Frasers pushes dual-key homes

Developer creates new brand to develop and market the concept

Published on Oct 03, 2012

By Amanda Tan

DEVELOPER Frasers Centrepoint has created a new brand for its collection of dual-key units, on the back of strong demand.

These homes have several uses, such as allowing grandparents to live in the same dwelling as the rest of the family but with a separate key and entrance.

Called Trio by Frasers, the brand, launched yesterday, will focus on developing and marketing the dual-key concept.

They have been on offer since 2009, when it launched Caspian at Lakeside and 8@Woodleigh.

Several recent launches, such as River Isles and executive condo (EC) 1 Canberra, also boast the units. Analysts say they can cost about 5 per cent more than ordinary units. Typically, studio apartments are attached to one, two, three, four or five-bedders.

Speaking to The Straits Times yesterday, Frasers Centrepoint Homes chief executive Cheang Kok Kheong said the firm wanted to create a sense of ownership for the concept, which it pioneered.

"It positions us as the leader in this new and growing market segment and signifies our commitment to further developing the market," he added in a statement.

Trio refers to three options the units can be used for: multi-generational living, leasing out the space or using it as a home office.

Since 2009, more than 1,000 dual-key units have been launched, he said. He estimated that developers could launch some 1,000 such units every year.

He added that about 20 per cent of units at a new condo in Tampines - to be launched next year - would be dual-key ones.

Separately, MCC Land (Singapore), behind the 1 Canberra EC, decided to convert an extra 47 units there into dual-key ones not originally marketed when the Yishun EC hit the market in April.

Mr Richard Nah, senior manager of MCC Land, said almost all the 95 dual-key units there sold out within a month.

It reacted swiftly by redesigning part of the project, he said.

Experts said while these units are popular, they are not a "must have" for condos to sell well.

R'ST Research director Ong Kah Seng said the concept is still being tested by developers.

"It is also not easy to find typical HDB upgraders with sufficient affordability to purchase large units in course of overall run-up in prices, hence developers are cautious in providing substantiallarge units like dual-keys."

SLP International's research head Nicholas Mak said: "Developers are still cautious and introducing (the units) in small quantities because not everyone wants them... Some have even asked for the wall to be knocked down."

But he said investors who rent out both units could get higher rental yields than renting out a single three-bedder, for instance.

A CapitaLand Residential spokesman said the dual key units at The Metropolitan and The Interlace were "especially for families who choose to live close to aged parents while still enjoying a certain amount of privacy".

Ms Betsy Chng, head of sales and marketing at Hong Leong Holdings said such homes "could become commonplace in tandem with changing family dynamics and the evolving needs of modern families today". It has 14 fully-sold units at the upcoming Bartley Residences, and another 65 dual-key units in projects yet to launched.

Mr Wilfred Goh, 49, bought a four-room dual-key unit at 1 Canberra for "retirement and family planning". He paid $978,000.

"If I get married, my mum can live with us in the other unit... I can also rent it out for retirement income," he said.

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