July 3, 2007

Several launches achieve prices close to records

THE roaring market shows no signs of easing, going by recent project launches.

New developments around the country have started to reach prices not seen since the property peak of 1996.

Units in Duchess Residences in Bukit Timah, for instance, have crossed the $2,000 per sq ft (psf) mark - the first time homes in the area have done so in almost a decade.

More than 80 per cent of the project's 120 units have been sold since they were put up for sale last week, with all the smaller three- and four-bedroom units sold, said developer UOL Group.

Singaporeans were the main buyers but 20 per cent of the homes were sold to buyers from Hong Kong, Malaysia and Indonesia, said UOL, adding that many of them were from the finance industry.

Developer Wing Tai, meanwhile, has quietly sold all 50 units it has released in Helios Residences in Cairnhill.

The Straits Times understands that the units were priced at around $3,000 psf - also a benchmark for the area.

Prices for two-bedroom apartments are believed to start from $3.51 million.

Wing Tai said it would release the rest of the project's 140 units soon, although it did not specify a date.

But the central areas are not the only ones doing well.

In the relatively quieter Kembangan, a 32-unit boutique project called D'Oasia had half its units sold for as much as $1,003 psf, said Savills Singapore, which is marketing the project at Lorong Melayu.

Despite prices in the area hovering around $700 psf or lower for several years, D'Oasia developer Monfort Land has managed to sell 15 units of the freehold project at an average of $950 psf.

And strata-bungalow development Dunsfold 18 has enjoyed a good take-up in Lorong Chuan.

Since mid-May, 10 of its 18 bungalows have been sold at prices ranging from $3.08 million to $3.56 million each, or an average price of $770 psf.