Monday, January 5, 2009

Some Bargains For House Hunters

Source : The Sunday Times, Jan 4, 2009

Developers cutting prices and offering discounts; some small projects on the way

The property market is off to a quiet start this year, with some developers even closing their show-flats temporarily in response to dwindling crowds.

Interested property buyers can look out for three offerings from City Developments - Phase 2 of Livia in Pasir Ris, The Arte (left) in Thomson Road and the Quayside Isle in Sentosa Cove. Projects launched earlier are rolling out discounts and incentives to attract more buyers. -- PHOTO: CITY DEVELOPMENTS

But as home prices continue to fall, house hunters tempted back into the market do have some places to go shopping.

Several small developments are coming on the market, while other projects that have been launched earlier are giving discounts or other buying incentives.

In the Balestier area, developer Roxy Homes is soft-launching two freehold boutique projects this weekend - Nova 48 in Prome Road and Nova 88 in Bhamo Road, both off Balestier Road.

Nova 48 has 48 units while Nova 88 has 88. Both are priced at about $1,000 per sq ft (psf), with a one-bedroom unit of 506 sq ft in size starting at about $500,000.

Another upcoming launch is that of Alexis in Alexandra Road. The freehold development has about 300 units and is less than 10 minutes' walk to Queenstown MRT Station, according to property agents.

Indicative prices are about $900 to $1,000 psf, according to agents. The developer is offering a payment scheme similar to deferred payment, where buyers can pay 20 per cent upfront and then nothing until completion.

Closer to town, the Heritage Group is holding private previews for Vivace, a new 999-year leasehold project to be built at the former Tong Watt Mansion near Robertson Quay.

The 85-unit development has mostly small units, ranging from one-bedroom apartments of 388 sq ft in size to penthouses of 990 sq ft. Prices are understood to start at about $580,000, or about $1,500 psf.

There are also a number of developers that have cut prices or are offering carrots to buyers.

Novelty Group, for instance, has lowered the price of its Lucida project along Thomson Road. The 62-unit development was launched at close to $1,600 psf early last year, but is now selling at about $1,200 psf.

The one-bedroom units are 624 sq ft in size, while two-bedroom apartments are 1,066 sq ft.

In the East Coast, the asking price for Mountbatten Suites has fallen from $1,100 psf at its launch to over $900 psf now. The developer is reportedly offering deferred payment and absorbing stamp and legal fees.

Frasers Centrepoint is also giving renovation vouchers to buyers of its Woodsville 28 project in Potong Pasir. Two-bedroom units come with a $20,000 voucher, while buyers of a three-bedroom unit get $30,000. Prices remain at $850 psf on average for the freehold development.

For the rest of the year, interested buyers can look out for three offerings from City Developments, which is planning to launch Phase 2 of Livia in Pasir Ris, The Arte in Thomson Road, and the Quayside Isle in Sentosa Cove.

While the prices for the last two projects have yet to be finalised, prices start at $797,000 for a three-bedroom apartment at Livia.

Far East Organization is also understood to be planning to launch the latest phase of cluster houses in its Greenwood landed housing development, as well as a new 99-year leasehold project in Choa Chu Kang.

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