Sunday, August 30, 2009

Buyers Snap Up Flats At Trevista Condo In Toa Payoh

Source : The Business Times, August 29, 2009

320 of 590-unit project taken up; co-op to release more at weekend

IF it's priced attractively, it still sells. Hungry home buyers yesterday bought around 320 units at the 590-unit Trevista condo in Toa Payoh.

HOT PROPERTY - Some agents were seen armed with blank cheques from clients who had given them authorisation to book units

By around 3pm yesterday, buyers were said to have snapped up some 190 of the total 210 units released in the first phase of the preview, resulting in developer NTUC Choice Homes Co-operative releasing a further 190 units in the early evening to satisfy demand. BT understands that the price was raised by about 2-3 per cent for the second batch from the initial phase's average price of $898 per square foot (psf). However, some of the price gain also reflects the fact that units in the second batch are on higher floors and have better orientation.

While many people will baulk at this price for a 99-year leasehold project, what has been drawing buyers to Trevista is that the psf pricing is about 20 per cent lower than the closest competition from a comparable recently launched project - Far East Organization's Centro Residences next to Ang Mo Kio Hub, which was released last month at an average price of $1,150 psf. However, Trevista's units are generally bigger than Centro's so in absolute dollar quantum per unit, the price difference between the two projects may be less.

The smallest units at Trevista - studios and apartments with one bedroom plus study - were the first to sell out yesterday. Some agents were seen armed with blank cheques from clients keen to secure the better units and who had given them authorisation to book units on their behalf.

Choice Homes CEO Margaret Goh had noted on Thursday that Trevista is the first private condo to be launched in the mature Toa Payoh estate since 1996. That was when City Developments Ltd launched the freehold Trellis Towers at an initial average price of $900 psf, according to newspaper reports at the time.

With 400 units or two-thirds of the total units in Trevista released by yesterday evening, Choice Homes stopped issuing queue numbers after 9pm and told those streaming into the showflat site to return the next day.

The co-op is expected to make further units available over the weekend to cater to demand. Trevista comprises a total of 590 units in three 39-storey towers. It is being marketed by CB Richard Ellis and ERA.

Developers sold 10,017 private homes in the first seven months of this year - more than double the 4,264 units in the whole of 2008 when home buying dried up due to the global financial crisis. The unexpectedly strong sales pick-up since February this year came about after developers cut prices. However, they have since been raising prices for some projects - and that has resulted in generally slower take-up.

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