CDL’s Newport Residences preview postponed; developers take stock of ABSD hikes

Jessie Lim
Published Thu, Apr 27, 2023 · 05:49 PM

CITY Developments Limited (CDL) has pushed back the launch of its prime downtown project Newport Residences, which sits in the prime residential segment that analysts have said will take a direct hit from the government’s latest cooling measures.

Newport Residences, a 246-unit freehold luxury development on Anson Road, had been scheduled to start previews this weekend. Agents reckon that prices could be pitched north of S$3,000 per square foot (psf). 

The project is coming up on the site of the former Fuji Xerox Towers building in the Central Business District (CBD), which is in the Core Central Region (CCR). Two other luxury projects are also in the works in the CBD – the 748-unit Marina View Residences condo on the Marina View Government Land Sales (GLS) site, developed by IOI Properties, and a 215-unit project at the former AXA Tower site at 8 Shenton Way, developed by a Perennial-led consortium.

“With the latest property-related measures… the market will need time to absorb the news. In view of this, we will be rescheduling the preview for Newport Residences, which was originally slated to commence this weekend,” said a CDL spokesman on Thursday (Apr 27), in response to queries from The Business Times (BT). “We will monitor market conditions closely and unveil its launch at an appropriate time.”

This comes as the Singapore government stepped up Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) rates for residential properties, in a fresh round of cooling measures aimed at curbing investment demand.

Foreigners, typically high-net-worth individuals who have been buying top-end condos in the prime CCR region, will bear the brunt of the increases. ABSD on any residential property purchase by foreigners has doubled from 30 per cent to 60 per cent.  

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An analysis by JLL indicated that foreign buyers made up 15.5 per cent of non-landed private property purchases in the CCR in the first quarter of 2023. Against that, foreign buyers accounted for just 2.3 per cent of sales in the mid-tier Rest of Central Region (RCR) and 2.3 per cent in mass-market Outside Central Region (OCR) projects.

All eyes are now on two new RCR residential projects that have just gone to market – Blossoms By The Park in the one-north hub, and The Continuum in the east. They are among the 30-something new private housing projects slated to be launched this year.

EL Development started previews for Blossoms By The Park on Apr 14, pricing the project between S$2,200 and S$2,400 psf. 

Located at 9, Slim Barracks Rise in District 5, the 99-year leasehold development houses 275 residential units.

EL Development’s managing director Lim Yew Soon told BT the company will proceed with Blossoms By The Park’s sales launch this Saturday.

“There will definitely be some impact on the demand due to the measures. However, I believe that the impact will be limited, as Blossoms By The Park is in the one-north area and the buyers in this area are usually Singaporeans and permanent residents rather than foreigners,” he said.

Anson Lim, UOL general manager of residential marketing, told BT the developer is likely to proceed with the planned launch of 99-year leasehold Pinetree Hill in Pine Grove in June or July this year, as the project would continue to draw locals buying for owner occupation. 

He was responding to BT’s queries on whether UOL might postpone the launch of its two upcoming projects at Watten Estate in Bukit Timah and Pinetree Hill in Ulu Pandan.  

Last Friday, Hoi Hup and Sunway started previews of The Continuum on Thiam Siew Avenue, at prices starting at about S$2,580 psf. BT has reached out to Hoi Hup for comments.

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