Saturday, June 2, 2012

Room with a view? Not always


Straits Times: Sat, Jun 02
VIEWS from the top are often coveted and many buyers are willing to pay a premium to secure high-floor apartments.

But these prized views of the city skyline or the sea front, for instance, are not always guaranteed to stay as long as the home buyer.

At times, new developments spring up right next to an existing project, obstructing both the breeze and the panoramic views.

That can leave existing home owners fuming and viewless.

For instance, The Bayshore near East Coast Park used to enjoy sea views, but most of the units there are now blocked by Costa Del Sol. Silversea in the same area, expected to be completed by the end of 2014, is also likely to block the views of some apartments at The Sea View.

But buyers should be savvy enough to know what to expect, experts said. Even if marketing agents push the unblocked views as a key attraction of a newly launched project, their claims can be checked, they added.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority's (URA) 2008 masterplan, for instance, can be used as a tool to verify information and is easily accessible on the URA website. It indicates plans for Singapore's land use and development in the next 10 to 15 years, and is updated every five years, with the next version expected out next year.

By checking the plan and the gross plot ratio given for surrounding sites, home buyers can get a sense of what project might get built in front of them.

The masterplan indicates whether an undeveloped land parcel, for instance, might be earmarked for residential, commercial or mixed-use development.

The gross plot ratio also determines how intensively the land can be used. For example, a ratio of 1.4 allows developers to build up to five storeys.

The Government Land Sales (GLS) programme on the URA website - which lists the land parcels the Government puts up for sale every half-year - is also a good resource to check where new projects might soon rise.

Experts said new projects are inevitable and it falls on buyers to determine if the prices they are paying - for what could be just a temporary view - are worth it...
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Team Marshe
Martin Koh/ Sherry Tang
9383-3992/ 9844-4400
www.marshe.net
www.malaysia-properties.webs.com

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