Monday, March 12, 2012

Lots to pick from for home buyers

Straits Times: Sun, Mar 11
Home buyers will be so spoilt for choice this year that most won't know where to turn - or which developer's sweetener to take up.


The launches and freebies are already coming thick and fast with loads of new projects lined up. The news is less certain for pricing but few experts expect huge bargains on the horizon.


While some say prices might stay firm because developers have strong holding power, others predict price cuts ranging mostly from 3 to 10 per cent - depending on the segment - although there does not appear to be any industry-wide price reduction yet, apart from the various sweeteners.


Still, the Urban Redevelopment Authority's price index inched up just 0.2 per cent in the three months to Dec 31, suggesting that a turning point might be around the corner.


But on the supply side, it's all guns blazing. At least 10 developments were launched in the first two months of this year, including Bartley Residences, Watertown and Guillemard Edge, as firms rush to meet buyer demand, stoked by rock-bottom interest rates.


Property consultancy CBRE said that up to 48 new private projects - more than 5,000 landed and non- landed units - may be launched this year. They range from high- end homes in River Valley, Nassim Hill and Newton to mass-market projects in Yishun, Bedok, Choa Chu Kang and Pasir Ris. But they do not include recently sold sites that could be launched by year's end, so the total number of new projects could be even higher.


Apart from these private residential projects, at least two more executive condominium (EC) projects with another 1,100 units are expected to be launched...

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