Monday, July 20, 2009

50-60 units sold at Volari, 120 at Waterfront Key

PROPERTY sales over the past few days continued to post encouraging numbers.

City Developments is understood to have sold between 50 and 60 units of its 85-unit Volari@Balmoral condo at Balmoral Road. The 12-storey freehold project, priced at about $2,000 psf on average, will be built on the current Garden Hotel site. Residents will enjoy views of the lush greenery of the Goodwood Hill area. It was released for sale late last week.

Over at Bedok Reservoir, Far East Organization and Frasers Centrepoint have sold 120 units of Waterfront Key at an average price of $735 psf.

This pricing is about 5-8 per cent higher than the $680-700 psf average price at which the two developers are selling units at the adjacent Waterfront Waves, which was 78 per cent sold as of last Thursday. Both projects are 99-year leasehold.

As for their latest condo, the 437-unit Waterfront Key, 176 units have been released since Friday. Far East said that in terms of absolute quantum, prices range from $593,000 for a two-bedroom unit of 840 sq ft to $1.42 million for a 1,518 sq apartment with four bedrooms. The sole penthouse in the initial batch of 176 units is a 2,992 sq ft unit priced at $3.14 million.

Buyers of nearly all the 120 units sold did not opt for an interest absorption scheme (IAS), which comes at a 4 per cent price premium. The units released so far comprise a good mix of reservoir-facing, park-fronting and pool-view apartments. The 15-storey condo has a total of eight blocks.

Volari's prices range from $1,800 psf to $2,300 psf. BT understands that an IAS is included in the price. However, the majority of buyers are understood to have opted for normal progressive payments, which means that they save 2 per cent on the pricing.

Developers have sold over 7,300 private homes in Singapore in the first six months of this year, surpassing the measly 4,264 units sold for the whole of last year. This has started to give developers some pricing power.

A seasoned property developer said that typically, price stability sets in when developers sell about 5,500 to 6,000 units over a 12-month period.

Increasingly, property analysts are predicting an increase in private home prices for the whole of this year and see the trend gaining momentum in 2010. Analysts' estimates of full-year sales for this year range from around 9,000 to 14,000 units.

The strong home buying in recent months runs counter to the backdrop of wage cuts and job losses amid the recession.

Analysts credit the revival in home buying to developers' strategy of chopping prices earlier this year, pent-up demand, the stock-market rally, a low interest rate environment, lack of trust among investors in financial instruments after Lehman's collapse and the appeal of property as an anti-inflationary hedge.

Source: Business Times, 20 July 2009

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