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RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY | Staff Reporter, Singapore
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22 luxury condo units sold over $10m in Q1

Units in The Nassim, Leedon Residence, and Tomlinson Heights were bought at these almost-record prices.

Singapore’s luxury private condo segment jumped back to life in the last few months, Savills Singapore said. The price quantum almost reached a nine-year high (since Q1 2009), when a total of 22 units were sold for at least $10m each.

According to a report, this is also one unit less than the peak of 23 units in the third quarter of 2010. The Nassim topped the list with ten units sold, followed by three units at Leedon Residence at Leedon Heights, and two units at Tomlinson Heights at Tomlinson Road.

“Driven by the improved performance in the high-end market, developers have shifted their buying interests to private en bloc sites in prime districts,” said Savills Research and Consultancy senior director Alan Cheong.

Moreover, URA Realis data showed that 102 units priced at $3,000 psf or more were sold in the quarter, marking the highest quarterly number since the fourth quarter of 2007. About 40 of these units were from New Futura at Leonie Hill Road, whilst 8 Hullet, Gramercy Park at Grange Road, and The Nassim at Nassim Hill also contributed 13, 12, and 11 units respectively.

Singaporean buyers were enthusiastic for the quarter after they bought 3,419 units, accounting for 73% of the total transactions, whilst non-Singaporean buyers, including Permanent Residents (PRs) and foreigners, purchased 1,241 units with a market share of 26.5% in the same quarter. The remaining 0.6% or 26 units were acquired by companies.

Moreover, the percentage of non-Singaporean buyers in the market improved for the second consecutive quarter, rising 1.5% from Q4 last year. Same as a quarter ago, buyers from China, Malaysia, India and Indonesia continued to top the list, and these four nationalities bought a total of 846 units.

Together with the 153 units purchased by foreigners who did not specify their nationalities, these buyers have chalked up 80.5% of the total purchases by non-Singaporean buyers.

“Non-Singaporean buyers continued to be more active in the primary market,” Cheong said. “For Singapore PRs, the top projects on their purchase lists included The Tapestry, Park Botannia, and Queens Peak, whilst foreigner buyers preferred Martin Modern, Highline Residences and Queens Peak.”

Savills Singapore noted that there is an inverse correlation between Singaporean buyers’ market share and a unit’s price quantum. In contrast, the market share of non-Singaporean buyers, especially foreign buyers, increased along with the price quantum.

“The finding suggests that Singaporean buyers prefer non-landed units priced at no more than $3m each,” Cheong added. “One possible explanation is that beyond the $3m threshold, Singaporeans will seek the alternative of buying landed houses. Owing to the general rule that foreigners, with the exception of those on Sentosa Cove, cannot buy landed homes here, non-Singaporean buyers - particular those from China and Indonesia - continue to be the main overseas buyers for high-end and luxury units.” 

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