Top Print Edition Stories
Published November 27, 2006

Sub-sales of S'pore condos surge 69% in Q3

Number of deals highest since 2001; median price rises 26% from Q2


(SINGAPORE) The number of sub-sale deals for private apartments and condos - often used as a gauge of speculation in the real estate market - hit 233 in Q3 this year, up 69 per cent from the preceding three months and the highest quarterly figure since 2001.

The median sub-sale price rose 26 per cent from $789 per square foot (psf) in Q2 this year to $997 psf in Q3 - busting the previous peak of $830 psf in Q2 1996 during the heydays of property speculation in Singapore.

The price surge in Q3 reflects the high-priced projects that featured among sub-sales in the July to Sept quarter this year, DTZ Debenham Tie Leung said in its latest analysis of caveats captured by Urban Redevelopment Authority's (URA) Realis system. Such projects include The Oceanfront @ Sentosa Cove, The Sail @ Marina Bay and The Imperial.

Sub-sales are defined as secondary market transactions in a project before it receives its Certificate of Statutory Completion. This is usually issued a year after a project receives its Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP).

The 233 sub-sale deals in the third quarter accounted for just over 6 per cent of the total 3,827 caveats lodged for private apartments and condos covering both primary and secondary markets during the period.

For the first nine months of this year, sub-sale deals totalled 481, making up only 4.1 per cent of the 11,594 total caveats for apartments and condos in the period. This is a far cry from 1996, when sub-sale deals had a 22.4 per cent share.

In that year, there were a total of 3,410 sub-sale deals for private apartments and condos.

DTZ said that collectively, the two highest price bands in its five-tier analysis - units costing $1.4 million and above, and those priced between $1 million to under $1.4 million - accounted for about half of all sub-sale deals in Q3.

In fact, sub-sale deals in the top price band jumped from 33 deals in Q2 this year to 89 transactions in Q3.

All 19 sub-sales for The Oceanfront @ Sentosa Cove in Q3 were at $1.4 million and above, while 21 of the 53 sub-sales at The Sail in Q3 were in this price band.

In fact, The Sail has seen a total of 130 sub-sale deals since the project was first released in late 2004 - working out to 12 per cent of the total 1,111 units in the project.

With 53 sub-sale deals in Q3 2006 alone, The Sail topped the list of projects with sub-sale deals in the quarter, followed by The Icon (23 deals). In third position was The Imperial, with 22 sub-sales at a median price of $1,091 psf, up from the project's launch price of about $890 psf in 2003.

DTZ reckoned the development's large-sized apartments and the fact that it has been completed (it received TOP in June this year) accounted for its strong interest in the sub-sale market. Twin Regency in Tiong Bahru also saw 17 sub-sale deals in Q3.

Market watchers reckon the level of speculation is set to rise with upcoming launches like One Shenton and Marina Bay Residences both near The Sail, as well as new launches in the prime districts.

Sub-sale activity developments that have been completed or are nearing completion is also set to gather pace, especially if there are upcoming launches in the vicinity at higher prices which can serve as price benchmarks for sub-sale deals.