The Nassim, d’Leedon units to be launched

CapitaLand Residential expects continued demand, price rises for private residential housing

CapitaLand Residential will sell 1,700 private residential units this year out of its existing inventory of 2,500 ready-to-launch homes that it has yet to release for sale, chief executive officer Wong Heang Fine said in his first presentation to the media.

The units that will be sold this year will be from some of CapitaLand Residential’s most high-profile developments, such as d’Leedon, The Interlace, Urban Resort and The Nassim, said Mr Wong, who joined the CapitaLand Group in 2006 and was named in July last year to succeed Ms Patricia Chia as CEO of CapitaLand Residential.

As many as 750 units of the 1,715-unit d’Leedon, the former Farrer Court, will be launched this year. MediaCorp understands that another 300 units will be launched next week, after 93 per cent of the initial 250 units launched last month were sold.

The residential unit of CapitaLand, South-east Asia’s largest property developer, will also release the remaining 390 apartments at The Interlace for sale this year, Mr Wong, a UK-trained mechanical engineer who was formerly the CEO of SembCorp Engineers and Constructors, said in his briefing. The developer has sold 94 per cent of the initial 650 units that it launched last year.

The Urban Resort and The Nassim, which are luxury developments located in the core central region, will also be launched this year.

Homes at the new Bedok Town Centre site will also be up for grabs. The site will be developed into a mixed retail-and-residential property with 500 apartments, three levels of retail space and a bus interchange.

CapitaLand sold 15,025 units in total in the first 11 months last year, a marginal increase from the 14,688 units sold in 2009. But the developer reported better per-unit sales value than its rivals – its average sales value amounted to $2.3 million per unit, higher than the industry average of $1.52 million per unit. Overall, total residential sales rose 54 per cent to $1.85 billion last year, compared with $1.2 billion in 2009.

In the first 11 months of last year, buyers took possession of 629 CapitaLand homes, including 127 units at Latitude, 327 apartments at The Seafront on Meyer and 175 units at The Orchard Residences.

CapitaLand expects demand for private residential housing to sustain this year, buoyed by robust economic performance, land scarcity and increasing wealth in the region.

It will also be a year of land banking for the developer. The company said it would continue looking at sites in city-fringe areas and near MRT stations. It may tap both the government land sales programme and the collective sale market to acquire land, Mr Wong said.

“We will, of course, bid for the sites at a price we think is consistent with our margin,” said Mr Liew Mun Leong, chief executive officer of CapitaLand, who was also present at the media briefing.

CapitaLand expects private home prices to increase by 5 to 10 per cent this year, with the high-end residential segment experiencing gains in the region of 10 to 15 per cent.

The developer also aims to market its iconic projects such as d’Leedon and The Interlace overseas, especially to buyers from China and India, which are emerging as CapitaLand’s key new foreign markets.

Foreign buying may become a sizeable chunk of CapitaLand’s sales. For example, wealthy Chinese investors have been looking for homes priced at $10 million and above, said Mr Liew.

However, market watchers have expressed concern over foreign ownership and its increasing influence on the private property market in Singapore.

Mr Liew believes that any further Government measures to cool the property market should not target foreign buyers.

“Singapore is an open economy and it will have to attract professionals and expatriates,” he said. “I will consider it unprogressive to say that foreigners cannot buy housing here,” he added.

Source : Today – 11 Jan 2011

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