Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Business Times: Lincoln Suites launched at average $1,680 psf

October 21, 2009
Lincoln Suites launched at average $1,680 psf

THE four property developers who jointly bought freehold Lincoln Lodge more than
two years ago in a collective sale intend to launch the project tomorrow, they
said yesterday.

The developers - Koh Brothers, Heeton Holdings, KSH Holdings and Lian Beng Group
- paid $243 million for the District 11 property along Khiang Guan Avenue at the
height of the property boom in June 2007. But they put off launching the project
as the property market went south soon after.

Now, with the market seemingly staging a recovery, the 175-unit Lincoln Suites
will be rolled out, beginning with invited guests tomorrow. The first phase of
the launch will see 56 units offered at an average price of $1,680 per square
foot (psf).

The consortium paid significantly more than the reserve price of $188 million
for the project in 2007 as it was 'very interested' in the site. There were
several bids for the site.

It was then estimated that the $243 million forked out worked out to $1,449 psf
per plot ratio (ppr) including an estimated development charge (DC) of $413,000.

However, Koh Brothers chief executive Francis Koh said yesterday that since
there was no DC payable - among various things - the land cost has since been
lowered to around $1,200 psf ppr. Launching the property at $1,680 psf during
the first phase will therefore still give the developers a 'healthy' margin, Mr
Koh said. Prices could be raised when units are launched in subsequent phases.

'We have partners who are contractors. So we tried to keep the construction cost
low, without compromising on the quality,' said Mr Koh. Construction costs have
fallen 15-20 per cent over the past year. The developers also allowed occupants
to keep renting apartments while holding off tearing down the existing project,
and the rental income from this will subsidise building costs, he added.

The interest absorption scheme (IAS) is being offered at the property at a 2 per
cent premium over the normal progressive payment scheme. Under the IAS, a
property purchaser will not have to make any significant payment (apart from the
upfront 10-20 per cent downpayment) until the housing project is completed.

The 30-storey Lincoln Suites will have 44 studio units, 124 one to four-bedroom
units, four duplexes and three penthouses. Apartment sizes will range from 463
sq ft to 5,490 sq ft. Many of the units will be small as current market
sentiment favours building smaller apartments, said Mr Koh.

Construction is expected to being in the second half of 2010 and the project
will receive its temporary occupation permit by end-2014.

Team Marshe
Martin Koh/ Sherry Tang
93833992/ 98444400

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