CAPITALAND plans to launch its condominium in Bishan Central by the first quarter of 2012 and set a benchmark price for the area, even as the property group braces itself for a chill in Singapore's property market.
The project is likely to be launched for at least $1,450 per square foot (psf), BT understands.
CapitaLand, which has appointed architect Moshe Safdie as the lead designer for the project, said that units in new launches in Bishan and Upper Thomson sell for around $1,300-1,400 psf.
But CapitaLand's project, which is 'exceptionally well-designed and located', will sell for a premium over what other properties command, said Wong Heang Fine, chief executive of the group's Singapore residential arm.
He put the break-even price for the project at about $1,300 psf at a briefing for media and analysts yesterday.
CapitaLand clinched the site at $869 psf of potential gross floor area in a state tender in February 2011 - a new high for 99-year-leasehold suburban condo land in Singapore. The new development on the site will have around 500 apartments across two 38-storey towers.
CapitaLand Residential Singapore holds a 75 per cent equity stake in the project while Mitsubishi Estate Asia holds 25 per cent.
Looking ahead, CapitaLand expects Singapore's residential and office markets to cool. Unlike last year, there won't be double-digit growth in residential property prices this year, Mr Wong said. He expects home prices to moderate although basic demand is likely to continue to support the market.
'Because of the various government measures, we expect (growth in) prices to moderate,' said Mr Wong at the press briefing. 'But because of Singapore's economic growth, low interest costs and high liquidity, we expect prices to maintain . . . basic demand is still out there.'
Similarly, office rents in Singapore will moderate, said Chong Lit Cheong, chief executive of CapitaLand's commercial unit.
CapitaLand, its property trust CapitaCommercial Trust and Mitsubishi Estate Asia plan to turn the Market Street Car Park into a 720,000 sq ft, 40-storey office tower. Mr Chong acknowledged that many tenants have already taken on large tracts of space in projects that will be completed in 2011, 2012 and 2013.
So the partners are targeting the completion of the Market Street office tower by the second half of 2014, when there will be no significant new Grade A office supply in Singapore's central business district. This will allow the project to capture the year's office demand, Mr Chong said.
The total development cost for the Market Street office tower is estimated to be $1.4 billion. When completed, the development is expected to generate a yield-on-cost of more than 6 per cent per year on a stabilised basis.
The office tower, which is designed by architect Toyo Ito, will feature greenery on every floor as well as extensive sky gardens on three levels and a roof garden.