If it’s priced well, it still sells

Frasers Centrepoint brings cheer to market with sale of 80 units at Caspian’s preview

THE year’s first major release of a private housing project has shown that there’s still demand for projects priced attractively. Frasers Centrepoint had sold close to 80 units at its Caspian condo near Jurong Lake by late last night, the company’s CEO, Lim Ee Seng, told BT.

About 70 per cent of buyers are estimated to be HDB upgraders; the rest had private addresses. Singaporeans accounted for more than 85 per cent of buyers. Only a fifth of the buyers so far have opted for the interest absorption scheme offered by the developer. This means that they pay 3 per cent higher for their units.

The project is priced at $580 per square foot (psf) on average for buyers who opt for normal progress payment.

Property market watchers expect sales in the 99-year-leasehold condo next to Lakeside MRT Station to pick up steadily over the weekend.

Frasers Centrepoint had meant to open its showflat for sales to staff on Thursday, but decided to start selling in the evening to other buyers who had started gathering outside. The average price of $580 psf – or $598 psf for those who opt for interest absorption – is for the 250 units being marketed in the first phase.

Knight Frank executive director Peter Ow, whose firm is not involved with marketing the project, said: ‘The response is very encouraging in today’s market. It goes to show that there’s still demand in the market, as long as the project is priced attractively. Those who want the location will buy. I believe buyers would be buying predominantly for owner occupation.’

The 712-unit Caspian is being built next to LakeHolmz, an earlier condo by Frasers Centrepoint that was completed about four years ago. Units in LakeHolmz are going for about $600 psf on average in the resale market, while further away, units at The Lakeshore, which was completed more recently, are fetching an average price of around $750 psf.

Frasers Centrepoint indicated that 80 per cent of the Caspian units sold are two and three-bedders.

A strong draw of the project is its location in the Jurong Lakeside District, for which the government has big growth plans as a unique destination for business and leisure, and a vibrant regional centre serving the west region of Singapore. The project’s location next to Lakeside MRT Station will also receive a boost from the extension of the East-West MRT Line with the opening of new stations this month.

Frasers Centrepoint’s Mr Lim said: ‘We’re happy with the positive response generated by Caspian, which will hopefully create some impetus to the otherwise sluggish market.

‘We did a thorough market research and survey, which resulted in a substantial number of potential buyers indicating firm interest within a certain price range. We then launched below this price range to further boost the demand.’

He did not indicate what the surveyed average price range was, but BT understands that it was in the low to mid-$600 psf range.

Source : Business Times – 7 Feb 2009

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