The latest public housing project to be sold under the Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) will be launched on Friday, April 27.
Pasir Ris One is also widely believed to be the last DBSS development, following the government’s move to suspend land sales for such projects last year.
The 447-unit development, located at Pasir Ris Central next to the MRT station, comprises 3-room to 5-room units.
A 3-room flat with a floor area of 65 square metres has an indicative price of between S$390,000 and S$490,000, while a 4-room unit will be selling for S$550,000 to S$670,000.
A 105-square-metre 5-room flat has an indicative price of between S$650,000 and S$770,000.
The development has an overall indicative price S$637 per square foot, said developer SingXpress Land.
Pasir Ris One is a joint development by SGX-listed SingXpress Land and Kay Lim Holdings.
Executive director of SingXpress Land, Chan Tung Moe, said: “What we’ve focused on is affordability, and given the location, we’re very confident that buyers will definitely (want) the product we’ve provided, at the prices we’re selling at.”
Market watchers said they expect the project to draw a fairly strong demand from home buyers, due to its location and better finishing and designs.
DBSS projects were launched in 2005 to cater to the sandwiched class of home buyers, who are not eligible for the Housing and Development Board’s Build-To-Order (BTO) flats, but find private property too expensive.
Last year, the government announced it was suspending land sales for such developments, following an outcry over a project which was seen as too expensive.
Property experts said DBSS projects might no longer be relevant, as home buyers looking for more than a BTO flat also have the option of Executive Condominiums, which have facilities such as a swimming pool.
Chris Koh, director of Chris International, said: “When DBSS had a household income ceiling of S$10,000 and BTO at S$8,000, I do admit at that time there was a differentiation. I could put a distinction to it, mainly because of the difference in income ceiling.
“But when HDB revised the income ceiling to peg it all at S$10,000 for BTO and DBSS, there really is no difference anymore.
“The fact that we have Executive Condominiums, which is sandwiched between the private property and the HDB BTOs, I personally feel there’s no necessity to have another DBSS.
“Moreover, (if) it’s a DBSS, it’s private developers who are going to bid for that plot of land and build it and charge a premium. If we talk about public housing, the question comes, ‘should there be a premium?’ then.
However, SingXpress Land’s Mr Chan said such developments still have a place in the housing market.
He said: “We definitely feel DBSS is an important product for Singaporeans. It’s a matter of providing a full spectrum of products for Singaporeans to upgrade.
“So there’s BTO, there’s private property. But there’s a massive sandwiched class, and the difference between those two classes is very wide. So I think it’s important to have more than one product.”
Developers have released three Executive Condo projects so far this year.
The next Executive Condo project, also located in Pasir Ris, will be launched next month.
Source : Channel NewsAsia – 26 Apr 2012