Competitive pricing expected for new condo launches in Singapore’s CBD

More competitive prices are in store for homes in Singapore’s central business district as more supply is coming on stream.

Analysts say they expect downtown homes to remain to be hot property items, especially if they offer great views.

Six condominium projects have already been announced for Singapore’s central business district.

Those which have been launched so far, especially the waterfront ones, have seen strong interest, sending prices rocketing.

However, property watchers say they expect to see some price consolidation soon.

“Some of the prices that were achieved in the apartments at the Marina Bay Residences crossed the $2,000 per square foot mark. These are usually prices that we associate with luxury condominiums in the prime districts like, for example, Ardmore Park or Draycott area, so it’s quite unprecedented. With more of such inner-city residences that’s going to be launched, there will be a bit of competition of price. The new launches that will be coming on stream will be somewhere between the price of The Sail at Marina, and somewhere below the price that is set by Marina Bay Residences,” said Nicholas Mak, Director of Research, Knight Frank.

At least two more projects — The Clift and The Lumiere — are expected to be launched soon.

There is also talk that two other office buildings – Asian Chambers and UIC – will be turned into residences as well – tapping into the current demand for downtown homes.

“Marina Bay has 430-odd units and that sold in a couple of days. The Sail has 1,100 units, and that was sold in a couple of phases, but the market was able to absorb that. There’s certainly a trend at the moment for the market to be quite enthusiastic about CBD living,” said Jeremy Lake, Executive Director, Investment Properties, CB Richard Ellis.

“With the Sands integrated resort in the Marina Bay area, this has created some excitement. At this point in time, the concept of CBD living in the new and growing CBD is popular. The market can continue to absorb, certainly through next year, new residential projects which cater to this demand. So I don’t see it as oversupply at this point in time at all,” he added.

Analysts cite prices of $1,500 to $2,000 per square foot for units at One Shenton as an example of shrewd pricing, which drew queues as well as pose a challenge to potential developers who want to turn old buildings like the UIC into downtown homes.

A site along Shenton Way that is up for sale in the first half of this year is expected to see keen bidding.

Analysts say further demand can be created if there are more amenities like supermarkets or restaurants to support the downtown living lifestyle. Naturally, they have ideas when it comes to what should be built on this white site, which was recently announced in the Government Land Sales programme.

They say a retail mall or mixed development project offering food and beverage outlets and other convenience services for residents will complement the existing properties downtown.

Source: Channel NewsAsia, 08 January 2007 

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