Monday, January 24, 2011

Upcoming property launches to test cooling measures

THE impact of the latest property cooling measures could soon be tested as developers and marketing agents muster interest for three new property launches.

Far East Organization has been marketing The Cape, its 76-unit development at Amber Road, as 'the pairing of cosmopolitan sensibilities with idyllic sensitivities'.

At the District 15 freehold property - right next to the firm's Silversea project - a one-bedroom unit of 600 sq ft to 650 sq ft is going for about $1.2 million, based on indications from some property agents. This would work out to about $2,000 per sq ft (psf).

A two-bedroom unit would set a buyer back by about $1.7 million. The prices will probably be subject to change until the project goes on sale - the timing is expected to be around Chinese New Year.

Far East is offering some early-bird buyers a 5 per cent cash rebate, which will be paid out only when the project is completed. The Straits Times understands this move is in line with the company's aim of building a stronger base of long-term buyers.

Also coming up is La Fleur, a 'shoebox' development in Geylang, which is expected to hold a preview today. All the 58 units are one-bedders, with sizes ranging from 409 sq ft to 646 sq ft. Prices start at an estimated $490,000 - or roughly $1,200 psf - based on marketing material obtained by The Straits Times.

The District 14 project, which consists of two eight-storey blocks, is being developed by Teambuild Properties.

Over at Balestier, Okio Residences by SDB Asia - a subsidiary of Malaysia-listed Selangor Dredging - will be previewed on Thursday.

Half of the 104 units in the 18-storey freehold project are shoebox apartments of less than 500 sq ft. It also has two-bedroom units, with sizes ranging from 570 sq ft to 667 sq ft, and four penthouses that go up to 1,098 sq ft.

Agents said a 420 sq ft apartment would cost an estimated $650,000.

Separately, at d'Leedon, CapitaLand's 1,715-unit project at Farrer Road, the showroom was reopened to the public over the weekend after the company sold 232 of the 250 units released during the initial launch last month.

Experts said projects with smaller units were still being launched because the purchase price of such units remained manageable for buyers.

Mr Colin Tan, a research and consultancy director at Chesterton Suntec International, said that even though buying sentiment had been affected by the cooling measures, there was still demand from home buyers.

'Developers can't push sales and prices at the same time - something has got to give. But demand is still there, so it's up to the developers to be creative in enticing buyers,' he noted.

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