The Florence Residences released 200 units over the weekend of August 2-3. There were 54 units sold out of that total. The Logan Property executive director CB Chng notes that this represents close to 30% of sales.
These days, buyers tend to be more cautious when purchasing and will sometimes take a long time to consider all options before making a decision. In order to become familiar with the project, first-time buyers should take their time.
The Florence Residences, located at Hougang Avenue 2, has the distinction of being Singapore’s first “mega project” due to its 1,410 units and is part of the former Florence Regency estate, which was privatized by HUDC.
Its average price per square foot is $1,450. Pricing for some units starts at less than $1,400 per square foot.
Developers face a variety of challenges
According to Ismail Gafoor, CEO of PropNex Realty, one of five marketing agencies appointed to market The Florence Residences, one of the biggest challenges facing developers today is that buyers have an incredible number of choices between new launches and already launched projects. OrangeTee & Tie, Huttons Asia, and SRI round out the list.
The Florence Residences was the only major suburban project launched in January and February this year. The Ter Ver and riverfront residences are all nearby projects in the Serangoon-Hougang area that have seen sales of about 200 units in the last four weeks, notes Gafoor.
As shown in the below map, the announcement that 12 stations will be part of the Cross Island Line’s first phase on Jan 25 contributed to the pickup in transactions of the 1,052-unit Affinity at Serangoon and the 613-unit The Garden Residences (See Map below). In Serangoon North, one of the upcoming stations is situated just 350 meters from Affinity at Serangoon, and 532 metres from The Garden Residences.
Four hundred and sixty units (43.7%) have been sold at Affinity at Serangoon since its launch last June. 30 units were sold over the weekend (August 2-3). Affinity at Serangoon achieved an average price of $1,475 per square foot.
Oxley Holdings’ director of marketing and sales, Eugene Lim, cites the recent announcement of the Cross Island Line as a major factor in the sale of Affinity at Serangoon and Riverfront Residences. Additionally, some agents report that buyers returned to our project after viewing other recent launches because ours has superior design and finishes.”
During the year, two other projects — Riverfront Residences, which was launched on July 5 (the day before the imposition of the cooling measures), and The Tre Ver, which was launched in August — saw sales momentum pick up as well.
The Riverfront Residences, a 1,427-unit building, sold 35 units in the past weekend, bringing the total to 935 (65.5%). An average price per square foot of 1,350 dollars is charged for units sold. Oxley’s Lim reports that sales have been strong.
“Good sales momentum” wasn’t the only Tre Ver sign of success in 2019’s first two months. Potong Pasir Avenue 1 is a 729-unit condo that was launched in August last year, and has so far achieved close to 45% sales. According to the market, 1,558 psf is the average price. UOL Group’s chief investment officer and asset officer, Jesline Goh, says the city fringe location and strong product offering of WOHA draw buyers.
Property agents who declined to be identified said some developers raised commission rates to agents from 1-2% to 3-5% so they could move the remaining units and search of various Florance Residences floor plan. He says the agents were motivated to convert prospects to those projects.
Standing out from the crowd
Logan Property’s Chng notes that other projects in the area started marketing in April 2018, involving various marketing strategies. But The Florance Residences balance units is expected to stand out from the others, says he.
Two MRT stations are close to Florence Residences, says Chng. Located just six minutes away from Hougang MRT Interchange, our target audience will realize the investment potential. It is our desire to create a satisfying lifestyle for residents by the conceptual design and landscape architecture of the project.”
The launch weekend is traditionally a time when developers focus on sales. As managing partner of SRI, Ken Low believes that the battle will be long-drawn in today’s market.
Gafoor states that developers must change their strategy this year, given the number of projects scheduled for launch. As opposed to splurging every dollar they have on advertising and promotion on the launch weekend, they should spread out spending over the long run. Local marketing is also essential.”
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