Saturday, April 18, 2009

Simei Condo-Style Flats: No Balloting

Source : The Straits Times, April 17 2009

360 four- and five-room DBSS units can be booked on the spot.

A NEW condo-style estate being launched by the Housing Board will allow buyers to secure a flat on the spot and not have to join a ballot like for other Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) projects.

An artist's impression of the Parc Lumiere development under the Design, Build and Sell Scheme. The project will offer condo-style fittings but not facilities. -- PHOTO: SIM LIAN GROUP.

Parc Lumiere at Simei Road will have 120 four-room flats and 240 five-room units. The four-roomers, of 1,012 sq ft each, are priced at between $378,000 and $425,000. The five-roomers range from 1,152 sq ft to 1,195 sq ft and are priced at between $462,000 and $575,000. The average price is $425 per sq ft (psf).

The walk-in selection sale starts with a viewing period from tomorrow for buyers to check out the showflats and enquire about eligibility. Booking on a first-come, first-served basis starts next Tuesday. The executive director of developer Sim Lian Group, Ms Diana Kuik, said the booking date may be brought forward if there is strong interest.

Parc Lumiere will have eight 12-storey blocks and an elevated landscape deck. Like other DBSS projects, it offers condo-style fittings such as bay windows and balconies, built-in wardrobes and kitchen cabinets. But unlike condominiums, DBSS projects do not have facilities such as pools and barbecue pits.

The Peak @ Toa Payoh, a DBSS project with 1,203 units, was launched on Wednesday for sale via the balloting system. Buyers have until April 28 to apply.

DBSS projects are public housing and so are subject to rules for new HDB flats. For instance, only those who earn $8,000 or less a month can buy them.

Because DBSS homes are sandwiched in a narrowing price gap between private condominiums and HDB flats, experts have cited a $500,000 price point as the resistance level for such homes.

Real estate company PropNex's chief executive Mohamed Ismail Gafoor said there may be some buyer resistance for the Parc Lumiere five-roomers.

Other DBSS projects like Natura Loft in Bishan and Park Central in Ang Mo Kio still have units available for sale.

Recent DBSS projects take into account peak HDB prices because the developers had bought their land when the market was still fairly strong, Mr Ismail said. Sim Lian bought the Simei site last June for $137 psf of potential gross floor area.

Mr Ismail said four- and five-room flats in Simei are now valued at around $350 psf. If buyers do not mind an older flat, they can get a five-room unit nearer the Simei MRT station for the price of a four-room DBSS flat, he said.

Ms Kuik said Sim Lian should be able to complete Parc Lumiere by the first half of 2011. The developer was behind Singapore's first DBSS project, the 616-unit Premiere @ Tampines, which drew nearly 6,000 applications in late 2006.

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