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Property developers delaying launches due to poor market sentiment: Industry watchers

Industry watchers attribute this to developers being conscious of poor market sentiment amid economic uncertainty. 

SINGAPORE: Residential property developers have been holding back on property launches, with a few opting to delay by one or two months, according to property watchers.

They attribute this to developers being conscious of poor market sentiment amid economic uncertainty.

The first residential property launch for 2016 is expected to be WanderVale, an executive condominium (EC) in Choa Chu Kang with 534 units.

Three other developments, a mix of ECs, mixed developments and private are also expected to headline the first quarter, with sites in Yishun, Sembawang and Kovan. One project that has been delayed to May is a private condominium in Toa Payoh.

Industry watchers noted some launches may see delays, depending on market conditions.

"There were some projects that were expected to be launched slightly earlier – perhaps late February or even March. For these projects, in light of the current turbulence in the stock market and (the) spate of bad news in the market recently such as plunging oil prices, and uncertainty in the global economy, (all) this will have an impact on sentiments. So for these projects expected to launch in the first quarter, some might spill over into early second quarter,” said OrangeTee Manager, Research & Consultancy Wong Xian Yang.

In order to entice buyers, property agency PropNex said developers could bite the bullet and offer direct discounts. This follows last year's regulations which clamped down on “soft” discounts, such as furniture vouchers and rebates.

“Today, what we see is most developers are adopting or going for a direct discount on the properties. There is no incentive for the buyer to get the huge kind of other form of cash rebates, because under the new ruling, what is required is, any form of incentive, even if it's a club membership, one will have to convert it to a value and have to (get it) factored and written into the option-to-purchase,” said PropNex Realty CEO Ismail Gafoor. “And these kinds of rebates or incentives are taken into consideration when the buyers goes to the bank to secure a loan. Therefore his loan will be reduced.”

According to URA data for 2015, developers launched more than 7,000 private residential units excluding ECs, while 3,750 new EC units were launched in 2015.