Friday, July 24, 2009

Profile of showflat visitors

Many investors have been waiting for an opportunity to jump into the property market - but timing is everything, and they have been waiting until the price is right.

Mr Ashok Veerappan, a 56-year-old manufacturing executive, wants to buy a unit at Parc Imperial on Pasir Panjang Road as an investment. One-bedders of about 400 sq ft cost around $550,000.

Some investors are in no hurry to buy. Ms Eunice Lee, 39, a customer service professional, is keen to invest but is holding back as she expects prices to fall further.

Another investor, Mr Chan, in negotiations to buy a condo unit, said banks are paying little interest. 'Stocks are volatile but real estate is quite stable. I don't think prices will go down because external investors from countries like Indonesia and China are still there,' he said.

Many of those who are renting their current premises and other first-time buyers are also considering buying property despite the downturn.

Condo renter Sundaresan N., 46, a bank employee, recently visited The Peak @ Balmeg showflat.
A three-bedroom 1,500 sq ft apartment costs about $1.4 million.

'Rents have gone up so much, so it makes sense to buy, but I will buy only if the price is right - I have no problem waiting and trying to squeeze a lower rent out of my landlord.' He has been seriously searching for six months.

Mr Eddie Koh, 40, who owns a cleaning company, is renting a condo unit but is thinking of buying his own place to live in. 'If prices are not very high, then it's worth it, like now,' he said in Mandarin.

Some HDB upgraders want to buy property for both residential and investment purposes. Mr H.G. Cheng, a regional sales executive in his 40s, is keen to buy a unit soon and live there. 'I'll see in two to three years' time whether to rent it out or stay on. If the price is high, I'll sell it, otherwise I will live in it myself.'

He was viewing a showflat at Double Bay Residences in Simei, where units range from $850,000 for a three-bedder to $1 million for a four-bedder.

Mr E.C. Ho, 48, a construction industry worker, said his plan to buy a home is unrelated to the economy. 'We are half-upgrading and half-investing. My family of three live in an HDB flat and we are considering buying a condo now only because we didn't have enough money before,' he said.

Amid the furious buying, many people are just browsing at the showflats, curious about the recent property launches.

'We happened to see so many developments all of a sudden, and thought we might as well look for one as a long-term investment and upgrade,' said Ms Eileen Chua, a childcare centre worker in her late 40s with two teenage children.

Mr K. Leong, a 32-year-old banker who was at The Gale, is keen to buy but added: 'I'm just trying to see the market pricing. There is a perception that the economy is getting better and that is probably why everyone is buying right now.'

Source: Straits Times, 24 July 2009

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