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Although slowly, property market is awakening from slumber, with the coming months expecting more activity as shown by the recent data.

According to estimates by SRX property, last month saw the highest resale volumes in three years for both the Housing Board and the private apartment. Various transactions are of complete units by developers whose success in selling units is based on creative ways of payments structuring and price cuts.

In new sales, developers have focused on setting favorable prices to sell even though many new launches dwindle after the first sales surge. However, the turnout of the two latest launches had been encouraging. Cheung Kong Property received almost 4000 visitors at Kovan VIP preview for Stars of Kovan over the weekend and Toa Payoh Gem Residences got 1036 interest expressions since its preview in April 29.

Is the property market awakening

The main factor affecting sales are the buyers and sellers who are starting to move after having waited on changes on prices and cooling measures. The post-budget confirmed that no changes would be seen on the cooling measures, which encouraged investors waiting, to make a move.

Developers are also under pressure to make sales, to which they have set reasonable prices. They know buyers have more options. For instance, in Orchard Road, buyers have a choice among Ardmore Three, freehold selling about $2,700 per square foot; OUE Twin Peaks of 99-year lease selling at $2,300 PSF and Gramercy Park a freehold selling at $2,600 per sq ft.

The move by OUE to use deferred payments seems to work with almost 100 units selling since March.

Other developers have taken notes, with TG Development, Lloyd SixtyFive developer introducing “experimental Scheme” where buyers pay 12.5% of purchase price and occupy without payment of property tax and maintenance fees for a number of years.

On resale, sellers have changed their expectations thereby encouraging the buyers. The HDB resale market has not seen a price shift in the last nine months a sign of market stability.

However, despite the bargain, buyers view up to fifteen properties before purchasing. Experts feel that buyers are savvy and have been monitoring the market. They don’t go in when prices are not right.

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