[url]http://www.straitstimes.com/Money/Story/STIStory_677393.html[/url]

Jun 8, 2011

[B][SIZE="5"]KOP Properties upbeat despite slow sales at luxury condo[/SIZE][/B]

By Cheryl Lim


DESPITE slow sales at its high-end Hamilton Scotts condominium, luxury property developer KOP Properties will not lower its prices for the Scotts Road project.

Instead, the company will hold out for buyers who are prepared to pay for quality properties, said chief executive Leny Suparman.

In a telephone interview with The Straits Times last week, she expressed optimism about the luxury home sector.

'The only way prices can move is up,' she said. 'If there are two to three more luxury property launches this year, it will start the trend and people will want to come in and get a slice of the action too.'

While prices in the mass market segment have recovered substantially, luxury property prices are still 20 per cent below the pre-crisis peak, Ms Suparman said.

'There needs to be this momentum for the ultra-luxury segment as well - it will be positive for the overall market,' she said.

'There are lots of people with money but when it comes to selling such properties, I believe you need to be able to feel the space before you can decide whether to buy.'

Ms Suparman was speaking after a KOP Properties unit, Hayden Properties, held a 'topping out' ceremony for Hamilton Scotts recently. This marks the final pouring of cement at a property project before completion.

The 30-storey, 54-unit ultra-luxury condo is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of this year.

In the meantime, it has seen a take-up rate of about 40 per cent - unchanged since last December.

Prices average between $3,600 and $3,800 per sq ft (psf).

KOP Properties said it is in talks with buyers to sell several units in its other development, The Ritz-Carlton Residences.

The project has sold 19 units so far, with the most recent sale in January. Prices for the apartments average between $3,300 and $3,800 psf.