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Published June 2, 2009

Momentum spurs series of project launches

But consultants warn that the buying drive may not be sustainable

By EMILYN YAP


STRIKING while the iron is hot, more developers - big and small - are riding on buying momentum to relaunch or spur interest in their properties.


Shelford 23: Close to half of the development's 33 apartments have been sold at an average price of $1,250 and buyers can opt for an interest absorption scheme at no extra cost

Hoi Hup Realty has soft-launched the freehold Shelford 23 in the Bukit Timah area. Of the project's 33 apartments, close to half have been sold at an average price of $1,250 per square foot (psf).

Buyers can opt for an interest absorption scheme at no extra cost, Hoi Hup told BT. The project is expected to receive a Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP) in 2012.

Hoi Hup opened Shelford 23's showflat for preview in September last year but later closed it. The average launch price then was $1,400 psf. Based on Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) data, no units had been taken up by April this year.

Preparations to launch the freehold Holland Residences near Holland Village also appear to be under way. The development, by Allgreen Properties, comprises three five-storey blocks with a total of 83 units. It is due to obtain TOP in a few years. BT understands that private previews may start from end-June and that agents are currently ascertaining interest.

Similarly, the freehold Nathan Residences in the River Valley area may soon be back on the market. Indicative asking prices appear to start from $1,200 psf. According to URA data, developer Tat Aik Property launched the 91-unit freehold project in September last year but nothing had been sold by April this year.

Projects in the east are also getting in on the action. Private previews of [email protected] in the Pasir Ris area could start in the next few weeks. BT understands that launch prices could be in the range of $600 psf. The 99-year leasehold Chip Eng Seng development has 388 units.

Meanwhile, marketing of the 26-unit [email protected] near the Eunos MRT station began last Friday night.

Over in the west, City Developments (CDL) said last Friday that it is accelerating plans to launch a project at the former Hong Leong Garden Condominium.

Sentiment in the residential property sector has improved in the past few months. And brisk sales recently have encouraged more developers to try their luck.

Evan Lim & Co said last Friday that it sold the last 44 units at Parc Centennial after a relaunch some two weeks ago. And CDL said that its Botannia is fully sold, with the 33 remaining units having been taken up in the past few weeks.

Despite the activity, some property consultants warned that the buying momentum may not be sustainable until there are clear signs of a global economic recovery.