Developers push out April launches

Published 19 April 2011
The Business Times
By Kalpana Rashiwala

130 & 202 units sold at Hedges Park & Eight Courtyards since preview on Fri

AFTER achieving a 25 per cent pick-up in home sales last month, developers are continuing to push out new launches in April. Analysts say, however, that in some cases, sales have been somewhat slower than what the market is accustomed to as price resistance sets in.

Waterfront living: The average price at the 501-unit Hedges Park is $850 psf; prices start from $466,000 for a one-bedder of 484 sq ft

Waterfront living: The average price at the 501-unit Hedges Park is $850 psf; prices start from $466,000 for a one-bedder of 484 sq ft

Tripartite Developers sold 130 of 200 units that it has released at the 501-unit Hedges Park, a 99-year leasehold condo at Upper Changi Road. The average price is $850 psf.

In Yishun, Frasers Centrepoint and Far East Organization have sold 202 of the 280 apartments released at Eight Courtyards, a 99-year condo priced at $795 psf on average. Eight Courtyards comprises 654 apartments and two shop units. Previews for both projects began last Friday.

In addition to Eight Courtyards, Far East has sold another 87 units so far this month (including joint venture projects). Last month, it found buyers for a total 205 homes including JV developments such as Waterfront Isle at Bedok Reservoir, which was the group’s top seller for March.

According to Urban Redevelopment Authority’s data on March 2011 developer sales, Far East sold a unit at Boulevard Vue at Cuscaden Walk for $4,308 psf. Apartments in the 33-storey freehold department are about 4,500 sq ft each.

City Developments has sold 35 units at H2O Residences in Sengkang so far this month, after selling 255 units in March. This takes total sales to 290 units. The developer has so far released 350 of the 521 units in the project. The average price is $920-940 psf.

Wing Tai is expected to release soon Foresque Residences, a 99-year condo at Petir Road, next to City Developments’ Tree House, which sold like hot cakes when it was released in April last year at an average price of about $800 psf. Wing Tai clinched its site in October last year for $345 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr).

Also on the radar of condo hunters would be Cheung Kong’s 361-unit condo project along Upper Thomson Road, which will include 22 strata terrace houses. Foreigners do not require permission from Land Dealings (Approval) Unit to buy such landed homes, which are within a development with condominium status. Cheung Kong clinched the site at a state tender in late 2009 for $533 psf ppr.

While that would mark a fairly long gap of about 18 months or more from the time Cheung Kong clinched the site to when it launches the project on it, most other developers have been turning around sites much faster over the past year or so, launching projects in about five to eight months of buying 99-year leasehold residential sites at state tenders.

Analysts say that it makes sense to roll out launches as soon as possible given the strong pace of Government Land Sales as well as continual reminders from the authorities that there is plentiful supply. ‘The message seems to be clearer to developers than to consumers,’ quipped a property consultant.

Buyers snapped up 1,386 private homes (excluding executive condos, which are a hybrid of public and private housing) from developers last month. Including ECs, the figure was 1,543 units. Both numbers are up about 25 per cent from the preceding month.

Frasers Centrepoint said that Singaporeans and permanent residents picked up 92 per cent of the 202 units sold at Eight Courtyards. Foreigners – mostly from China and Indonesia – accounted for the other 8 per cent of buyers.

Frasers Centrepoint dished out other statistics on the buyer profile: 63 per cent were HDB upgraders; and half of the buyers live in Yishun, Sembawang or Woodlands.

All 30 one-bedroom units in the development have been snapped up. The project also includes two, three and four bedroom units as well as dual-key units.

At Hedges Park, Singaporeans picked up 90 per cent of the 130 units sold.

Prices start from $466,000 for a one-bedroom apartment of 484 sq ft and prices of four-bedroom units start from $1.06 million for a 1,345 sq ft unit.

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