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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Buyers snap up units at Singapore’s priciest suburban condo

Record breaking: Out of the 180 units of Sky Habitat released for sale, 125 units were sold. Eighty-three per cent of the buyers were Singaporeans who intend to live in the units.

SINGAPORE: It may be Singapore’s most expensive suburban condo, but more than 100 units of CapitaLand’s Moshe Safdie-designed Sky Habitat in Bishan were snapped up on the first weekend of its launch.

Out of the 180 units released for sale, 125 units were sold last Sunday. Eighty-three per cent of the buyers were Singaporeans who intend to live in the units, said chief executive of CapitaLand Residential Singapore Wong Heang Fine.

Average prices range from S$1,747 per sq ft (psf) for a one-bedder to S$1,642 psf for a four-bedder. This works out to S$1.11mil for a 635 sq ft one-bedroom unit.

Visitors at the showroom told The Straits Times they were attracted to the design and location, despite the pricing and it being a 99-year leasehold project.

There was even a buyer, a sales executive who wanted to be known only as Danny, who toured the showflat only after he had bought two three-bedroom units - on the 33rd and 35th floors.

“Location-wise, it’s very ideal. There’s huge potential (for property) in Bishan - it’s breaking records. Recently, there was a five-room (HDB) flat which was sold for S$950,000.”

The 32-year-old, who intends to rent out both units, added he had “not 1% of regret” about his purchase after visiting the showroom.

Public servant Patrick Bay, who bought a two-room plus study pool-facing unit, said he was drawn to the project’s unique design, especially its “iconic structure”.

“The price is steep, yes, but it’s comfortable with the incentives given,” Bay, 35, said, referring to the 3% early bird promotion.

He intends to live in the unit with his wife for “at least 10 years”, and is confident that the value will be higher if he eventually decides to sell it.

Ku Swee Yong, chief executive of International Property Advisor, said the sales figures were a “very good achievement”, given that the average valuation of other 99-year leasehold condominiums in Bishan is between S$1,000 psf and S$1,200 psf.

But he had expected more robust sales given the initial hype.

He suggested: “Perhaps there is some investor fatigue in chasing up the high psf prices in the outskirts of Singapore.”

Meanwhile, new private home sales in the city state powered past the 2,000 mark again in March, just shy of February’s equally robust numbers, setting the stage for a record quarter with sales in the three months alone eclipsing even that of some full-year tallies.

Developers sold 2,393 private homes last month - slightly down from February’s 2,417 units - as the blistering pace of sales continued unabated in light of the flush of liquidity in the market and low interest rates.

This brings total sales in the first quarter to a record 6,682 units - even more than the number of homes sold in years such as 2009, 2003, 2004 and 2000.

Experts say that the unusually high number of launches boosted sales as Housing Board (HDB) upgraders and local investors entered the suburban market in droves. Including executive condominiums, a hybrid of public and private housing, developers sold 3,032 homes last month.

By The Straits Times

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