Far East Organization, Singapore’s largest closely held real estate developer, said it sold a record 2,200 homes in the first five months.
The developer marketed projects in Singapore’s suburbs this year, including Watertown in the northeast and Hillier in the northwest, which includes homes modeled after New York and London apartments over a mall with a Dean & Deluca store.
Far East will offer discounts of as much as 3 percent to mark the record sales, it said on its website. It declined further comment in an e-mailed statement in response to queries.
The company’s projects led the rebound in the country’s home sales this year. Watertown in the Punggol suburb accounted for more than half of the total 1,872 units sold in January, when the city’s residential transactions rebounded from a two-year low. April’s home sales climbed a three-year high of 2,487, boosted by developments including Far East’s Hillsta, according to government data.
Developers will continue to build in the city’s outskirts to cater to demand from locals, said Nicholas Mak, executive director at SLP International Property Consultants, a real estate consulting company.
“Due to their purchasing power, local residents will find suburban properties more affordable,” Mak said.
There’s a “possibility” the Singapore government may introduce additional measures to cool the housing market following the surge in home sales, Mak said, adding that it’s difficult to gauge what may trigger another round of curbs.
The government has been attempting to rein in prices since 2009, when it barred interest-only loans for some housing projects and stopped allowing developers to absorb interest payments for apartments still being built. Analysts at Jones Lang LaSalle Inc., CLSA Asia Pacific Markets, Nomura Holdings Inc. and Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Lynch unit said in April they all expect the government to introduce further measures to curb price increases.
The Straits Times reported today that May home sales are probably “significantly down” from April, citing property consultants and agents.
“It is the darkening economic climate that’s affecting buying sentiment,” Mak said. “We don’t know how bad the fallout from the Euro zone financial crisis is. Because credit is the lifeblood of the real estate market, if there is a credit crunch, it will affect the property market.”