Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Firm demand boosts sales of private homes

Some developers have raised prices as a result

DEVELOPERS continued to report encouraging private home sales last week, and some have upped prices on firmer demand.

BelleRive on Keng Chin Road and Martin Place Residences on Kim Yam Road are among the projects where prices have been raised. BelleRive's average price is now 13 per cent higher than when it was previewed in mid-April.

Frasers Centrepoint sold 60 more units last week at Martin Place Residences; new units were released over the weekend at prices that were about 5-7 per cent higher.

Chia Boon Kuah, Far East Organization chief operating officer, property sales, told BT that 'in recent weeks, we're seeing growing broad-based demand for our products across our portfolio in every price bracket, from upgrader market to the upper-middle segments to high-end luxury projects'.

Last week, the property giant sold more than 40 units, up from the 30 a week earlier. Far East's home sales for the May 18-24 week include two units at Vida on Peck Hay Road which fetched an average price of $2,030 psf; the buyers did not take up the rental guarantee offered by Far East for the recently completed condo. The developer also sold nine units at Floridian in Bukit Timah at an average price of $1,220 psf.

In the upgrader housing segment, it sold seven units at Mi Casa in Choa Chu Kang, nine units each at Lakeshore near Jurong Lake and Waterfront Waves near Bedok Reservoir. Waterfront Waves is a joint development with Frasers Centrepoint.

Frasers Centrepoint also sold four units each at its Caspian condo in the Jurong Lake location and Woodsville 28 last week.

At Martin Place Residences, the developer released fresh units below the 14th floor sky terrace in the second and final block in the 33-storey condo.

Prices of the freshly released units start from $1,350 psf, higher than the $1,260 psf starting price in the earlier block during the preceding weekend's marketing campaign.

However, the latest pricing is still below the $1,700 psf starting price for the 33-storey freehold project when it was previewed last year. Inclusive of the units sold last week, 168 units in the 302-unit condo are now sold.

Frasers Centrepoint is offering an interest absorption scheme (IAS) for all its four projects on the market - in exchange for a 3 per cent price premium for Caspian and a 2 per cent premium for the rest.

Over in Bukit Timah, a Sing Holdings subsidiary is understood to have sold five units last weekend at BelleRive, taking total sales to 39 units in the 51-unit freehold project. BelleRive was initially priced at $1,350 psf average when it was previewed in mid-April; this was raised to $1,430 psf last week and upped further to $1,530 psf this week. This translates to a 13 per cent price hike in about six weeks.

The average pricing is for the apartments in the 15-storey project, and excludes the two penthouses. About 75 per cent of BelleRive buyers have taken up the IAS offered by the developer at no extra cost.

The units were picked up predominantly by Singaporeans. BelleRive's draws include its proximity to Anglo-Chinese School (Primary) on Barker Road and Singapore Chinese Girls' School along Dunearn Road.

In the Balestier area, Soilbuild is understood to have sold another 25 units at Mezzo over the weekend. The project is priced at about $850-900 psf on average; the cost is 2 per cent more for IAS.

Property giant City Developments also sold 14 units last week for The Arte at Thomson condo. The average price in the project is now $900-930 psf, compared with $880 psf when previews began in March. The 336-unit condo is 84 per cent sold.

Near Botanic Gardens, Straits Trading has upped the price of the remaining few units at Gallop Gables to $1,400 psf, from the $1,188 psf average achieved for units sold in the past six weeks. The price increase comes after the developer achieved the sale of its 40th unit in the completed freehold condo.

In the secondary market, some 50-plus units are said to have been sold last week at RiverGate condo near the Singapore River. These are out of 88 units listed in a sales campaign last week. The average price is about $1,400 to $1,500 psf.

The 88 units were from an original pool of 100 units purchased in 2005 by a fund managed by Ferrell Asset Management.

Source: Business Times, 26 May 2009

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