"Upmarket/Luxury" Apartments: A lil research to satisfy our curiorsity....

By The Folks @PropTalk - July 16, 2014 No Comments

After the dismal new private home sales figures for June were released yesterday, the general opinion from market watchers is that monthly sales for the second half of 2014 will likely be in the 600 - 800 units range. One reason cited was the lack of "affordably priced mass-market projects" in the pipeline.
And in a separate report in this week's THEEDGE SINGAPORE, one of the causes of the current property slump in China (which, according to the writer, is going to be more severe than the previous cycles) is attributed to property developers misallocating capital by building far too many upmarket houses. 
These made the wife and I wondered:

  • How much of the existing new home inventories in Singapore are considered "upmarket" or "luxury" apartments?  
  • What is the percentage of these as compared to the total number new private homes sold by developers? 
  • How many of these "upmarket/luxury" apartments are currently unsold?
So we went in search for answers by pouring through the "private residential units sold by developers" database on the URA website. The database provides the prices, number of units launched, sold and unsold for private residential projects currently sold by developers.

The current database is updated up till June 2014 and we have decided on the following baselines:

  • Our definition of "upmarket/luxury" is projects that have median prices of $1,500psf and above - this is definitely subjective but we have to draw the line somewhere and felt that $1,500psf is probably fair. 
  • We have removed the 16 Executive Condominium (EC) projects included in the database. So our comparison is based purely on private homes (no hybrid).
Before we share the findings from our research, we must first cautioned that these were derived solely from the figures available in the URA database. Some of the projects listed have been marketed by developers as far back as 2011, while a few projects are either fully sold or have only 1 or 2 unsold units.

Our research has revealed that:

  • As of June 2014, a total of 328 projects (= 61,403 units) are being sold by developers.  
  • Out of which, 274 projects (= 56,519 units) have already been launched either partially or fully. The cumulative number of units launched amounts to 47,886 (84.7%). 
  • The cumulative number of units sold to date is 40,729. This represents 85% of the total units launched. 
  • 108 of the launched projects (= 18,707 units) have median prices of $1,500psf and above.   
  • 59 projects (= 9,389 units) with median prices of $1,5000psf and above have 30% or more unsold units in each of the respective projects. The total number of unsold units amount to 5,667. 
  • 54 projects (=5,193 units) have not been launched as of June 2014.  Of these, we reckon that at least 27 projects (= 4,329 units) will most likely to be priced at $1,500psf and above. These include Marina One (1,042 units), Highline Residences (500 units) and City Gate (311 units).
The figures above tell us that as of June 2014, the number of new private homes (both launched and otherwise) with median prices of $1,500psf and above comes up to around 23,000 units. This is equivalent to about 37.5% of the total number of units currently sold by developers.

While efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of our numbers, there is more than the odd chance that some of our numbers may still be off as everything was done manually over 48 pages of data. So if anyone finds any error in our numbers, we will definitely appreciate you telling us about it.

Barring such, the wife and I hope that our little research will be helpful to those who harbour the same questions as we did.
Below is a screen-shot of the URA data we used for our research:
Try this link and see if it can get you to the database (no guarantees):

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