Week in Review – 9 April 2015

iProperty H1 2015 Survey: More Buyers, Lower Budgets, Yishun’s North Park Residences and Bartley’s Botanique draw throngs of buyers at soft launch, Oversupply leads to lethargic uptake for Yio Chu Kang’s Alana@Sunrise, Homes in Iskandar Malaysia drawing more Singaporeans, Condo projects register price falls, HDB resale prices continue to decline at a slower pace
iProperty H1 2015 Survey: More Buyers, Lower Budgets
The latest iProperty Asia Property Market Sentiment Report H1 2015, Asia’s largest consumer property sentiment survey, reveals an increase in purchase intent within the next nine months (from 23 per cent to 38 per cent). Affordability remains a top concern, with two thirds of respondents (66 per cent) indicating that prices are too high. Budgets are falling, with more (from 18 per cent to 28 per cent) hoping to spend below S$500,000. Property remains a key investment among Singaporeans on the back of potential rental income and long-term investment.
Yishun’s North Park Residences and Bartley’s Botanique draw throngs of buyers at soft launch
North Park Residences and Botanique drew crowds at their launches on Sunday (April 5). 313 of 430 units at North Park Residences, located at Yishun, were sold, with all one to five-roomers drawing fairly equal demand. Over 150 units at Bartley’s Botanique were snapped up.
The properties were attractive due to their locations and low prices. Botanique priced its condominiums below $1,300 psf, while most North Park flats were between S$612,000 for a one-bedroom unit to S$1.89 million for a five bedroom unit. Botanique, situated in Bartley, banked on its proximity to the city, while North Park’s plan to be a part of an integrated development – Northpoint City – interested homebuyers. Northpoint City will include an integrated transport hub, a community club, a town plaza and many retail and F&B outlets.
Oversupply leads to lethargic uptake for Yio Chu Kang’s Alana@Sunrise
Cluster housing project Alana@Sunrise Terrace has seen slow demand due to oversupply, competition from properties in Malaysia and poor market conditions. The property has sold about a quarter of its 78 units since its launch in the first half of 2014.
Cluster housing is landed property homes built in clusters, sharing recreational facilities similar to condominiums, such as the swimming pool, gym, tennis court and playground.
The sluggish uptake is despite the slew of attractive incentives introduced by developer Far East Organization, who increased sales commissions, offered reimbursements of the Additional Buyer Stamp and Buyer Stamp duties and doled out discounts of between 10 and 20 per cent. The units at Alana are priced over $3 million before discounts.
Alana also faces competition from cluster housing projects in Upper Thomson and Admiralty. 
Homes in Iskandar Malaysia drawing more Singaporeans
Many Malaysians have moved to Singapore for work opportunities and a higher standard of living, but more Singaporeans are now going in the opposite direction, into Malaysia. Large houses that boast fractional prices compared to that of Singapore, a more relaxed pace of life, lower cost of living and less traffic congestion has drawn more Singaporeans to their neighbouring country.
Condo projects register price falls
The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) recently conducted a study comparing median prices between H2 2013 and July 2014 to March 2015 for selected non-landed private residential projects. According to the study, the median prices of only ten out of 46 projects registered double-digit declines since peaking in 2013. 
The median price decline for the Core Central Region (CCR) was 8.9 per cent due to the widely varied price falls in the region from 0.7 per cent (RV Residences) to 21.9 per cent (Helios Residences). For the Rest of Central Region (RCR), median prices of 18 city-fringe projects were down by 5.3 per cent in the same period. Pebble Bay at Tanjong Rhu registered the highest fall of 14.4 per cent in median resale prices. Median prices in the Outside Central Region (OCR) declined by six per cent across twenty suburban projects, with new sale prices of Bedok’s new eCO condo falling the most in the area, at 17.1 per cent.
HDB resale prices continue to decline at a slower pace
The Resale Price Index (RPI) in the first three months of 2015 dipped to its lowest in one and a half years, and is expected to continue declining due to property cooling measures.
Mr Thomas Tan of RE/MAX Singapore noted that the oversupply of new flats has been drawing home buyers away from resale flats, which have subsequently caused softer prices. New flats are giving buyers more options, with more Build-to-Order flats coming up for sale in Clementi, Punggol North, Sembawang and Tampines next month. He added that the softer price trend will continue through the year and estimated a five to seven per cent decline.