Steady sales at office, industrial projects

Business Times: Thu, Jan 12

A STEADY stream of sales has been achieved for strata office and industrial units in two new projects that went on the market in late December.

The Low Keng Huat, Guthrie and Sun Venture consortium developing Paya Lebar Square, an office and retail project, has sold about 60 strata office units for slightly over $80 million.

In Mandai, EL Development has sold nearly 20 strata industrial units at its Eldix project for a total $15.5 million.

For Paya Lebar Square, ‘nearly 60 office units have been booked or issued with options so far; we’ve attracted an even split of investors and end-users’, Guthrie GTS executive director Michael Leong told BT yesterday.

The developers began selling only after Christmas but started taking enquiries in November.

They have noticed a discernible increase in interest level in Paya Lebar Square’s office units after Dec 7 when the government announced the introduction of additional buyer’s stamp duty (ABSD) for residential property purchases, acknowledges Mr Leong.

The ABSD is aimed at cooling demand for private homes from investors and foreign buyers.

‘All buyers of the 60 office units sold so far are Singaporeans and made their purchases through companies,’ added Mr Leong.

The consortium developing the 99-year leasehold Paya Lebar Square quietly began selling strata units to close associates and VIPs in the last week of December.

Sales to invitees in the project marketing agents’ and developers’ databases begins today, to be followed by an official launch, marked by the start of an advertising campaign, in the first week of February.

So far, 200 of Paya Lebar Square’s 550 strata office units have been released.

Sizes start at 484 sq ft, of which there will be 79 units. Another 335 units will be between 501 sq ft and 1,000 sq ft, 120 units will be 1,001-1,500 sq ft and 22 units above 1,500 sq ft.

The average price achieved for the 60 units is $1,700 per square foot. ‘The lowest price we’ve done is about $1,550 psf and the highest, $1,870 psf. Absolute prices of units sold range from $760,000 for a 484 sq ft unit on the fourth floor to slightly above $14.5 million for an 8,500 sq ft space on a mid floor (of the 13-storey development),’ said Mr Leong.

‘What we want to see is a steady pace of sales,’ he added.

Paya Lebar Square, which will be built next to Paya Lebar MRT Station on the East-West Line, is expected to be ready by mid-2014.

The project’s office component will span from levels four to 13. Carpark lots are on levels 2 and 3, and a retail podium will stretch from Basement 1 to Level 2.

The developer is still mulling its options for the retail podium – which could include selling it to a single buyer, disposing of individual strata units, or retaining the mall and leasing it out.

Meanwhile in the strata industrial market, EL Development has sold close to 20 strata units at Eldix, a freehold industrial development at 11 Mandai Estate, since late last month.

The 12-storey development comprises 167 ramp-up factory units (on levels 1-11) ranging from 1,389 sq ft to 1,862 sq ft; a flatted factory unit on the 12th floor which EL Development will occupy; and a staff canteen on Level 1.

The 20 units sold to date are among the 34 units released on the third and 11th floors at $440-530 psf. The average price is $470 psf. Absolute prices of units sold are between $630,000 and $885,000.

‘Buyers so far are all Singapore entities, and mainly end-users. We’ve seen some enquiries from investors, something we had not seen in our earlier strata industrial projects in Jurong and Woodlands which we marketed in 2007-2008,’ said EL Development managing director Lim Yew Soon.

Source: Business Times © Singapore Press Holdings Ltd

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