New Zealand's Parliament passed a law to ban many non-resident foreigners from buying existing homes but Singaporeans are not affected.
Among the projects launched so far this month, The Tre Ver in Potong Pasir has done relatively well; it has sold 148 units at an average price of around S$1,550 psf, which is deemed "reasonable" for the area. As expected, the top three selling projects in July were Riverfront Residences in Hougang, Park Colonial next to Woodleigh MRT station and Stirling Residences near Queenstown MRT station. Their respective developers began sales on the evening of July 5. Together, the three projects accounted for 1,396 units, or just over 80 per cent of developers' sales of private homes last month, according to data released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority, based on its survey of licensed housing developers. At Riverfront Residences, 628 units were sold last month at a median price of S$1,307 psf. At Park Colonial, 429 units were moved at S$1,756 psf median price, while at Stirling Residences, 339 units were transacted at S$1,746 psf median price.
At Potong Pasir, The Tre Ver — another new development launched on Aug 4 by UOL and United Industrial Corporation — sold at an average transacted price of S$1,550 psf. Park Colonial, which is located in the same district and put up for sale just before the cooling measures kicked in, was selling at an average of S$1,750 psf — indicating that The Tre Ver's launch prices are about 10 per cent less than its neighbouring project. Affinity @ Serangoon's developer Oxley Holdings was offering a 5 per cent discount for its one-bedroom units, and a 7 per cent discount for its two-bedroom ones. The discounts were limited to just the next 20 units sold from July 12 at the project in Yio Chu Kang. Guocoland was similarly offering a 5 per cent discount on July 12 for selected units at Martin Modern condominium in River Valley, which was launched slightly more than a year ago.
However, not all developers would see the need to bring down their prices yet, as pointed out by Mr Lee Sze Teck, head of research at property firm Huttons Asia. Some of them have managed to sell units without discounts due to the project's location, architectural design and layout. Mr Lee believes that prices will not fall further in the coming months. Mr Lee said that there is little room for developers to move prices since projects overheads are locked in, such as land and construction costs. Last month, the Urban Redevelopment Authority reported that prices of private homes went up by 3.4 per cent quarter-on-quarter from April to June.
This effectively presents an ideal opportunity for buyers to enter the market right now to enjoy the discounts that would not have been available for them before the ABSD increase.