(Oct 2): Kwek Leng Beng, chairman of City Developments, has been watching sales at his firm’s projects accelerate in recent months. “Every week, [CDL group general manager Chia Ngiang Hong] sends to my mobile phone how many units we sold. It started with five units, then 10, 30 and now, 50 a week,” he says, during a briefing to analysts and reporters in August. “This indication is very good. It shows the market is moving.”

In 1H2017, CDL sold 691 residential units in Singapore valued at $1,147 million. In 1H2016, it sold only 324 units valued at $385.7 million. The recovery has been especially evident in the top end of the residential market. Among CDL’s best-selling projects at the moment is Gramercy Park, a freehold development on Grange Road that consists of two towers. More than 80% of the North Tower has been sold, at an average price of $2,680 psf. The more recently launched South Tower is said to be selling well, achieving prices that average $2,880 psf. A five-bedroom penthouse of 5,533 sq ft at the project was sold for $17 million, or $3,072 psf.

While it seems like only yesterday that property developers were complaining about punitive property cooling measures and struggling to get unsold units off their books, the local property market has actually been steadily recovering for more than a year, according to some analysts. “In the eyes of agents and marketing consultants, prices in the high-end segment had already started to recover in mid-2016. For the mid-tier and mass-market segments, they started to turn around in late- 2016,” says Alan Cheong, senior director and head of research at property consulting firm Savills.

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