The Business Times
By Uma Shankari
Around 170 units in Roxy-Pacific Holdings’ 251-unit Spottiswoode 18 were snapped up at the project’s launch yesterday at an average price of $1,900 per square foot (psf) – catching many market watchers by surprise.
The project’s mostly small units proved to be popular with investors. Most apartments on offer at Spottiswoode 18 – 150 out of the 251 units – are just 387 sq ft. Apartments at the project go up to 1,324 sq ft in size.
There was also balloting for a handful of units as more than one buyer was keen on them.
The group initially wanted to sell only around 100 units but released all choice units due to the strong response, said Roxy-Pacific chief executive Teo Hong Lim. But he added that last week’s government measures to cool the market have had some impact on sentiment as not many units were contested for.
Roxy-Pacific’s news comes a day after Oxley Holdings said it has sold 22 out of the 36 residential units at its newly-launched Vibes@Kovan over the weekend.
Apartments at Vibes@Kovan are also small – the 22 apartments range in size from 377 square feet to 1,001 sq ft. They were sold for an average selling price of $1,255 psf.
The deals surprised industry players. Said one industry veteran: ‘The thinking now is that small units are mostly sought after by speculators, which is the segment that the government targeted with its measures. So it’s surprising that these projects are still selling so quickly.’
But United Engineers reported that sales of its 540-unit executive condominium project Austville Residences were slower as a result of the latest curbs. The developer has sold about 20 per cent of units since its first sales day on Jan 13 – the same day the government unveiled new measures.
‘Our sales are affected by the government’s announcement on the new set of cooling measures. We are observing a dip in buying interest as most home buyers are still trying to digest the changes introduced to the property market,’ said a spokesman for the group.
The morning of the first day of sales saw a high number of visitors and brisk transactions, but the enthusiastic demand was subsequently quelled by the government’s announcement later in the day, the spokesman added. But the group is still positive that sales will pick up soon. Units at the project are selling at an average price of $680 psf and the deferred payment scheme is being offered to buyers.
Austville Residences implemented a ‘first-come, first-served’ system to allocate its 540 units. It was initially well received by the market, with more than 100 successful applicants forming an overnight queue outside its showflat a day before the first sales day.