By Lynda Hong | POSTED: 25 Oct 2013 21:18 | CNA

SINGAPORE

With home prices in the city centre softening, analysts say many developers are likely to hold back on launching new projects for the rest of the year.

Real estate consultancy CBRE estimates that there are some 2,000 units of private homes yet to be launched for sale in the core central region — the highest compared to the city fringe and the suburban areas.

Upcoming project DUO Residences in Bugis will offer the largest number of homes in the city at 660 units.

Channel NewsAsia understands that some prospective buyers, including high net worth individuals, have been invited to a “soft launch” on November 2.

And the project will be officially launched for sale in mid-November.

According to marketing materials, indicative prices for units at DUO range between S$1,800 and S$2,000 per square foot (psf) on average.

Apart from DUO, analysts are not expecting many new launches in the city in the next couple of months.

Other projects in the pipeline include Clermont Residence at Tanjong Pagar Centre and South Beach Residences.

Unlike other condominiums where launches are made even before the foundation has been built, South Beach Residences is fast coming up.

But its developers are not rushing to launch the 190-unit integrated development, saying they are waiting for the right market conditions.

While prices of city homes have weakened in recent months, analysts do not expect developers to slash prices.

New units in the core central region are still projected to cost between S$2,000 and S$3,000 psf.

Meanwhile, the robust demand for mass market homes have pushed up their prices.

In the third quarter, Savills Singapore says the average price of a home in the city is S$1,962 psf, compared to S$1,308 psf in the suburbs.

Eric Tan, chief executive officer of GSK Global, said: “The gap will continue to close for another six to nine months before the suburb homes — we will start to see the suburb home prices fall. The prices of suburb condo is getting higher and higher, and to me I’m very confident that those who bought suburban homes, they are not going to make money.”

Desmond Sim, associate director at CBRE, said: “If you look at it on a psf basis, the premiums have definitely narrowed but the biggest differentiator is the quantum. So city homes, a lot of them are of a good sized house. So in terms of their quantum, they are a bigger barrier for people to come into.”

Analysts say the cooling measures and loans curbs introduced this year will continue to weigh on demand for expensive homes.

– CNA/gn

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/business/singapore/developers-likely-to-hold/861798.html