FRESH evidence emerged yesterday of a possible short-term rebound in the private residential market with strong demand at a 91-unit development in River Valley.
A quiet relaunch preview was held at the freehold Nathan Residences - and 75 units were snapped up quickly. These sales were sealed even though there was no interest absorption scheme or stamp duty waiver to entice buyers.
The deals were done at $1,220 to $1,320 per sq ft - a level market observers say is not entirely cheap but is easily 30 per cent to 35 per cent below last year's prices.
Small developer Tat Aik first released the Nathan Road project for sale in September last year. At prices averaging $1,800 to $2,000 psf, the project saw no takers.
Yesterday, the one-bedders were sold from about $730,000 to $785,000 while the two-bedders went for about $960,000 to just over $1 million. Those are the only two options at Nathan Residences - the one-bedders at 592 sq ft and the two-bedders at 786 sq ft.
All the one-bedders have been sold. The left-over units include eight penthouses costing around $1.6 million each and a few ground-floor units priced around $1.2 million.
Knight Frank, which marketed the project, said buyers were mostly couples and singles, and an overwhelming number were locals and permanent residents. HDB upgraders made up about 30 per cent of buyers.
'This shows that confidence is back and people are willing to buy when something good comes along,' said its executive director, Mr Peter Ow.
A new sold-out project sale nearby - The Mercury in Shanghai Road - was launched in March this year. Its 67 units went for a lower price range of $779 psf to $1,258 psf in March and April.
Market observers have said that more developers are preparing to launch their projects, hoping to bank on the renewed buying interest in the market.
Demand for new projects has generally risen as developers lower prices from earlier levels. The buying mood has also largely been helped by the recent rally in the stock market, observers said.
However, quite a number of individual sellers appear to have started raising their prices from the lows, following in the footsteps of some developers.
Upcoming major launches this month may include the 152-unit One Devonshire in the Killiney Road area, the 388-unit Oasis@Elias in Pasir Ris and Frasers Centrepoint Homes' 330-unit leasehold project near the Woodleigh MRT station.
Source: Straits Times, 6 June 2009