Twin Fountains EC project launched

The first executive condominium (EC) project for the year was launched in Woodlands on Wednesday.

As of 5pm, the developer of Twin Fountains said it has received 155 online applications for the 418 units on offer. Applications will close on 21 April.

The project is being jointly developed by Frasers Centrepoint and Lum Chang.

It wasn’t the packed sales gallery that some might have expected, but the number of online applications received so far showed there’s interest.

The developer expects applications to rise steadily over the 11-day online application period.

Sidney Tan, an applicant, said: “We’re over-qualified for an HDB, so the only option is to go for an EC.”

Another applicant, Jimmy Yap, who is upgrading from an HDB maisonette, said: “If I buy an EC for one million dollars, I can buy something like a three-bedroom, or even a four-bedroom unit with a floor area of at least 1,200 square feet.

“If I were to buy a private condominium, based on my budget of one million dollars, all I can get is maybe maximum, a two-bedroom, which is maybe 700 square feet.”

Mohamed Alamgir Siddiqui, an applicant, added: “HDB nowadays, the new flats are very small and don’t suit me. I have two sons living with me — one is a student, one is working — so it’s too tight. This one (EC) I found is a little bit better.”

The EC is the first launched in Woodlands since 2005. With government plans to develop the town into a regional centre, some say this may prove to be a big selling point for potential home owners.

The units are being priced between S$660 and S$790 per square foot, depending on the unit type, which floor it is on, and its orientation. That’s from S$580,000 for a two-bedroom suite to S$1.26 million for a four-bedroom deluxe dual key (TRIO) unit.

Nicholas Mak, SLP International Property Consultants’ executive director, said: “The average transacted price of ECs in today’s market ranges from 700 dollars to 750 dollars per square foot.

“But for some EC projects that are maybe within 10 minutes walking distance from an MRT station, the developers may launch those projects at even close to perhaps 800 dollars per square foot.

“But there are not many of such projects in the market. So typically, executive condominium projects priced at 700 to 750 dollars per square foot should have quite positive take-up rate from homebuyers.”

Propnex’s key executive officer Lim Yong Hock, said: “Most of the other ECs that have been launched or are still being launched, the prices are actually ranging between $650 and $750 per square foot.

“So I believe the developers did a study and they are pricing it in a very realistic manner because they know the ECs are meant for what we call the sandwiched class — people who are not eligible to apply for BTOs and also not able to afford a private condominium — these are the people who will come over to the EC market.”

The government had also earlier announced new restrictions for executive condominiums — among them, restrictions to the maximum size of an EC unit and selling dual key units to only multi-generational families.

But the developer said this project has been exempted. In fact, its two penthouses offered exceed the new maximum size of 160 square metres or about 1,700 square feet — at just over 2,200 square feet.

Mr Mak said: “If this development were to be exempted from such regulations because their development plans were approved before the announcement of the measures, then they will be one of the last EC projects which will have very big penthouse units, as well as the buyers will have more flexibility when choosing the different types of units, including dual key units.

“I don’t think we’re going to see very shocking prices for this EC, but then there are only two penthouse units, which mean they would probably be sold out quite quickly.”

Successful applicants will make their bookings on 11 May.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 10 Apr 2013

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