Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Cheung Kong on lookout for land sites

HONG KONG developer Cheung Kong Holdings is on the lookout for more residential and commercial sites to buy in Singapore, says executive director Justin Chiu.

‘We are looking at a few pieces of land,’ said Mr Chiu. ‘The whole market (in Singapore) is moving. I am optimistic about the future.’

Although land prices are high, Cheung Kong will ‘keep looking for new land’ as it is an ‘investment in (Singapore’s) future’, he said. He expects private home prices here to continue climbing over the next few years.

The group, which is controlled by Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing, launched its 99-year-leasehold The Vision condo in the West Coast area earlier this month. It has since sold 210 of the 295 homes at the project at benchmark prices for the area.

Cheung Kong now has one yet to be launched residential project, at Upper Thomson Road, in its portfolio.

It also has a one-third stake in the upmarket Marina Bay Suites, which is part of the Marina Bay Financial Centre complex. During phase one, 90 units released for sale at the 221-unit condominium were snapped up at $2,200 to $2,500 per square feet (psf). Phase two is slated to be launched this year.

The official public launch of The Vision takes place this Friday, after most of the units were through private previews. Discounts of 2-3 per cent were given during these previews, said Mr Chiu. From Friday, the discount will no longer be available.

Two- to four-bedroom units, which make up the bulk of the project, are selling for $1,000-1,200 psf, while most of the 14 strata terrace units have been sold for $3-3.2 million apiece.

Up next is the 99-year leasehold condo plot in Upper Thomson Road. Cheung Kong won the plum site in November 2009 with a top bid of about $251 million, which works out to $533 psf of potential gross floor area – above most expectations. Mr Chiu said then that the breakeven cost for the project would be about $850 to $900 psf.

Yesterday, he said that Cheung Kong will make the best use of the site’s location opposite Singapore Island Country Club’s Island Golf Course. Planning permission is yet to be received, but Mr Chiu said that the units will definitely be large.

Source: Business Times, 24 Mar 2010

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