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Thread: A home at the water's edge

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    Default A home at the water's edge

    [url]http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/sub/supplement/story/0,4574,381225,00.html?[/url]

    Published April 15, 2010

    [B][SIZE="5"]A home at the water's edge[/SIZE][/B]

    [B]There's now a wealth of choices in S'pore for folks who seek a waterfront lifestyle. VINCENT WEE reports[/B]


    DO BOATS help to sell waterfront properties, or do people who buy waterfront houses naturally have an inclination to go out and buy boats?

    There's probably no definitive answer to this conundrum, and the response given will depend largely on which part of the market the respondent is from. What's clear, though, is that these properties are becoming increasingly popular, with developers leveraging on the waterfront lifestyle to sell their homes.

    They have been making regular appearances at the Boat Asia show in recent years as more waterfront projects are set to be launched both in Singapore and the region. KOP's Montigo Resorts in Batam was launched at last year's show, for example. At this year's event, Malaysia's Eastern & Oriental Bhd is pushing its Quayside development in Penang which it launched in February.

    'The concept of the waterfront lifestyle is fast catching on in Singapore. As such, home buyers are seeking waterfront properties which are in limited supply,' said Keppel Land's Singapore residential CEO Augustine Tan.

    Keppel, which is developing the 1,129-unit Reflections at Keppel Bay, said it has seen keen interest in its project. The group has sold 96 per cent of the 740 units launched so far.

    Sales have also been strong at Keppel's other waterfront development in the area, the 969-unit Caribbean at Keppel Bay. The 168 units that Keppel had retained for leasing were snapped up when they were released for sale last year, with over 90 per cent of the units sold to date, said Keppel Land, the group's property arm.

    The luxury enclave of Sentosa Cove saw three recent launches of waterfront homes, giving buyers a wealth of choices.

    Ho Bee and IOI's joint venture, The Seascape, sold 25 of the 40 units released at an average price of $2,700 per sq ft, according to reports. The entire development has 151 units.

    Meanwhile, City Developments sold 14 of the 56 units released at its 228-unit condo, The Residences at W Singapore Sentosa Cove. Prices ranged from $2,500 psf to $3,000 psf. Lippo Group's Marina Collection, next to ONE°15 Marina Club, is also being relaunched.

    Clearly not all waterfront developments are perceived as equal, even if all can be regarded as luxury homes.

    'When selecting a waterfront home, some of the key considerations include the development's location, the views it offers, its design, the premium fittings and finishes offered, reputation of the developer, and exclusivity, to name a few,' said Mr Tan.

    Keppel said the locale of Reflections at Keppel Bay is one of its unique selling points as it overlooks Resorts World Sentosa and Universal Studios Singapore and is minutes away from shopping magnet VivoCity. The 30-ha precinct with a 4.2 km coastline will eventually yield about 2,600 waterfront homes all master-planned and built by Keppel. This, Keppel claims, will give home owners and residents a 'complete and distinct waterfront lifestyle with luxurious homes, a marina playground and a host of other waterfront amenities and facilities'.

    [B]Exclusive precinct[/B]

    Sentosa Cove has also been billed as an exclusive waterfront precinct since its conception, with the added allure of being on an island. In addition, some of the houses in the cove have the ultimate ostentation factor of being able to berth a boat in the backyard.

    'Waterfront living has always been a lifestyle of choice for many as it epitomises class and prestige,' said Mr Tan. He added that Keppel will likely release only another 100 to 200 units (of Reflections) this year.

    'Feedback from buyers and prospects indicates that they are confident that capital values and rents of waterfront housing in the vicinity will appreciate strongly in the near term,' he added.

    However, as the waterfront lifestyle develops, it may be that buyers are becoming more discriminating, especially as their choices increase.

    It has long been perceived that the supply of waterfront land is limited. But that could radically change if Tanjong Pagar develops into a new waterfront hub, when lease of the container terminals there expires in 2027, as was suggested by the recent Economic Strategies Committee.

    There has also been an increasing release of waterfront land in neighbouring countries and many of the developers will be marketing hard at Boat Asia. Among them will be projects across the Causeway as Malaysia also revitalises its ageing waterfronts. Central Malaysian Properties' Lido Boulevard, along the Johor Straits, will stretch from the current abandoned Lot 1 shopping mall to the Harbour Master's office in Johor Baru. The 908-unit project is due to be launched by the second half of the year.

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    People pay a premium to stay at Rhode Island Newport is an example of waterfront living...


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