Latest Business News - The New Paper

Developers launch nine new projects in May

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Property developers, under pressure from a substantial pipeline, pushed out nine new projects in May following a lull in April, but the bulk of last month's sales came from earlier launches, analysts said.

Developers sold 952 units in May, up nearly 30 per cent from 735 units in April, but down 15 per cent from the 1,122 units booked in the same month last year. This is according to figures released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) yesterday.

Of May's total sales, 70.2 per cent were from previous launches.

"This shows unsold units in previous projects are building up (but) still offer buyers opportunities. URA Realis data shows 3,491 unsold units in launched private residential projects as at Q1 this year, up from 1,066 units a year ago," noted JLL senior director of research and consultancy Ong Teck Hui.

The Woodleigh Residences was among top sellers in May after its median price was cut to $1,823 per sq ft (psf) from around $2,000 psf at its initial launch last November, analysts noted.

"Despite tighter margins, we believe this move has helped drive sales, with 74 units sold in May, versus 29 sold during its initial launch. Hence low/slow take-up rates could encourage developers to price more conservatively against the market," said Credit Suisse analyst Louis Chua.

Also boosting Woodleigh's sales were more attractive commissions paid to agents, analysts said.

Developers sold 3,525 new private homes (excluding executive condos) in the first five months of the year, up 2.6 per cent from 3,436 units in the same period last year.

Said Mr Ong: "Due to the pressure of a substantial pipeline of units for sale, developers can be expected to continue launching their projects to secure buyers."

Should take-up remain at current levels, it is likely some developers may launch at lower prices, said CBRE head of research for Singapore and South-east Asia Desmond Sim.

The nine new launches accounted for 29.8 per cent of total sales last month, with two - Amber Park in East Coast and Parc Komo in Changi - topping the charts with their attractive freehold pricing.

Projects in the city fringes or rest of central region are doing well, with 51.3 per cent of units sold in May, up from 43.7 per cent in April.