On May 19, Singapore-listed property group City Developments Ltd (CDL) announced that in 2H 2023, it would launch The Myst condo. This new 99-year leasehold project boasts 408 units on Upper Bukit Timah Road. The prominent private condo is within a five-minute walk of the Cashew MRT station on the Downtown Line.
Simultaneously, CDL has decided to reschedule the preview date for Newport Residences. This freehold project includes 246 units and is part of a mixed-use development encompassing offices, serviced apartments, and F&B/retail. This project is located in Tanjong Pagar, in the city’s Core Central Region (CCR). Regrettably, this decision came after the newest round of property cooling measures. These measures came into effect on April 27, 2003.
Consequently, the additional buyer’s stamp duty (ABSD) for foreigners purchasing residential property rose from 30% to 60%. Furthermore, the ABSD for Singapore citizens buying their second and third residential properties saw a 20% and 30% increase, respectively. Singapore Permanent Residents (PRs) also had their ABSD increased to 30% and 35%, respectively.
As a responsible property group, CDL will monitor the market closely and launch projects at appropriate times. Regarding the impact of these measures on CDL’s residential portfolio, analyst Vijay Natarajan of RHB states in his report on May 19 that it is “manageable”. CDL sold 88% of its launched inventory in Singapore in April.
CDL expects that the latest property cooling measures will have a minimal impact on the mass and mid-tier segments, where local and PR buyers are most prevalent. EL Development’s Blossoms By The Park at one-north saw a tremendous response from the market, with 75% of the 275 units sold on the first day of launch on April 29 at an average price of $2,423 psf. Moreover, The Continuum, a freehold project that includes 816 units by Hoi Hup and Sunway Property, saw 211 units sold (26%) at an average price of $2,730 psf the following weekend. Finally, the 732-unit The Reserve Residences at Jalan Anak Bukit, a joint venture between Far East Organization and Sino Group, will launch on May 27.
According to Natarajan’s estimations, the group’s capacity to recognize approximately $5 billion in unbilled residential sales within the next three years is a notable feat. CDL boasts four ongoing projects, expected to collectively yield around 1,500 units ($2 billion in Gross Development Value) in the foreseeable future. Notably, 80% of the unsold units lie within the mid-tier and mass-market segments, which limits their susceptibility to recent cooling measures aimed primarily at non-resident entities and investors.
“While we anticipate a slight moderation in new launch prices post-measures, we remain confident in our margins, likely to remain within the 8-20% range,” said Natarajan in his report. It is worth mentioning that the group has an impressive foothold in the Australian residential market, with the construction of several developments underway. The Marker, featuring 198 units in West Melbourne, has recently marked the completion and exhibits an impressive 92% sell-through rate as of 1Q2023. Fitzroy Fitzroy, a 60-unit apartment project in Melbourne, is already 40% presold ahead of its scheduled completion in 1Q2024. Other projects in the mix include Brickworks Park, a 215-unit development located in Brisbane – already 49% presold – and Treetops at Kenmore, a JV enterprise in Brisbane, also in advanced stages of development and highly sought after by prospective buyers, boasting a 49% presold inventory.