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    Jan 26, 2015

    EC glut 'drives down unit sales, land bids'

    AN OVERSUPPLY of executive condominium (EC) projects is hitting unit sales and driving down land bids, according to analysts.

    R'ST Research noted that many new projects are in areas that already have an abundance of EC projects.

    Its research showed that 13 EC developments representing 7,149 units have been launched in Punggol and Sengkang since 2010, with about 5,700 sales.

    Recent launches in the area include The Amore, which moved about 70 of 378 units during its opening weekend a week ago, and The Terrace, where 150 of 747 units have been sold since its launch last month.

    A 1.75ha site in Anchorvale Crescent, Sengkang, was also the subject of a tender last week that attracted just three bids. Sim Lian Land's top offer of $157.8 million, or $280 per sq ft (psf) per plot ratio (ppr), was the lowest since the Twin Waterfalls EC site in Punggol Field was sold 31/2 years ago at $270 psf ppr.

    Five projects with a total of 2,568 units have been launched in Pasir Ris and Tampines since 2010.

    About 2,490 units had been sold as at Dec 31, noted R'ST Research director Ong Kah Seng.

    Three projects with a total of 1,577 units have been launched in Yishun and Sembawang since 2010, with 1,418 units sold as at Dec 31.

    A further five EC sites in the area were sold last year but the projects have not yet been launched.

    With such a supply of land, it is no wonder that the sale of an EC site in Sembawang Road in September closed with just two bids - one of the poorest participation rates for an EC tender.

    Three projects in Woodlands with a total of 1,632 units have been launched since 2010, with 1,056 sold as at Dec 31.

    Bellewoods was launched in the area in November, selling about 78 of 561 units as at Dec 31.

    Given the burgeoning supply in these areas and low land prices for recent sites - those which transacted last year were sold at about $350 psf ppr or less - it is possible that the average selling price for new projects could dip this year, said Mr Ong.

    Average EC prices have increased from about $700 psf in 2010 and 2011, to about $800 psf in the second half of 2013, he noted.

    "Demand for ECs is still quite positive, but it is very cost-sensitive and buyers are getting more selective due to ample choices," he said, adding that reverting to a roughly $750 psf average selling price for new projects would still allow developers to enjoy marginal profits.