Friday, September 25, 2009

Hundred Trees condo priced at $895 psf

CITY Developments Ltd (CDL) is said to have begun selling the first phase of the 956-year leasehold Hundred Trees condo in the West Coast area at an average price of $895 per square foot.

Buyers can opt for an interest absorption scheme (IAS) - but they'll have to pay 2.5 per cent more.

About 150 of the project's total 396 units are believed to have been released under the first phase.

Sales to former owners of the Hong Leong Garden Condominium - from whom CDL bought the site through a collective sale in 2007 - began yesterday. CDL staff as well as special guests were also invited to purchase units at Hundred Trees yesterday.

The preview for other buyers who had pre-registered interest in the development begins today.

BT understands that one and two-bedroom apartments, and two bedroom-plus-study units make up around 40 per cent of total units in the 12-storey condo.

Prices of one-bedders, which are about 485 square feet, begin from over $500,000. Two bedders range from 690 to 786 sq ft while two-plus-study units are between 915 and 1,227 sq ft.

'With a relatively large proportion of smaller units, the absolute price quantum per unit has been kept relatively affordable,' a market watcher said.

Hundred Trees' average price is below earlier expectations in some quarters of about $930-$980 psf.

However, it is higher than the recent transactions in the West Coast area, noted analysts. Over the past few months, units at Botannia and Carabelle (both completed this year) have sold at a median price of about $800 psf while units at The Parc Condo, which is still under construction, have changed hands at a median price of about $850 psf, according to caveat data.

Analysts' estimates of CDL's pre-tax earnings from Hundred Trees vary widely, from about $75 million to $135 million, depending on the efficiency ratio (ratio of the project's total saleable area to gross floor area) and construction cost assumptions.

CDL paid $131.5 million for the 266,076 sq ft Hong Leong Garden Condominium plot. This worked out to about $363 psf of potential gross floor area inclusive of development charge, which was reported at about $23 million at the time.

The site is zoned for residential use with a 1.6 plot ratio. Some analysts have suggested that CDL's breakeven cost could be below $700 psf.

Hundred Trees takes its name from some 100 pink mempat trees, dubbed the local version of Japan's sakura or cherry blossoms, that will line the project's walkways. The location is popular with the Japanese community; there are Japanese schools nearby and Japanese restaurants in the Hong Leong Garden Shopping Centre next to the Hundred Trees site.

Although IAS was scrapped on Sept 14, a developer can still offer the scheme for a project if the developer and its partner bank have entered into an agreement before that date to offer IAS for the project and the developer has already offered units in the development for sale under IAS before the same date.

Other projects expected to be previewed in the coming weeks include Far East Organization's Alba, a 50-unit project at Cairnhill Rise that will have a 'white plan' similar to the group's Boulevard Vue project at Cuscaden Road where apartment layouts can be customised to individual buyers' preferences.

Far East is also expected to preview soon its 278-unit freehold Cyan condo at Keng Chin Road in Bukit Timah.

Starlight Suites at River Valley Close and Ho Bee's Trilight at Newton Road are also expected to be released soon.

Source: Business Times, 25 Sep 2009

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