Friday, May 29, 2009

Developers readying for launches as activity rises

MORE developers are preparing to launch new properties in response to a marked improvement in sentiment in Singapore's property market, experts say.

Activity has picked up in the past two to four weeks, they observe.

Some developers are now rushing to prepare projects for launch, but they face some inevitable delays. They may lack promotional materials, for instance.

Starting today, Frasers Centrepoint Homes will be releasing more units at its 302-unit freehold Martin Place Residences in the River Valley area. It recently sold more than 100 units of the project after it cut prices. The units were released at $1,260 per sq ft (psf) to $1,700 psf, compared with $1,700 psf to $2,000 psf last year.

Chief operating officer Cheang Kok Kheong said prices ranged from $1.5 million for a two-bedder to about $2 million for a three-bedder. He said Frasers was aiming to sell the remaining units at $1,350 psf to $1,700 psf.

Other weekend launches include Balcon East in Upper East Coast Road. Tong Eng Group started sales at its 37-unit development on Thursday last week and managed to sell 28 units. Prices ranged from just below $500,000 to $1.39 million, with the one- to two-bedders costing about $850 psf, and three-bedders at $780 psf, said Savills Residential director Phylicia Ang.

Next month, new re-launches could include the 91-unit Nathan Residences in Nathan Road and Frasers' 330-unit leasehold project near the Woodleigh MRT station. The former's preview last September at an average of $2,000 psf met with no success.

Frasers has reconfigured the layout in the Woodleigh project, which previously had 300 units, to accommodate the more affordable one-bedders of 400 sq ft. The rest will be two-, three- and four-bedders. Prices will be 'at the upper end of $750 psf to $780 psf', said Mr Cheang.

There are still many projects waiting to be launched and certainly not all will be on the market soon.
'Those developers who are ready will see this as a good window period to launch, but the really high-end projects won't come out soon,' said Ms Ang.

Developers will launch if they can accept today's pricing, as the recent re-launches are easily 25 per cent to 30 per cent below the peak, said Knight Frank executive director Peter Ow.

Source: Strait Times, 29 May 2009

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