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    Default Property sales off to a strong start this month

    [url]http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/sub/suite/story/0,4574,416461-1291751940,00.html?[/url]

    Published December 7, 2010

    [B][SIZE="5"]New home projects draw out buyers[/SIZE][/B]

    [B]All but penthouses at Robinson Suites sold; 205 units of d'Leedon taken up[/B]

    By KALPANA RASHIWALA


    SEVERAL new residential projects sold well last week. All but the five penthouses at the 167-unit freehold Robinson Suites are said to have been sold over a three day period last week beginning on Thursday. Three shop units on the ground floor of the 42-storey project have also found takers.

    BT understands that 132 residential units and the three shops were released on Thursday. Of these, everything was sold by Saturday, except for the five penthouses.

    The remaining 35 apartments on the lower floors are believed to have been sold to a fund.

    All the apartments in the development are either one-bedroom-plus-study units or two-bedders. Unit sizes start at 484 sq ft.

    The apartments are said to have sold at prices ranging from $2,600 per square foot to $3,300 psf. In lumpsum quantum, prices began at $1.2 million for a one-bedroom-plus-study unit and $1.5 million for a two-bedder.

    In addition to this relatively affordable lumpsum investment size, buyers were drawn to the pitch for the project as the first freehold apartments at Robinson Road. The units face the low-rise Lau Pa Sat and will enjoy a relatively unblocked view.

    Robinson Suites will rise on the former VTB Building site; the project is being developed by a consortium whose shareholders include Cheong Sim Lam (whose family developed International Plaza), Fission Holdings, Tan Koo Chuan and Saw Pik Kee.

    Analysts suggest that the strong sales achieved at Robinson Suites may inspire Kwek Leng Beng's City Developments, which owns the next-door City House office block, to similarly redevelop its site into apartments.

    Meanwhile, over in the Farrer Road location, CapitaLand and its partners sold a further 153 units last week at d'Leedon on the former Farrer Court site. This takes total sales to 205 apartments, inclusive of the 52 units sold the previous weekend (Nov 27-28) when sales were open to former owners of Farrer Court.

    Singaporeans have picked up 80 per cent of the units sold so far.

    The developers have released 250 of the 1,703 apartments in the 36-storey, 99-year leasehold project. They have yet to release six pairs of strata semi-detached houses in the development.

    The 250 apartments released have been priced at $1,680 psf on average. A typical one bedroom- plus-study apartment of 635 sq ft costs about $1.1 million. A typical two-bedder of 1,055 sq ft is priced at about $1.5 million.

    The condo also has three- and four-bedroom apartments as well as penthouses.

    Wong Heang Fine, CEO of CapitaLand Residential Singapore, said: 'We are pleased with the strong buyer interest in d'Leedon. It is a development that has no comparable given its iconic design by Zaha Hadid and prime District 10 location. We are confident that we will continue to see robust interest in the project, especially from homebuyers who are currently away for the December holidays.'

    Meanwhile, in the executive condominium (EC) market, 823 applications had been received as at 5 pm yesterday for the 680 units available at Prive, a 99-year leasehold project at Punggol Road being developed by NTUC Choice Homes and Chip Eng Seng. Applications opened on Dec 3 and will close today.

    Eligible applicants will be balloted for entry into the showflat on Dec 10, when sales bookings will commence.

    The average price will be $660-690 psf on a normal progressive payment scheme. Buyers who opt for a deferred payment scheme will have to pay 2 per cent more.

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    [url]http://www.straitstimes.com/Money/Story/STIStory_611156.html[/url]

    Dec 7, 2010

    [B][SIZE="5"]Property sales off to a strong start this month[/SIZE][/B]

    By Cheryl Lim


    NEW property launches and robust sales have given this usually sleepy month a surprisingly strong start.

    December is traditionally a slow one early on, but the way buyers came out in force at the weekend overturned that notion.

    However, it is too soon to tell whether this market enthusiasm will stay the course of the month, said one analyst.

    'It's usually a trend to see people travelling and going on holidays in December, especially in the second half of the month,' said Credo Real Estate executive director Tan Hong Boon.

    The big winner was Robinson Suites, which chalked up a 97per cent take-up within the first two hours of its weekend launch, said DMG & Partners analyst Brandon Lee. The freehold project in Robinson Road has 167 flats, primarily 600 sq ft and below. Prices range from $2,300 to $3,300 per sq ft (psf).

    CapitaLand's d'Leedon also enjoyed a good response and has offloaded 205 units since its public launch last weekend - about 82per cent of the 250 units on sale.

    Prices have been about $1,680 psf. So a 635 sq ft one-room plus one-study apartment went for $1.1million, while a 1,055 sqft two-bedder cost $1.5million or so.

    The development in King's Road, on the former Farrer Court condominium site, consists of 1,703 apartments and 12 semi-detached houses.

    CapitaLand said Singaporeans made up 80per cent of buyers with foreigners and permanent residents making up the rest.

    Executive condominium (EC) Prive at Punggol Central is another hit, with more than 800 applications as of last night.

    Prive is the first EC in the area and will feature about 680 units. Applications close today, with balloting due on Friday.

    The busy start to the month has confirmed to CBRE residential director Joseph Tan that the concept of anticipating property trends by 'seasons' is outdated.

    'It used to be that people would avoid buying property during the seventh lunar month,' said Mr Tan. 'But if the (economic) climate is good, the product is good, there's good expectations for a development, then there's no reason to wait.'

    Meanwhile, a survey out yesterday from the non-profit Urban Land Institute and PricewaterhouseCoopers found Singapore has emerged as a top real estate investment destination among 20 Asian cities.

    Based on the responses of more than 280 property professionals, strong economic growth here and brisk activity in the financial and high-tech industries set it apart from Osaka, Bangkok, Mumbai and other centres.

    Analysts agree that all indicators point towards a more positive local property market next year. 'Property is directly linked to the economy, so when the economy performs well, property as a subset also performs well. Now with liquidity and low interest rates, buyers who are looking to buy property are also fuelling the demand,' said Mr Tan.

    Small indicators, like the expansion of the financial market and staff movements, also support the prediction, he added.

    On another front, CapitaLand unit The Ascott has been awarded the master tenancy of 33 black and white bungalows at Mount Pleasant for residential use. The serviced residence firm submitted the third highest bid of $435,000 per month.

    The bungalows are being offered for an initial tenancy of three years with an option to renew for two more three-year terms. They are popular with diplomats and business executives, said Ascott.

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