High-end homes may see build-up in sales

Demand in luxury homes seems to be creeping back, if last month’s new private home sales figures and reports of a fresh jaw-dropping record sale price are anything to go by.

A four-bedroom unit at SC Global’s The Marq on Paterson Hill recently sold at $17.5m, a record-breaking $5,842 psf – surpassing the previous high of $5,600 psf at The Orchard Residences in October 2007.

A total of 15 non-landed homes priced at $3,000 psf and above were sold in April – the highest number since December, when more than 60 units of Robinson Suites were sold in this price range, Savills said.

These included properties in Scotts Square, Alba, The Orange Grove and Tomlinson Heights.

Market experts say these sales might provide early signs of a comeback by high-end homes, where prices have struggled to recover to levels recorded during the boom in 2007.

The high-end segment must be monitored closely for the next few months before any trend can be firmly established, they add.

Kim Eng said in an analyst report that only three ultra-luxury projects – The Ritz-Carlton Residences, The Orchard Residences and The Marq on Paterson Hill – have achieved unit prices of more than $5,000 psf.

‘The latest above $5,000 psf transaction will certainly get the attention of high-end developers that are currently holding back on new project launches,’ the report added.

‘It might well be the tip of the iceberg, as we could see more sales breaking above the $5,000 psf mark.’

Cushman & Wakefield Singapore vice-chairman Donald Han noted that while he is confident that the high-end segment will do ‘fairly well’ for the rest of the year, not all projects can expect to set new benchmark prices.

The record price is likely an exception and limited to certain units and specific developments, he added.

‘But Singapore continues to be a sweet spot for investors with its robust economy and political stability… These factors look good to foreigners who contribute to the high-end activity here, making up 60 to 65 per cent of the segment above $3,000 psf,’ he added.

Experts also noted that some of the posh apartments sold last month – such as at Nassim Park Residences, The Orchard Residences and The Orange Grove – are already completed.

This could have encouraged sales since buyers of expensive apartments might prefer seeing the finished product before making a purchase decision.

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