Home-buyers today cautious, but genuine

Applications for Park Central@AMK roll in, but how many will translate into actual sales?

SINCE its launch last week, :more than1,000 applications have been received for 578 units at Park Central@AMK, Singapore’s third condominium-style public housing development.

With developer United Engineers (UE) pricing its Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) project at $490 psf to $500 psf, it remains to be seen how much of the :20,000 visitors to the showflats will translate into applications by the Aug 5 deadline.

Mr David Liew, managing director of UE Developments, said: “The people coming here are more cautious, more serious … What we are seeing is more genuine interest.”

Earlier this year, the pricing of such projects built by private developers had caused a stir.

City View@Boon Keng’s price tag of $520 psf was a record for new public housing flats. More than 3,500 people applied for the 714 units :-: but only 66 per cent actually bought them.

Six months after its launch, 20 per cent of the units remain unsold, said the project’s marketing agent.

But this slower pace of sales “does not mean the market cannot sustain the price”, said Mr Donald Yeo, executive director of HSR International Realtors. “It’s still very competitive and I believe the prices are still realistic.”

Buyer response had hit fever pitch for the first DBSS development in 2006, when nearly 6,000 people applied for 616 units, going for around $300 psf, at Premiere@Tampines.

At Park Central, all units come with the look and feel of a private residential home but they cost about 40 per cent less, at $500 per square foot.

The developer did not think the resale flats in the area would pose a threat to sales of Park Central, as many of the resale units are about 10 to 20 years old – and most home hunters prefer to buy new flats, even at a 10 per cent premium.

Industry players expect prices at the next condo-style public housing project in Bishan to be even higher, partly due to the spike in construction cost.

Source : Today – 30 Jul 2008

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