AT first glance, you might not have thought an economic slowdown was in the wind, with 1,000 visitors thronging the sale launch of the Housing and Development Board’s latest project at Bishan on Day One.
Natura Loft, a Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) project, features three 40-storey blocks of 160 four-room flats and 320 five-room units.
Describing the response as “enthusiastic”, developer Qingjian Realty’s deputy general manager, Mr Li Jun said: “In fact, online registrations started coming in at 8am … There are interested buyers who have not even seen the show flat.”
The crowd was a mix of young couples and families looking to upgrade. IT professional Ashley Yong turned up with fiancee Rebecca Lim.
“We can’t afford a private property, and we like this location,” he said. His parents live in Bishan and the couple expects several Government grants to help them finance their first flat.
“Economic crisis or not, I don’t expect public housing prices to come down by, say, 50 per cent, especially in a prime location like Bishan where resale flat prices will still continue to be high,” added the 32-year-old.
One prospective upgrader was project manager Edmund Lim, 40.
“I am here to compare the differences between a DBSS flat and a private condominium,” said Mr Lim, who lives in a Pasir Ris executive flat with his wife and nine-year-old daughter.
Still, good turn-out aside, by the time the show-flats closed at 6pm on Friday, there were just 80-or-so applications.
So, has the weakening economy dampened the mood of property hunters – especially with Natura Loft units asking prices higher than DBSS flats at Boon Keng and Ang Mo Kio?
In January, more than 1,100 applied for 714 DBSS units at City [email protected] Keng on its first day of launch. In July, 130 applied for 578 DBSS units at Park [email protected] within the first few hours after having been launched on a Wednesday.
Calling the first-day take-up at Natura Loft “normal”, Mr Li said the company expects a better response this weekend.
Source : Today – 1 Nov 2008