http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stori...380248/1/.html

Private home buyers cautiously optimistic about Singapore's property sector

By Wong Siew Ying, Channel NewsAsia | Posted: 04 October 2008 2015 hrs


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SINGAPORE: Early estimates show prices of private residential properties fell for the first time in four years in the third quarter. Concerns are that times ahead may be rough.

Still, about one-third of MCL Land's latest mid-range condominium project - The [email protected] - was snapped up over the last two days during its private launch.

Among the visitors at the launch were Panneer Selvi and her family, who have been shopping for their ideal home.

Over the last four months, they have visited 12 condominium projects, comparing prices, features and home loan packages.

Panneer Selvi said: "We have not made up our mind to buy one, we are checking with the bankers, at the same time looking around for a suitable unit."

Some visitors said they are not overly concerned with negative market sentiments. And with prices of private apartments expected to fall over the next six months, they hope to cash in on a good deal.

Michael Tan, a potential home buyer, said: "I am not plunging into it. Sometimes buying a home, if it's for a home, then there are other considerations other than just pricing alone."

Ronald Wee, a property investor, said: "I do not foresee a slump like in 2003 or 2004. It's just that if you have a good piece of property with a good location and nice view, I guess mid- to long-term is still very promising, especially the IR (integrated resort) is coming up next one to two years."

Wee Hian Woon, a potential home buyer, said: "The market condition is so bad, the financial market is in the news all the time, the general sentiments I think are quite weak, so the feeling is that prices are likely to drop, then go up."

MCL Land said it has yet to decide whether the project will be launched for public sales. The 180-unit project, going for S$1,000 per-square-foot, will be completed in 2011.

Overall, many home hunters are still confident that Singapore will be able to weather the financial crisis and economic slowdown in the US because the country has strong fundamentals in place.

- CNA/ir