SINGAPORE – There was a spike in the number of large apartments – defined as residential units above 1,500 sq ft – being put up for mortgagee sale at auctions in the first six months of this year, reflecting the challenging resale climate in this segment of the market.
Sizable non-landed homes included a 5,059 sq ft unit at Residences at Killiney in District 9, and a 4,133 sq ft unit at Seascape @ Sentosa Cove in District 4.
Large apartments, which were popular during the market boom in 2007 and 2008, are now languishing in demand due to affordability concerns following stringent loan curbs, said deputy managing director of Colliers International, Grace Ng.
On the demand side, decreases in housing budgets among expatriates and increasing interest rates have softened both foreign and local buying interest, noted a press release from Colliers International.
On the supply side, there has been a competitive number of newly completed homes for rent. As at the first quarter of 2015, more than 18,000 non-landed private residential properties are due for completion by the end of this year, followed by another 20,000 in the next year.
“Owners are finding it challenging to secure tenants, resulting in difficulties in servicing the mortgage loans for their homes,” said Ms Ng.
In general, the Singapore property auction market saw a total of 378 auction listings in the first six months, or a 38 per cent increase from the second half of 2014.
There was, however, no spike in the proportion of mortgagee listings, as employment figures remain high and most owners are able to continue servicing their mortgage loans, said the report.
It is a similar story for strata-titled industrial properties, with 15 units put up by mortgagees in the first six months – more than double the six listings in the second half of last year.
The 15 strata-titled industrial properties included units from UB One, Entrepreneur Business Centre, Empire Techno Centre, Paya Ubi Industrial Park, Pantech Business Hub and Penjuru Tech Hub, all of which are located in the vicinity of Kaki Bukit and the west.
Ms Ng attributed the lull in the industrial property sector to the excess supply of strata-titled industrial units, compounded once again by loan curbs.
The first half of 2015 also saw a total of 17 properties sold at auction, raking in S$45.14 million. These were mostly properties with price tags around S$1.5 million or lower, particularly in the second quarter. A row of shophouses at Teck Chye Terrace in Upper Serangoon Road was the only high-value sale, coming in at S$14.63 million.
Looking ahead, Colliers International expects the trends of increasing mortgagee listings in large apartments and strata-titled industrial units to continue, as with the popularity of affordable properties priced at S$1.5 million and below, on the back of government cooling measures and rising interest rates.
Buying interest for properties put up for auction sale is also seen to remain high, especially for non-landed homes in the prime residential districts of 9, 10, and 11, where prices have shown relatively steeper corrections in the past two years.