Thursday, May 31, 2012

Two big suburban projects go on sale

Straits Times: Thu, May 31
TWO large suburban launches are expected over the next two weeks - Sea Esta in Pasir Ris and River Isles in Punggol.

Market experts say the launches will test the strength of demand for new homes, given that sales have been defying gravity since the start of the year.

The string of new suburban project launches this year has seen healthy demand by HDB upgraders, with a staggering 9,200 new private homes sold in the first four months of the year.

Agents say Qingjian Realty's 610-unit River Isles at the junction of Punggol Central and Edgedale Plains will be previewed this weekend at average prices of about $850 per sq ft (psf).

Indicative prices of typical three-bedroom apartments, which make up about half of all the units available, start from $810,000, or $850 psf. Their sizes range from 893 to 1,183 sq ft, according to marketing material.

Two-bedders will start from $670,000, or $900 to $920 psf, while one-bedroom units will be priced from $440,000, or $940 to $1,000 psf.

Hoi Hup Realty's 376-unit Sea Esta in Pasir Ris Link will also be sold at similar prices of about $850 to $890 psf on average, agents say.

Its preview is expected to take place next weekend.

Three-bedroom units will cost $770,000 and upwards, while a buyer will have to stump up at least $590,000 for a two-bedder.

Experts say that in areas such as Punggol and Pasir Ris where many residential projects have already been launched, developers will have to watch their projects' pricings closely to remain attractive to home buyers amid stiff competition.

If their locations are not great - far from an MRT station, for example - buyers will then be more price sensitive, SLP International research head Nicholas Mak said.

'The rate of sales will be proportional to the price... Many suburban projects in these areas are priced at the $800 to $900 psf range, so it just depends on whether you are in the upper or lower end of that scale,' he added.

Mr Colin Tan, research head at Chesterton Suntec International, agreed that while the two estates have seen their fair share of launches, there is still a flush of liquidity in the market and investors are looking for a place to park their cash as an alternative to low bank interest rates.

'Investors might still be keen on small units in some of these projects due to the affordability of these homes,' he added.

Recent launches in the area include Ripple Bay and Seastrand in Pasir Ris and Riversound Residences and Flo Residence in Punggol...
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