Making sense of Mr Market from The M

Updated: Mar 3, 2020

“Sales is soooo good that the developer can afford to close the show flat for four days…”, quipped my Division Director.

Indeed, sales were so good. Wing Tai Asia sold 70% or over 360 units of its latest condominium project, The M, over the weekend. I’m not sure when we’ll ever experience such phenomenal sales performance again. The showflat is closed from Monday to Thursday for disinfecting...

Wait, aren’t we still in Dorscon Orange? We are clearly still not out of the woods amid this Covid-19 outbreak. Why did thousands of people throng the show flat during the preview weekend? What does the snaking queue of buyers trying to get into the balloting tentage on the 22nd say about the current market condition? Are we at the start of a property bull run?

D-day: 22nd February 2020

It was the official booking day for The M. My buyer came early and still almost couldn’t get a parking lot. While cars were queuing to get into Sunshine Plaza, another agents/buyers queue was quickly forming outside the balloting tentage. This queue extended all the way to Hotel Rendezvous.

Buyer came very well-prepared with a list of his choice units over a range of unit types. Afterall, I’ve explained the importance of having back up plans. We wouldn’t know the prices until we get into the booking queue. But before that, the first hurdle was waiting for our ballot number to be called. That in itself was already a very big hurdle. The balloting took place from 8.30am to 3pm. By 3 pm, there are still people waiting for their number to be called. Thank God, by noon, we cleared this big hurdle and went into the booking area.

In the booking area, price checkers provided us with live prices and availability. It was like Tsukiji market place - tense and at times chaotic. Every few minutes, we could hear the announcer declaring a unit sold, “xx-xx SOLD!” Nearing the head of booking queue, there were people who are still undecided about which stack and floor to choose. But even if they knew, the price would be another variable which might throw them off-track again. I was glad to have spent time going through the unit selection with buyer, making sure he was happy with his choices before coming down. Before we knew it, it was our turn and I truly felt excited and happy for my buyer who managed to secure his choice unit and his budget!

I have been reiterating to some of my friends, past clients and prospective buyers that The M is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of project, once you miss the boat, you can never catch it again. Most of them agree. In fact, they were seriously considering, but what’s holding them back was the funding of the downpayment and ABSD. Some of them are still trying to offload their current property or properties. The first thing they ask is whether the developer are willing to reissue the option. The current trend is for buyers with funding issues to request for the reissue of option, buying time for funds to come in. This, of course, is subject to approval. But in the case of The M, the developer had so far not entertained any of such requests. This is to say that you cannot join the balloting if you have a request for reissue of option.

Why the M?

At just $2,450psf on average in the Core Central Region, within 2 minutes’ walk to Bugis MRT station, served by 4 MRT lines, in between major shopping malls (Suntec mall and Bugis Junction), surrounded by an upcoming supply of about 1.7 million sqf of office space with a potential workforce of about 38,000 office workers against a limited supply of residential supply (just about 1,500 units), surrounding projects selling at >$2900psf…. etc, I can share with you more reasons. If a 99-year D19 condo can also achieve good sales at $1800psf, then $2450psf in CCR is steal. Then you’ll be asking me, “Why is The M selling so cheap?” Well, we can meet up to chat over coffee and I’ll tell you personally.

Anyway, such an attractive entry price point will be unheard of three years down the road in the heart of Bugis, when the Bugis-Beach Road area is transformed into an upscale commercial, office and residential district which could unseat Orchard Road’s position as the prime shopping belt in Singapore.

For those who didn’t manage to secure a unit at The M during the launch day, don’t give up. There are still units available. If the units remaining are above your budget, fret not. Because the developer has closed down the show flat temporarily to disinfect (a.k.a for rest… zzzz), I finally had the time today to blog about the M and also head down to a briefing at a new showflat in the East to sniff out another good deal for buyers.

Making sense of the Mr Market

From the stellar sales performance of The M, as well as the sales at the launch of Parc Canberra EC recently, we have observed that there is a big pool of buyers who have ready funds for property purchases (the fact that at The M, they cannot request for reissue of option and are able to secure a loan). While buyers are cognizant of the uncertainty of Covid-19, they are generally still confident about their job prospects, and could be among those holding on to the sales proceeds from the last en-bloc cycle. Covid-19 has not dampened buying interests where property is concerned because property purchase is a long-term decision; it will not be significantly affected by the knee-jerk reaction caused by a disease. The current bank interest rates are well within affordable limits of property owners, unemployment rate remains low. As long as inflow of funds stays healthy, population is on track to increase to 6.9 million, and the government prudently manages our property market through the necessary measures, we are definitely heading towards a stable and healthy growth in property prices. In my opinion, we are in a recovery phase in the current cycle.

After The M, what’s next?

March 2020 promises another exciting month for property hunters. I always believe there is always something for everybody. Every property is unique. My job is to study my buyers’ objective, preference and financial situation, and then sieve out the most suitable deals.

As I mentioned earlier, there is something brewing in the East this coming weekend…

Freehold + beautiful vines climbing signifies a Home that grows with you! Care to make a guess?

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