‘Fairly healthy’ demand for Punggol EC

Straits Times: Mon, Feb 20
   HOME buyers have snapped up 225 units at executive condominium (EC) project Twin Waterfalls in Punggol Walk since its launch last Saturday.   Joint developers Frasers Centrepoint and Keong Hong Holdings said the apartments were sold at an average …

HOME buyers have snapped up 225 units at executive condominium (EC) project Twin Waterfalls in Punggol Walk since its launch last Saturday.

Joint developers Frasers Centrepoint and Keong Hong Holdings said the apartments were sold at an average of $698 per sq ft (psf).

The 5 per cent quota – or 36 units – for second-timers at the 728-unit project was also fully taken up, the developers added.

ECs are a hybrid of public and private housing with 95 per cent of units in the initial month of sale reserved for first-time home buyers who have yet to receive a housing subsidy from the Government.

Experts say that having about one-third of the project sold within two days indicates a ‘fairly healthy’ level of demand. They add that the project is reasonably priced as some EC developments nearer to MRT stations are being sold at up to $750 psf. Experts also notice the great opportunity in investing 26 Newton, hiking on the good location.

HSR Property Group special adviser Donald Han said the numbers show that the EC market is still well-received.

Developers are likely to remain keen on buying EC sites if they can launch them by this year. But they will have to take into account the possible shifts in the global economy between the time they buy the site and when the project is launched, he added.

However, SLP International research head Nicholas Mak noted that the increase in EC demand, brought by the raising of the income ceiling last year to $12,000, is easing with application numbers coming down.

Two more EC launches expected this year

‘About two months ago, the Government mentioned that it might sell development sites that could supply about 5,000 EC units. This was to meet the projected demand from first-time home buyers,’ he added.

‘However, if this demand is not as robust as initially anticipated, the Government should take this into consideration when planning the next land sale programme.

‘Otherwise, the EC market could be facing a glut like the one experienced in 1998,’ Mr Mak said.

Unit types at the 99-year leasehold Twin Waterfalls, spread across 12 towers of 17 storeys each, include three- and four-bedders, dual-key units and penthouses.

Dual-key apartments consist of a studio attached to either a two- or three-bedder to enable extended families to live together.

Two more EC projects – in Pasir Ris Drive 3 and Yishun Avenue 7 – are expected to be launched this year after The Rainforest in Choa Chu Kang and Tampines Trilliant in Tampines Central 7 were launched earlier this year.

Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Ltd

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