More and larger en bloc deals next year?

Singapore’s residential collective sales market is poised for larger deals after rebounding strongly this year from a virtual lull last year, according to real estate services firm DTZ Research.

Since the start of the year, 34 residential collective sale deals worth a total of about $1.5 billion have been transacted, according to DTZ’s quarterly report.

The burst of activity this year followed the solitary sale of Dragon Mansion for $100.8 million in the whole of last year.

However, the market volume is still well below the heydays of 2007, when 136 deals worth a total of $12.4 billion were recorded, DTZ said.

The deals, so far this year, included developments with a predominant residential component, such as Changi Complex and Katong Mansion.

But most of these were below the $100-million mark.

Only one deal, namely Meng Garden at $137 million, went over that threshold. And 26 were dealt at a price tag of less than $50 million.

In comparison, the bulk of value in 2007 was from transactions sealed above the $100-million mark.

DTZ’s senior director for investment advisory services and auction, Mr Shaun Poh, said: “Buyer response to new launches is still positive while developers are still low on landbank and are continuing to buy sites.

“The market has also expanded with newer players joining in.”

With rising risk appetites, the collective sale market has entered its second phase, which could see transactions for larger sites, DTZ said.

A few sites with reserve prices above $500 million, such as Hawaii Tower, have been launched for tender, or have garnered the requisite 80 per cent approval.

A number of large condominium projects are in the process of gathering residents’ approval and could be put up for sale next year, including Faber Garden, Amber Park, Astor Green and Pandan Valley.

DTZ said next year might still not match the watershed year of 2007.

Seller fatigue has crept in, particularly in projects that had earlier failed in their collective sale attempts.

Some sellers are also holding out for higher prices.

At the same time, the market appears more rational this time round, DTZ said, with developers pricing land based on prevailing market rates of the units that they expect to sell.

Source : Today – 28 Dec 2010

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