Punggol EC expected to be well received

Published on Oct 06, 2012

By Amanda Tan And Melissa Tan

YET another executive condominium (EC) is being launched today, the seventh EC to be put on the market this year.

Property consultants expect Waterbay, in Punggol, to garner healthy interest from buyers, thanks, in part, to its location.

Projects in Punggol and Sengkang have been "generally well received" despite the many private housing projects launched in that area, said R'ST Research director Ong Kah Seng.

"Most of the EC projects in the north-eastern area are almost completely sold out," he said.

"It indicates that many buyers are excited with Punggol developing into a lifestyle residential enclave."

Waterbay, a 383-unit project at the junction of Punggol Central and Edgedale Plains, is being built by Chinese developer Qingjian Realty (South Pacific).

The company is behind several other upcoming condos in the area such as River Isles and Riversound Residence.

The smallest unit in Waterbay, a two-bedder, is 753 sq ft and has an indicative price of about $590,000 or about $780 psf.

Unusually for an EC, five-bedders are also available. These 1,496 sq ft units will cost about $1.05 million or about $700 psf.

Dual key units, which allow for multi-generational living or leasing, are also on offer.

Waterbay's launch comes about two weeks after the launch of Heron Bay EC at Upper Serangoon View, where there were 1,664 interested buyers for just 394 units.

Noting that most EC projects have achieved good take-up rates of over 70 per cent, Mr Ong said that "the demand for ECs has been encouraging and will continue to be so, although some moderation is expected going forward".

However, Mr Alan Cheong, Savills' research head, said that the cap on average gross monthly household income at $12,000 for EC buyers closed off the EC market for many buyers.

He added that the trend of rising salaries meant the reservoir of EC buyers could grow smaller.

The EC market may also face a potential supply glut as the Government rolls out a record number of EC sites.

Not all launches this year have done well, industry watchers said, noting that buyers have been selective about price and location.

For instance, the 416-unit Watercolours at Pasir Ris was almost twice oversubscribed, but was only 56 per cent sold as of end August.

Mr Ong said said this may have been because many new private homes were launched in Pasir Ris this year. 1 Canberra in Yishun was only 41 per cent sold as of end August, which Mr Ong put down to its "far-flung" location.

Mr Ong estimated that a maximum of three more EC projects could be launched by year-end.

Interested buyers for Waterbay can submit e-applications between Oct 12 and Oct 16. If demand outstrips supply, a ballot will be held. Successful applicants can choose their units from Oct 19.

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