Flush with cash, buyers snap up Marina One condo

Published: 4:03 AM, October 10, 2014

SINGAPORE — In yet another sign that liquidity is still healthy in the Republic’s residential property market despite the recent fall in sales volume, more than 85 per cent of the units released during the preview phase of Marina One Residences — the latest high-end offering in the downtown Marina Bay area — have been snapped up.

Developer M+S, a joint venture between Temasek Holdings and Malaysia’s investment holding fund Khazanah, yesterday said it ended up releasing 242 homes from the 1,042-unit development, following overwhelming response from Singaporeans, Malaysians and foreign buyers. This was up from the intended 150 to 200 units.

“The strong response underscores Marina One as a choice development for investors and owner-occupiers alike,” said chief operating officer Kemmy Tan.

Balloting for purchasers of three or more units started last Friday, while that for purchasers of two units began on Wednesday. Meanwhile, balloting begins today for single-unit purchasers. M+S said the show flat would be open to the public from tomorrow.

Mr Colin Tan, director and head of research and consultancy at Suntec Real Estate Consultants, said a balloting process that gives buyers of multiple units the first pick was a strategy that has worked in the developer’s favour.

“I think the developer approached the game in a clever way and this has worked well in attracting investors. There’s no doubt that there’s a lot of liquidity in the market. It’s a matter of drawing it out and translating that into sales,” he said.

Sales in the Core Central Region (CCR) have been lacklustre as demand turned tepid following repeated rounds of cooling measures. In the second quarter of this year, 95 homes in the CCR were sold, down from 121 units in the previous quarter and 365 units the same period last year. Prices in the CCR were also seen to have declined for the fifth consecutive quarter in the three months to June.

As a result of the softening property market, Singapore has been knocked out of a ranking of the top 20 cities for real estate investment, said a report by property consultancy Cushman and Wakefield. Last year, the Republic ranked 14th.

Despite this, Suntec Real Estate’s Mr Tan believes Singapore is still a safe haven for investors and that a lack of “investment grade” offerings recently may have kept buyers on the sidelines. “Sophisticated investors would want something in the city centre, but we have not seen much of that recently. Overall launches have also come down, so the market turned quiet,” he said.