Waterwoods to be first EC with maisonettes

PHOTO: Waterwoods to be first EC with maisonettes

WATERWOODS in Punggol, the latest executive condo (EC) project coming on the market, will notch a couple of firsts in terms of luxury for an EC project. It will have maisonettes, with double-volume space for living and dining rooms. As well, 48 five-bedroom units and maisonettes will have their own private lift lobbies.

All 373 units in the 99-year leasehold project, about 230 metres from Coral Edge LRT Station, will come with kitchens equipped with a fridge, washer, cooker and oven. Located at Punggol Field Walk/Punggol East, the project will have a basement carpark.

Market talk is that Waterwoods is expected to be priced slightly below $800 per square foot on average, taking the cue from two recent EC launches in the Sengkang/Punggol area.

According to statistics released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) based on submissions from developers, 335 units were sold at Ecopolitan in Punggol Walk at a median price of $793 psf and 311 units at Lush Acres in Sengkang West at $790 psf median price last month.

The 17-storey Waterwoods is being developed by Sing Holdings and UE E&C.

It will have two-bedders (all 807 sq ft units), three-bedders (1,033- 1,044 sq ft), four-bedders (1,281 sq ft) and five-bedders (1,636-1,668 sq ft). There will be 16 maisonettes (all 1,701 sq ft units with five bedrooms) and 10 penthouses (all duplex units of 1,722 sq ft with four bedrooms. A four-bedroom penthouse on average may cost around $1.4 million.

"With our track record in developing high-end homes, we hope to bring a touch of luxury to Waterwoods. We are introducing a new class of EC homes that marries luxe home features with EC prices to cater to a sophisticated pool of buyers today," said Sing Holdings CEO Lee Sze Hao.

This is the group's first EC project. It paid $351 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr) for the site. "In fact, we're working with the same architects and interior designers that we've used for some of our high-end projects," Mr Lee added.

Suying Metropolitan Studio, which Sing Holdings had appointed for its recently completed The Laurels condo in Cairnhill, will work on Waterwoods as well as the group's upcoming 134-unit Robin Residences project, which will be launched for sale next year. Design Link Architects is working on Robin Residences and Waterwoods.

E-applications for Waterwoods will open from Sept 27 to Oct 6, and sales bookings will start on Nov 2. First-time buyers - that is, those who have not previously tapped a housing subsidy from the government - are entitled to a CPF housing grant of up to $30,000. Deferred payment schemes are also available to all EC buyers.

ECs are a public-private housing hybrid with initial buyer eligibility and resale restrictions which are completed lifted 10 years after the completion of an EC project.

Analysts say demand for ECs has been less affected by the total debt servicing ratio (TDSR) framework which took effect in late June. An upgrader's existing HDB monthly mortgage payment will not be factored into TDSR calculations when a bank assesses the amount of loan to grant him on an EC unit he has bought directly from a developer - as current rules require such a buyer to sell his HDB flat within six months of the EC project's completion.

On the other hand, if an HDB upgrader were to buy a private condo, the monthly mortgage payments on both his existing HDB flat and the new condo purchase will be counted as part of total monthly debt repayments, which must not exceed 60 per cent of a borrower's gross monthly income under the TDSR framework.

All eyes this weekend are on Thomson Three, a 99-year private housing project by UOL Group and Singapore Land. Expressions of interest with cheques have been collected from more than 500 potential buyers. Analysts wonder how many of these would translate into sales bookings.

A stone's throw from the upcoming Upper Thomson MRT Station, Thomson Three comprises 435 apartments and 10 strata semi-detached houses. The average price of the 21-storey project has been set at around $1,350 psf.

The developers attribute the strong response to the project's location, quality finishes and spacious layout which allows a queen-size bed to fit into each bedroom for all apartments. There will be marble-floor finishes in living and dining areas of all apartments.

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