SINGAPORE - Sim Lian Group's executive condominium (EC) project Wandervale in Choa Chu Kang is slated to be the first residential project to be launched this year, with sales booking starting in early March at an average pricing of S$750-770 per square foot (psf).
Group executive director and managing director of the property development division Kuik Sing Beng noted that the pricing is competitive vis-a-vis other ECs within the vicinity and the project's breakeven price is about S$700 psf, since the group acquired the 1.9-hectare plot at S$361 psf per plot ratio (psf ppr) in September 2014, he told BT.
As a public-private hybrid project, Wandervale EC is open for e-application on Feb 18 when its showflat opens for viewing. ERA Realty and OrangeTee are the marketing agents for the project that will have all 534 units released for sale.
Market conditions are more languid than before, as seen in the decline of e-applications in recent EC projects as prices turned toppish and buyers hold back purchase decisions amid increased market uncertainties, Mr Kuik conceded. But the group remains confident of the project even if it may take longer than before to clear all the stock.
"Even if it does not do well in the initial launch, along the way, I think we will sell off this project. We have done two EC projects before and we have seen them perform," he added.
"We see a softening of maybe another 2-3 per cent in EC prices from current levels," Mr Kuik projected. "Unfortunately, with the recent equities market selloff, the whole mood in the market is still negative. Everybody is very careful on big-ticket purchases. The home is the biggest purchase for everybody in their lifetime, so people will hold back their decision to buy."
Despite the lack of a surge in EC demand following the lift in household income ceiling from S$12,000 to S$14,000, Mr Kuik does not subscribe to the view that demand for ECs from the limited eligible pool of potential buyers has been largely met. "We feel that market sentiment is still not positive. We see a lot of interest but people are still holding back waiting for prices to soften."
Located along Choa Chu Kang Avenue 3, Wandervale is within walking distance from the MRT station and the bus interchange and near the expressway, a popular primary school South View Primary School, and shopping conveniences.
Another project in Choa Chu Kang that may be launched later this year or next year is an EC project by a Qingjian Realty-led consortium, which acquired the 1.64-ha site at Choa Chu Kang Avenue 5 for S$295 psf ppr. The site is more than 1.5 kilometres away from the Choa Chu Kang MRT station.
The average price of some 380 units sold at MCL Land's Sol Acres EC - more than one kilometre from Choa Chu Kang MRT station - was S$788 psf, based on sales data on URA Realis. This massive 1,327-unit project was launched last August with one-bedroom units of 495 sq ft each being offered for the first time in an EC project.
Stressing the priority given to livability in Sim Lian's projects, Mr Kuik said that units in the group's EC projects typically start from three-bedders of around 1,000 sq ft and have minimal non-usable space. "Sim Lian's projects are very conventional. We still hold on to the fact that we are building for a family that is going to stay there for five to eight years. So, the space planning and facilities given are very practical."
Another Sim Lian project to be launched around June this year is an EC project at Sengkang Anchorvale Crescent, which is likely to be competitively priced given the winning bid of S$280 psf ppr - one of the lowest for EC sites since 2011.
Notwithstanding concerns of an oversupply of homes in the north-east region of Singapore, Mr Kuik remains confident of the Sengkang project given its low entry-cost. The project has an estimated breakeven cost of S$670 psf and is within walking distance to the Sengkang MRT. Mr Kuik said that the group will pass on the cost savings to consumers.
Elsewhere, the group has sold slightly more than half of the 546 units at Hillion Residences, a 99-year leasehold private condominium project in Bukit Panjang since its launch in 2013. It is part of an integrated project with a retail component that will link the Bukit Panjang LRT station with the future bus interchange, as well as the upcoming Bukit Panjang Downtown Line 2 (DTL2) station. The residential component is expected to obtain temporary occupation permit (TOP) next year.
This article was first published on Feb 15, 2016.
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