SINGAPORE: Property developer CapitaLand has stopped selling units in two residential projects for now, a sign that the company could be looking to raise prices down the road, analysts said.
Sources at CapitaLand confirmed on Tuesday (Oct 10) the halt for Marine Blue and Sky Habitat, while declining to comment further.
According to property agents Channel NewsAsia spoke to, the developer started holding back sales of Marine Blue two weeks ago, while it stopped sales of Sky Habitat about a week later.
As of Jul 31, the 509-unit Sky Habitat had 99 unsold developer units, while the 124-unit Marine Blue had 53 unsold units.
This comes as developers postpone the next phase of their launches for several projects introduced earlier this year.
Both Lendlease and Qingjian Realty said that they did so as they expect the market to improve further next year.
After Park Place Residences' first phase of its launch in March, Lendlease stopped making new units available.
In response to whether the company plans to launch the remaining units at a higher price, a Lendlease spokesperson said: “The potential for long-term asset appreciation is very attractive and thus we believe that the future launch will better reflect the value that Park Place Residences offers.”
He added that the next phase of the launch will likely be in 2018.
Similarly, since launching Le Quest in August this year, Qingjian Realty has not sold any new units. The company said that more details of Le Quest’s phase two launch will be announced at a later date.
Guocoland also announced in August that it would cut back on sales of Martin Modern, which was launched in July.
Mr Ku Swee Yong, International Property Advisor’s CEO, said that developers sometimes either freeze sales, or cut back on the number of homes put up for sale, as they look to revise prices upwards and launch the units during a market recovery.
He added that developers may not be able to replenish their land bank through the government land sales and en bloc processes in time to launch new developments, so they “may be adopting this strategy in order to smooth out their cash flow” for the future.
And while developers seem to be optimistic about the property market next year, Ms Tay Huey Ying, head of research and consultancy at Jones Lang LaSalle, cautioned against over-confidence.
"Even though sales volume is returning, buyers are still pretty price-sensitive,” Ms Tay said, adding that home prices would probably only rise moderately next year.