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SINGAPORE: A new property launch touted as Singapore’s largest private residential project opened for preview on Friday (Mar 15), amid signs of a rebound in home-buying activity.

Treasure at Tampines, which sits on the sprawling 650,000 sq ft site of former Tampines Court HUDC estate, will offer 2,203 units. This makes it the biggest condominium development here, said developer Sim Lian Group which acquired the collective sale site for S$970 million in 2017.

Sales are slated to start later this month for its one to five-bedroom units at approximately S$1,280 per square foot (psf).

This follows the launch of another mega project earlier this month – Florence Residences, a 1,410-unit leasehold project in Hougang with an average selling price of nearly S$1,400 psf. Developed by Logan Property, this takes the site of another HUDC estate Florence Regency that was also sold en bloc in 2017.

A few more juggernaut projects offering more than 1,000 units are in the pipeline, according to market observers. These include Parc Clematis, Avenue South Residences and the former Normanton Park, said Huttons Asia’s research head Lee Sze Teck, though Treasure at Tampines could remain the biggest in terms of units on offer.

Echoing that, CBRE’s research head for Singapore and Southeast Asia Desmond Sim said: “Mega developments are not surprising because we’ve already seen some of these major sites being transacted in previous en bloc sales.”

For the whole of 2019, some analysts expect about 40 to 60 new launches, totalling as many as 17,000 private housing units, to be announced.

“GENUINE” DEMAND?

This buffet of new projects hopes to capture “genuine” home buyers that remain in the market despite last year’s cooling measures, lingering worries about rising interest rates and economic uncertainties, analysts said.

They cited latest figures from the Urban Redevelopment Authority, which showed 455 private homes sold by developers in February. That marked a year-on-year increase of 18.5 per cent and was 4.4 per cent higher than the previous month – a “pretty encouraging” result, noted Mr Sim.

“I wouldn’t say there haven’t been any effect. Some buyers are taking longer to make a decision,” said Hutton’s Mr Lee, referring to the property curbs that have raised acquisition costs for buyers and curbed their ability to take out larger loans to purchase private property.

Aspiring home buyers with a tight budget, in particular, would have to reconsider given how they may have to fork out S$35,000 to S$50,000 more under the new measures. “Some of these borderline buyers who face a shortfall of cash will need to save up again before they can enter the market,” said Mr Lee.

CREDITS: CHANNEL NEWS ASIA