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Thread: Marina Bay Residences - agents are asking for blank cheques

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    Default Marina Bay Residences - agents are asking for blank cheques

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    Published December 2, 2006

    Marina Bay Residences - agents are asking for blank cheques

    By ARTHUR SIM
    AND UMA SHANKARI

    (SINGAPORE) Property agents are whipping up a pre-sales frenzy for Marina Bay Residences before the launch date has even been set, with some asking for blank cheques to ensure a spot on the 'priority list'.



    Property consultants CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) and DTZ Debenham Tie Leung (DTZ) have been appointed by Marina Bay Financial Centre (MBFC) to market the 428-unit residential component of the financial centre, and their agents have already placed advertisements in the classified sections of local newspapers looking for buyers.

    These agents have also revealed asking prices of between $1,500 and $2,000 psf. Although not all asked for a blank cheque for a guaranteed place on the priority list or an invitation to the private preview, some did make unusual sales pitches.

    CBRE and DTZ could not be reached for comment. But their agents have been telling buyers that as many as 20 floors have already been booked, that a further 50 individual units are also spoken for - and that priority will be given to those buying entire floors.

    A DTZ agent said invitation-only previews will be conducted for buyers looking at acquiring entire floors in mid-December, and those looking to pick up individual units may only get to see the development a day later.

    Some agents have even offered to put buyers in touch with other buyers so they can acquire whole floors together, though one agent did caution there could be complications because purchases have to be under a single name.

    An ERA agent who placed an advertisement asked for a blank cheque, saying buyers willing to make such an open-ended commitment will get right of first refusal for available units.

    Interestingly, ERA has not been appointed by MBFC to market the project, but the agent said ERA is selling units through an 'agreement among agencies'.

    MBFC's head of residential sales Kan Kum Wah said launch prices or other details have not been fixed.

    Mr Kan expressed surprise that some agents have asked for blank cheques. MBFC 'does not condone this', he said. Also, MBFC 'has not decided if (it) will have preview sales yet'. And 'there is no priority list'.

    He did say, however, that the response to Marina Bay Residences has been overwhelming, with 'demand very strong over supply'. He also expects 60-70 per cent buyers will be Singaporean.

    On possible launch prices, he would only say that prices for The Sail @ Marina Bay are hitting $1,700 psf in the secondary market, so it is unlikely the 55-storey Marina Bay Residences will be sold for less. 'Our development has much better views,' he said.

    In July 2005, when the MBFC site was sold to a consortium comprising Hongkong Land, Keppel Land and Cheung Kong/Hutchison Whampoa, property experts estimated the break-even cost for the residential component at $800-$850 psf. The consortium now looks set to achieve at least a 100 per cent profit margin.

    Perhaps satisfied with this, Mr Kan said it is unlikely that the consortium will sell Marina Bay Residences in phases - a method that allows them to gradually adjust prices according to demand. 'If demand is overwhelming, we may sell all the units,' he said. 'From a joint-venture group's perspective, we will want to sell all the units.'

    It seems other developers are waiting to see what demand will be like for Marina Bay Residences before launching their own downtown condos.

    Far East Organization, City Developments and BS Capital all have residential redevelopment sites in the Central Business District (CBD). None has fixed a launch date, though it is understood that Far East's The Clift is already 50 per cent sold.

    As usual, when the market is picking up, property agents are showing their creative side.

    Banking on a spillover effect from Marina Bay Residences, an agent from HSR International Realtors put an advertisement in The Straits Times on Nov 25 with the telling headline, 'Flip The Clift After BFC Ctr Launch'.

  2. #2
    Makelele
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    Default Re: Marina Bay Residences - agents are asking for blank cheques

    Is that the blue building in the picture? Is that how it will look like?

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