Singapore

Brisk demand for ECs with 954 new units sold

Executive condominium-buying interest is 'buoyant' and will remain so, say analysts


Executive condominiums (ECs) have also been swept up in the resurgent property market.

Demand for ECs was brisk in the second quarter, as developers shifted 954 new units even though no fresh project went on sale.

And that was before Hundred Palms Residences in Hougang sold all 531 units in just seven hours on July 22, meaning that bumper third-quarter figures are also likely.

In the second quarter, home-buyers picked up units from previous launches, running down the unsold uncompleted EC stock to the lowest level in over four years at 2,742 units as at June 30.

Figures from the Urban Redevelopment Authority yesterday showed that a total of 2,026 new ECs were sold in the first half of the year, a hefty increase of 8.5 per cent over the 1,867 moved a year earlier.

Analysts said EC-buying interest will remain "buoyant".

Ms Tricia Song, research head at Colliers International Singapore, said: "ECs tend to be priced 20 per cent to 30 per cent lower than a comparable private condo and, hence, would be the more economical option for the middle-income young families."

But demand is not uniform across the board.

The other EC launched this year - the 497-unit iNz Residence in Choa Chu Kang - still had 233 unsold units at the end of last month.

"The success of Hundred Palms is not solely due to the lack of upcoming supply of ECs, but it is also attributed to its location," said Dr Lee Nai Jia, head of research at Edmund Tie and Company.

The new EC supply is set to be limited, with only one site offered under the government land sales programme for this half of the year.

It is in Sumang Walk and will yield up to 815 units.

Another factor that could support EC demand is the little-changed resale prices of HDB flats, which will restrict the amount upgraders can pay for their next home, said Mr Nicholas Mak, head of research and consultancy at ZACD Group. Meanwhile, analysts believe that the private home market is close to the bottom after nearly four years of sliding prices and that home-hunters should think seriously about buying units.

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