The Scala: Crowd ballots for chance to buy

Units fetch average price of $1,150 psf

The public launch of The Scala yesterday drew a huge turnout and defied official data of slowing private home sales in recent months. Over a thousand property buyers turned up and balloted for a chance to make a purchase.

The developer, Hong Leong, said it had sold over 75 per cent of the 468 units available as of yesterday. It said the units, sized between 474 and 2,142 square feet, were sold at an average of $1,150 per square foot.

Hong Leong also said that the buyers comprised a good mix of HDB upgraders and investors, with local buyers making up the majority.

Buyers who spoke to MediaCorp said properties in the central area were out of their price range. Instead, they picked The Scala because of its suburban location.

One of them is Mr Andrew Low, 43, an IT manager at an insurance firm, who wanted to buy a two-bedroom unit for investment. He said: “The Scala should not be affected by the recent dip in private sales. It is close to the Lorong Chuan MRT and near the NEX Mega Mall. I see a 10- to 20-per-cent increase in prices in two years.”

Some buyers were also encouraged by the potential rental yields as they reckon that the units can attract expatriates due to their proximity to international schools.

“If I rent it out, I’m looking at a monthly rent of between $3,000 and $4,000 a month. If not, I can move in here myself,” said Mr Low.

Also looking for a two-bedroom unit was Mr Zhao Han, a permanent resident from China, who had been working here as a technical specialist in the automotive industry for three years.

He said: “Mainland Chinese have too much cash but they can only invest in property because other sectors like manufacturing and enterprises in China have not been fully developed yet.”

Ngee Ann Polytechnic real estate lecturer Nicholas Mak said that bullish property investors may be willing to pay a premium and push the property prices higher still. “At $1,150 psf, the price can still go up to $1,200 and some units may even reach $1,250,” he said.

Source : Today – 29 Jul 2010

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