Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Property Launches Here See Sustained Interest

Source : The Business Times, August 4, 2009

Strong interest at the weekend despite government's warnings to buyers against over-committing

Property launches again attracted strong interest at the weekend - days after the government warned buyers against over-committing themselves.

'Our ground checks last weekend revealed that buyers continued to throng showflats,' DMG & Partners Securities analyst Brandon Lee said in a note yesterday.

TID - a joint venture between Hong Leong Group and Japan-listed developer Mitsui Fudosan - has sold all 297 units at Optima@Tanah Merah since the public preview began on Thursday last week. Buyers include HDB flat owners and private property owners, who took up the units at an average price of about $810 per sq ft.

In response to the huge turnout at the showflat, TID held two rounds of balloting for apartments at the 99-year leasehold project. Some 600 ballots were cast.

The 'showflat was filled to the brim, with over 200 people at any one point, and insufficient agents to tend to all visitors', Mr Lee said in his note.

Far East Organization reported good sales for Centro Residences at Ang Mo Kio. About 65 per cent - or 93 of 144 units released in the first phase - have been sold at prices from $1,100 psf.

According to the group's executive director and property sales chief operating officer Chia Boon Kuah, most buyers took up units for their own occupation or as investments for their children. Half of them are HDB upgraders, while the other half are private housing owners.

Seeing potential for property values in the Ang Mo Kio area to rise, Far East plans to market the 329-unit Centro Residences in phases until it obtains its temporary occupation permit (TOP). Phase two sales will begin next year and phase three the year after next. 'We are confident that Centro Residences will be fully sold before TOP,' Mr Chia said.

National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan said last Wednesday that signs of speculation are re-emerging in the property market. The government is watching the situation closely, he stressed. Industry views are mixed as to whether his comments will cool buying sentiment.

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