CapitalLand tests market with Cairnhill project debut

CapitaLand is set to break a drought in luxury residential launches by testing the market with its latest integrated project at Cairnhill.

The project, being built on the former Somerset Grand Cairnhill site, will comprise the 268-unit Cairnhill Nine condo and 220-unit Ascott Orchard Singapore.

"As a real estate developer, you have to ride through the cycles. Whether it's good or bad times, life has to go on," CapitaLand Singapore chief executive Wen Khai Meng told reporters yesterday.

"We do our best to adjust to the demands of the market at each point, whether in terms of pricing or unit sizes."

Units at the 99-year leasehold project are priced at an average of $2,500 per sq ft (psf) - attractive for the area and benchmarked against neighbouring projects, he said. In a better market, it could have been closer to $3,000 psf, he added, although he declined to say if Cairnhill Nine was among several projects for which CapitaLand made a $110.1 million impairment last year.

About 89 per cent of the units are one- to two-bedroom units, sized from 592 to 1,324 sq ft.

When the project was designed, market demand had already shifted in favour of smaller units - as opposed to when the company was building The Orchard Residences, Urban Resort Condominium and Urban Suites in the area, said Mr Wen. Starting prices are from $1.35 million for a one bedder to $3.68 million for a four bedder.

Just under 90 per cent are priced $3 million and below and close to 50 per cent are priced $2 million and below, presenting an affordable total price, Mr Wen added.

In redeveloping the site, which is zoned residential and commercial, CapitaLand did not opt for a pure serviced apartment play as it could be too large for the market. As it stands, though, owners of apartment units will be able to enjoy some of the services at Ascott, such as the concierge service, or even request for housekeeping.

The company has made an initial marketing trip to Jakarta with plans to market in other Indonesian cities of Surabaya and Solo, and possibly Hong Kong as well.

At home, the project could attract investors and locals who like the buzz of the area. The project is set for completion at the end of this year, with Ascott slated to open early next year. A VIP preview will be held this weekend while a public launch should come next month.

CapitaLand's other projects which are ready for launch in the first half of this year are The Nassim and Victoria Park Villas.


As a real estate developer, you have to ride through the cycles. Whether it's good or bad times, life has to go on. ''

MR WEN KHAI MENG, CapitaLand Singapore chief executive

This article was first published on Feb 24, 2016.
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