Buyers can now check prices of units at projects. URA website starts showing transaction data in push for transparency
HOME buyers can now view net prices of individual units at projects, after the Ministry of National Development mandated greater market transparency.
From last week, developers have been required to submit detailed transaction data to the Controller of Housing every week.
This includes sales volumes and transacted prices of individual units, and the value of any benefits extended to buyers - including cash rebates, absorption of stamp duty fees, rental guarantees and furniture vouchers.
The information on these transactions with caveats lodged or options issued is then published on the Urban Redevelopment Authority's (URA's) website weekly.
This started yesterday. The first round of data shows that two units on around the first floor of Pollen & Bleu in Farrer Drive sold last week at net prices of about $1,814 per sq ft (psf) and $1,894 psf each, or a discount of 4 to 5 per cent.
The data gives only approximate levels of the units. A unit between the first and fifth floor of Sunnyvale Residences in Bedok sold at a net price of about $1,498 psf, or about 3.4 per cent discount.
Five units at Lakeville Residences in Jurong were sold at discounts of up to 1.1 per cent.
A unit between the 11th and 15th floors at Hillion Residences went for a net price of $1,460 psf, a 5 per cent discount.
Two units between the 11th and 15th floors at Riverbank@ Fernvale went at net prices of $1,008 psf to $1,013 psf - 0.2 per cent to 0.3 per cent discount.
The discounts given for some projects appear to have only partially offset the Additional Buyer's Stamp Duty for those with multiple properties, noted Dr Lee Nai Jia, DTZ research head.
"The net-price data is useful for buyers to compare projects based on their budgets.
It also serves as a one-stop place for potential buyers to gather information on the actual prices of a project without going down to every showflat," he said.
Potential buyers can also form a better impression of what prices they should be paying for a location, said Mr Sng Jin Chye, a real estate professional with investing interests.
But further disclosures on unit numbers would be helpful as well, as prices could differ vastly, based on their orientation, he said. Units could also be priced differently, based on whether their numbers are seen as auspicious.
Still, the changes could be especially useful to buyers in a hot market, when several hundred units may be sold within a few days of a launch, Mr Ku Swee Yong, Century 21 chief executive, said.
"Buyers may have rushed to book units at the time. Now, they can review a few days later what other people have paid and if they got a good deal," he said.
But Mr Ku warned against using the data to plot trends, as some buyers back out of purchases. Returned units for executive condominiums could be due to cancelled marriage plans, or condo buyers could have simply found better options.
Month-to-month data would be more reliable for those purposes, he said. The way that the net prices will be used will have interesting implications for the industry and need to be studied further, said Mr Lee of DTZ.
"This includes mediation of conflicts over value, and computation of stamp duties and property tax."
Members of the public can view the data at :
The Straits Times/ Singapore Published on Saturday, 6 June 2015
By Rennie Whang firstname.lastname@example.org
Buyers can now check prices of units at projects