Opportunistic buyers snap up deals amid circuit breaker lull
First published on EdgeProp Singapore by Timothy Tay on 24 April 2020
SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - It is clear that the “circuit breaker” measures is having an impact on the local residential property market. Anecdotally, most agents say many buyers are holding off purchases for the moment. However, caveats for the first two weeks of April show that some opportunistic investors are capitalising on the lull to pick up some big-ticket properties.
PropNex chief Ismail Gafoor tells EdgeProp Singapore that between April 7 and April 20, the agency registered 330 property transactions by its agents. Compared to the over 4,800 transactions in March, this represents an 85% drop in daily transaction volume in April to date.
Gafoor also says that the actual number of transactions closed might be even lower, since some deals were confirmed before the circuit breaker measures and were only recently registered.
However, he also notes that buyers are leaning on the IT skills of agents and mobile application tools that agencies have rolled out to help agents market properties.
Gafoor adds that between April 13 and 19, PropNex agents closed about 16 new home sales despite showflats being shut following the Singapore government’s circuit breaker measures to curb the spread of Covid-19. The sales were for projects such as Stirling Residences on Stirling Road, Avenue South Residence on Silat Avenue, Margaret Ville at Margaret Drive, Riverfront Residences at Hougang Avenue 7, Park Colonial on Upper Serangoon Road and Parc Esta on Sims Avenue.
PropNex agents also sold luxury units such as two units at prime District 10 development Boulevard 88 that fetched more than $10 million each while the biggest penthouse at the Kopar At Newton condominium was recently sold to a Singaporean couple for $7.88 million, says Gafoor. Other deals include a unit at MeyerHouse condominium on Meyer Road that was sold for $7.6 million and five units at Wallich Residence in Tanjong Pagar sold from $4 million to $8 million.
“Buyers are still looking for good value propositions in the property market, despite the pandemic and economic uncertainties. Many investors are taking a long-term view and stepping into the market, especially when they see that entry prices are attractive,” says Gafoor.
In the resale market, there are some sellers who are willing to sell their condominium units for a price below their original purchase price. A good example is a two-bedroom unit at Skyline @ Orchard Boulevard. The owner is looking to sell the 1,744 sq ft unit for $4.5 million ($2,580 psf), which is about $2 million less than the purchase price, says senior associate marketing director at PropNex Realty Joey Sun.
The third-floor unit had originally been bought from the developer for $6.48 million ($3,718 psf) in 2010.
Sun says the unit belongs to a semi-retired German professor who used to teach in Singapore but has since returned to his home country several years ago. The unit is fully paid and has been generating rental income for the past five years. He is looking to sell now as he doesn’t want the hassle of maintaining an investment property in Singapore, explains Sun.
Skyline @ Orchard Boulevard is a luxury freehold development with just 40 units. Developed by Far East Organization, it was completed in 2015. Based on the price chart available as of April 21, the developer is selling two-bedroom-plus-study units of 1,744 sq ft at prices from $5.93 million.