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Published January 25, 2007

Brisk sales of upmarket homes in Orchard area

More high-end projects nearby expected to be launched soon


(SINGAPORE) High-end launches in the Marina Bay area have hogged all the limelight of late, but this is about to change as the buzz moves to the Orchard Road area.

St Thomas Suites: Out of the project's 176 units, Frasers Centrepoint has sold 45 since the soft launch on Tuesday at $1,700-$2,100 psf

Two upmarket projects in the area that have been launched recently are seeing brisk sales, and more nearby developments are expected to make their way to the market over the next few months.

Yesterday, both Allgreen Properties' Cairnhill Residences at Cairnhill Circle and Frasers Centrepoint's St Thomas Suites in St Thomas Walk were unveiled to the media.

At the 176-unit twin-tower St Thomas Suites, 45 units have been sold since the project's soft launch on Tuesday, said Frasers Centrepoint's development and property general manager, Cheang Kok Kheong. Prices range from $1,700-$2,100 per square foot (psf).

Apartments in the development range from 1,820 sq ft to 4,672 sq ft, but there are also two penthouses of 7,686 sq ft each. Mr Cheang said that both penthouses have been sold for $2,000 psf.

The development will be officially launched to the public this Saturday, although it is likely that all the units will be snapped up by invited guests before then, Frasers Centrepoint said.

Similarly, at the 97-unit Cairnhill Residences, which was soft-launched about a month ago, about half the units have been sold so far at prices ranging from $1,750 to $1,870 psf. The project has two towers, and one tower of 57 units comprising two and three-bedroom units was released for sale during private road shows in Hong Kong and Jakarta a month ago, said marketing agent CB Richard Ellis. More than 80 per cent of these units have been sold. The second tower will be released for sale this weekend. Depending on market response, Allgreen Properties said it might consider raising prices by some 3-5 per cent.

Another imminent launch is that of the 99-year leasehold project coming up on the Orchard Turn site, which is being developed in a joint venture between CapitaLand and Hong Kong's Sun Hung Kai Properties. BT understands that the showflat for the project is now being constructed.

Other major launches expected this year for the area include a 110-unit condominium on the Kim Lim Mansion site at Grange Road by City Developments, the 338-apartment Scotts Square by Wheelock Properties, and SC Global Developments' 60 to 70-unit the marQ on Paterson Hill. All four projects are expected to fetch prices upwards of $2,000 psf.

Other projects that will probably be launched this year include those coming up on Wing Tai's Ardmore Point site, Far East Organization's Skyline Angullia site, Overseas Union Enterprise's The Parisian site at Angullia Park, Ho Bee's Orange Grove Condo site, Bukit Sembawang Estates' Peck Hay Mansion site and Chip Eng Seng's Venus Mansion site.

Generally, there is a sense among industry players here that while speculative activity was strong during recent launches in Marina Bay, developments in the Orchard area are expected to draw more 'serious' buyers looking to hold on to their property and collect high rents.

In addition, the Orchard Road area is an established market, one with which investors are familiar.

Still, prices will be higher than they were before the recent uptrend in prices in the luxury segment, mainly because of the buoyant market sentiment. 'I don't know whether prices will match up (with those at Marina Bay Residences), but I think that the prices will definitely climb,' said Mr Cheang.