Maintaining target price of $3000 psf, project may only launch in 2012
IF THE market for luxury homes fails to pick up, the launch of Marina Bay Suites may be held off until 2012 when the project is completed, Mr Wilson Kwong, the general manager of Raffles Quay Asset Management said in an interview with Lianhe Zaobao yesterday.
Marina Bay Suites was scheduled for launch during Chinese New Year this year but the date has since been put off indefinitely amid softening property market sentiment in the wake of the United States sub-prime mortgage crisis that has sent markets plunging worldwide.
Marina Bay Suites, located near One Raffles Quay, will feature 218 three- and four-bedroom apartments, and three penthouse units.
The project, which is part of the Marina Bay Financial Centre, is a joint venture between three developers — Cheung Kong/Hutchison Whampoa, Hongkong Land and Keppel Land.
Raffles Quay Asset Management oversees the asset management aspects of the project.
Mr Kwong said it would not be lowering prices in order to boost sales. Maintaining its target price of $3,000 or more per square foot for Marina Bay Suites, it will wait for the most opportune time to launch the project.
At present, it is keeping all options open, and these include launching the development after it is completed.
Mr Nicholas Mak, consultancy and research director of property firm Knight Frank, said: “It is a wise and prudent move. The market is going through a period of uncertainty now, but the chances of the market picking up in the next four years is quite high.”
Mr Kwong said the three joint developers have a robust capital base that will allow them to hold back the launch until market sentiment improves.
“They certainly have the capacity to wait it out and the four years gives them the option of working out the best possible strategy,” Mr Mak said.
Marina Bay Suites’ sister project Marina Bay Residences attracted strong interest when it was launched towards the end of 2006 in the midst of the property market boom, with all units sold within three days.
Although some property analysts expect the luxury segment of the market to fall by as much as 40 per cent from its highs last year, Raffles Quay Asset Management points out that there are only three luxury developments — Marina Bay Suites, Marina Bay Residences and The Sail @ Marina Bay — in the area.
So, compared to Districts 9, 10 and 11, prices will remain relatively firm in the foreseeable future.
Units in the Marina Bay Residences and The Sail achieved prices exceeding $3,000 psf at the peak of the market but have since retreated to around $2,000 psf in recent months.
Source : Today – 19 Aug 2008