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Singapore property stocks show 'fatigue' with surge in en-blocs

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A spate of enbloc sales, coupled with a rebound in the property market at the start of the year, may indicate that Singapore developers will be more cautious in adding to landbanks and about their pricing strategies, analysts say.

[SINGAPORE] A spate of enbloc sales, coupled with a rebound in the property market at the start of the year, may indicate that Singapore developers will be more cautious in adding to landbanks and about their pricing strategies, analysts say.

Collective apartment sales in the first two months of 2018 totalled over S$3.1 billion, almost twice the S$1.66 billion seen in the last peak of the enbloc market in 2007, Nomura analyst Min Chow Sai wrote in a note dated today.

The sales appear to be cutting into the willingness of developers to pay premium prices after three of four deals transacted last week were sold at asking prices, he said.

There appears to be "fatigue" in the market, said DBS analysts Derek Tan and Rachel Tan in note.

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"This slowing momentum is positive, in our view, as it means lower upward pressure on final selling prices when these projects are launched."

Residential prices are expected to rise more quickly through 2018 as buyer sentiment improves with a stronger-than-expected economic growth outlook in Singapore, they said. The city-state last week beat estimates to report a fourth-quarter real GDP growth of 3.6 per cent.

City Developments Ltd, UOL Group Ltd, and property broker Apac Realty Ltd are preferred stocks for DBS. 

Mapletree Logistics Trust may be attractive to investors as it has no debt due for refinancing this year, wrote Nomura's Mr Sai. 

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