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Thread: Buyers ballot for units at Upper Thomson condo

  1. #1
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    Default Buyers ballot for units at Upper Thomson condo

    April 6, 2007

    Buyers ballot for units at Upper Thomson condo

    The move, not used for private home sales in 10 years, highlights intense demand for new homes

    By Fiona Chan


    DEMAND for a condominium off Upper Thomson Road has been so overwhelming that the units have been balloted out - the first time such a move has been needed for private homes in more than 10 years.

    The dramatic rush, which even caught the marketing agents by surprise, was triggered when the 95 units in Thomson V were released at 3pm on Tuesday. Within four hours, more than 300 cheques had poured in, despite minimal advertising.

    Marketing agent Huttons Real Estate Group opted to 'draw lots for the units that had more than one interested buyer', said its project director, Ms Peggy Ngiam, told The Straits Times.

    'The buyers had already identified the units they wanted, and we had to draw lots for most of the apartments.'

    The ballot was a further indication, like the recent overnight queues and blank cheques, of the intense demand for new homes, said property experts.

    'It is yet another piece of the puzzle to show that the market has got a demand not filled by the current home supply,' said Mr Ku Swee Yong, the director of marketing and business development at consultancy Savills Singapore.

    Balloting for apartment units has not been been seen here for over a decade but the practice is unlikely to become more widespread, said Mr Peter Ow, the executive director of residential marketing at Knight Frank.

    'It is a very orderly and very fair sales method, but it is unlikely that more developers will start using it because the prices have to be fixed beforehand,' he added.

    In a rising market, many developers choose to release units in phases and raise prices progressively for each successive phase.

    Mr Ow said the first project to be balloted here was the Merasaga, near Holland Village, which was snapped up within a day in 1993. Buyers had to draw lots for queue numbers.

    The object of the latest frenzy, Thomson V in Sin Ming Road, comprises two four-storey residential towers, one freehold, the other 99-year leasehold. It is part of a mixed project that also has 60 shops still up for sale.

    It is being developed by boutique firm Macly Group, which also developed Soho 188 in Race Course Road.

    The keen interest for Thomson V was 'a bit surprising' because of its relatively high per sq ft (psf) prices and limited pre-marketing activities, said Ms Ngiam.

    The development's 71 freehold units went for an average of $880 psf, while the leasehold units fetched $760 psf on average. The highest price achieved was $989 psf.

    There are no comparable new projects in the vicinity, but a market watcher said he would expect to pay slightly more than $700 psf for a new freehold development in the area.

    However, Thomson V's units are unusually small, which means they would still be affordable.

    The apartments, mostly one-bedroom units, range in size from 355 sq ft to 1,098 sq ft. A typical unit would cost about $377,000.

    But there was also little buzz about the property. Huttons had placed a few four-line advertisements in the classified ads, but project brochures were distributed to property agents only last Friday.

    And Thomson V's showflat and price lists were only made available on Tuesday afternoon itself.

    Mr Ku of Savills said the strong demand was in part because there are few projects on the market with small units catering to singles or retirees.

    There have also not been many new launches in this area or within this price bracket, he added.

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    Strong demand
    This is the first time a ballot for private homes has taken place in more than 10 years, said property experts. 'It is yet another piece of the puzzle to show that the market has got a demand not filled by the current home supply,' said Savills Singapore’s Mr Ku Swee Yong.
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  2. #2
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    Default Strong Demand

    There is no stopping now. More observers are coming in. More condo units will be snapped up in the shortest time during launch.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Buyers ballot for units at Upper Thomson condo

    OH MY GOD average $880 psf for Upper Thomson!??!?!?!?

    $900-$1000psf can get prime district D10/D11 already! Viz Holland and Pavilion 11. Yes, still can get! If you bargain hard.

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