Published December 21, 2006

Hong Leong sells highest number of units in 2006


HONG Leong Group has emerged as the top seller of residential property in Singapore for the second year running. Figures compiled by Chinese daily Lianhe Zaobao show that the group sold 1,475 units worth $3.2 billion as at Dec 17, mainly through listed entity City Developments.

Hong Leong was still tops even though it sold 36 per cent fewer units than last year's 2,300. Frasers Centrepoint took second place with 1,197 units sold, and Keppel Land came in third, with 1,076. UIC, in fourth place with 1,009, was the only other developer to sell more than 1,000 units so far this year. These four account for close to half of the total sales in the private property market.

CityDev saw strong sales at up-scale developments such as St Regis Residences, The Oceanfront @ Sentosa Cove and Tate Residences. The group said that buoyant high-end property sales have in turn moved sales in the mid-tier. This year, Hong Leong also saw good sales at the Watermark, The Pier at Robertson, Parc Emily, Edelweiss Park, Le Reve and Residences @ Evelyn.

'We are optimistic that a broad-based recovery is underway, as we have already started to observe a pick-up in demand for our mass market properties, such as Ferraria Park,' said CityDev managing director Chia Ngiang Hong. Private home sales hit 6,700 units in the first nine months of this year, and developers hope to move 3,000 more in the fourth quarter.

CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) expects the target to be met. The property consultancy yesterday released a report predicting that the residential market will close 2006 on a triumphant note with a take-up rate of about 9,700 new homes and a price increase of 8-9 per cent. Next year, the take-up rate of new homes could hit 10,000, said CBRE.

Developers have been stocking up sites for future projects - this year, they bought a total of 83 sites worth $8.7 billion from the private sector, which can yield around 10,500 new homes. And from the government land sales programme, developers bought six sites worth $1.2 billion, which can supply nearly 1,500 new homes.