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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Prices of DBSS flats in Singapore soar

SINGAPORE: Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) flats have been attracting such strong interest that they now cost nearly as much as executive condominium (EC) units.

Their overall median price was now only S$100 to S$150 per sq ft (psf) lower than that of the condo units, said Lee Sze Teck, senior manager of research and consultancy at Dennis Wee Realty.

The scheme's popularity comes despite the fact that it is under review, following an outcry when Centrale 8 in Tampines made the news for its high asking prices in July.

Lee said the high demand was due mainly to the fact that the projects were located in mature estates, near MRT stations.

Prices for Trivelis, the latest DBSS launch in Clementi, were about S$580 to S$728 psf. The cost of new EC flats ranges from S$501 to S$820 psf, according to data that Lee gathered from sources such as the Housing and Development Board and the Urban Redevelopment Authority.

“The pricing of DBSS flats has been pushing the boundaries so much that they are now not far off from the prices of new EC projects under development,” he said.

DBSS flats, which are built on government land sold to private developers, were introduced in 2005 to provide more choices in the housing market. They have better design and finishes than standard flats, but unlike ECs, they cannot be privatised after 10 years or contain facilities such as pools.

Since the scheme was put under review, three projects that were already in the pipeline have been launched and they attracted strong interest. Some had as many as three bidders for every unit.

Lee said DBSS properties were attractive also because, unlike resale flats, they required no cash-over-valuation, the premium paid over and above the official value.

By The Straits Times Singapore

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