Monday, June 18, 2012

Far East woos buyers with 'special discounts'

Straits Times: Sat, Jun 16
HOME buyers considering properties by Far East Organization might get to enjoy a small discount as the developer celebrates its solid sales record this year.

It said it is offering celebratory discounts ranging from 1 to 3 per cent for several projects, including euHabitat, this month.

Setting a new sales record of 2,200 units in the first five months of the year gave the company something to cheer about.

Far East sold about 1,500 units in the corresponding period last year and 750 the year before.

'To mark this achievement, we are offering special discounts for various projects in June only,' the developer said in response to queries from The Straits Times.

Several advertisements featuring various projects by Far East - both upcoming and completed - have been published recently.

'We've seen healthy demand for our projects across the island, and we believe our special celebratory offer will make our products even more attractive to home buyers and investors,' Far East said in a statement.

New home sales figures for last month released yesterday by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) showed that SeaHill, an upcoming project by Far East, was among the top-selling condos.

Prices there ranged from $1,170 to $1,759 per sq ft (psf).

A check on other Far East properties showed healthy take-up rates as well. For instance, euHabitat at Eunos has sold 681 units, out of the 733 released. The project has 748 units in total. Those sold went for a median price of $1,288 last month.

The Clift, a higher-end project in McCallum Street, has sold 253 units of the 312 available. Units at the condo, completed in 2010, were sold for a median price of $2,720 psf last month.

Property consultants and agents interviewed said property developers have given out such discounts before.

One agent, who declined to be named, said the discounts might not go a long way towards attracting buyers.

'Far East always gives the best discounts, but buyers also know that they generally market projects at higher prices,' he said.

ERA Realty key executive officer Eugene Lim said Far East 'probably exceeded its targets' and wanted to build on the momentum to generate more sales.

'They give the discount as a deal sweetener,' he said, noting that even though the firm has a lot of stock left, it 'did very well'.

He said developers are also conscious of the increased supply that is set to hit the market.

'Most will want to clear their stock before that. There's no need to cut prices because the economy is still doing okay, so they offer incentives instead,' he said.

Property consultants said it is unlikely that Far East is pushing out its stock in anticipation of possible cooling measures in the property market.

However, home buyers could take a while to bite, as the June school holidays are now in full swing, said property agent Dean Wong.

He said sales are likely to pick up in the next two weeks as people return from vacation...
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Martin Koh/ Sherry Tang
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