Property hunters out in droves despite H1N1

By Crystal Chan

June 29, 2009

NEITHER recession nor fears over the Influenza A(H1N1) virus can dampen home-buying sentiment, it seems.

Property hunters were still thronging showflats at newly launched condos such as Oasis@Elias and Livia in Pasir Ris.

At least 50 potential customers were at the showflats at each condo when The New Paper on Sunday visited yesterday.

However, the crowds were smaller at condos that were launched more than a year ago, such as Waterfront Waves at Bedok Reservoir Road.

Accountant Adeline Lim, 33, who bought a three-bedroom unit at Oasis@Elias with her husband, said she thought it was a good time to buy as the prices average $630 per square foot (psf).

She said: 'With so many people buying, the developer can up the prices anytime. We're really surprised at the big turnout today as we thought the recession would make people cautious about buying.'

Comparing prices

Others, like marketing manager Steven Wong, 35, were just shopping around to compare prices.

He said: 'I think it's still a buyers' market. So I'll just look at the prices and the blueprints of the units.

'I'm looking for an apartment with a sea view and a spacious balcony.'

The monthly maintenance for the facilities is $210 and those who had bought units said they thought the fee was affordable.

Mr David Soh, 30, an engineer, said: 'I swim and play tennis regularly. I also visit the gym twice a week. It's worthwhile to pay for the maintenance if you use the facilities.

'Besides, my salary is high enough to afford the fee.'

Agents from CB Richard Ellis, the appointed marketing agency for Oasis@Elias, said at least 60 units in the 388-unit leasehold development have been sold.

The Straits Times reported in March that more than 350 out of the 440 units at Livia have been sold.

Last weekend, Frasers Centrepoint sold 302 out of 330 units at its leasehold Woodleigh Close project 8@Woodleigh

The average transacted price of the mass-market project was $790 psf.

Customers at Oasis@Elias who were worried about financing were told that the developer, CEL Development, had tied up with DBS Bank to offer interest absorption schemes.

Under such schemes, the developer absorbs interest payments on the loan until completion.

Depending on the loan amount and tenure, this could work out to a few thousand dollars.

The crowds also didn't seem to be worried about the virus which has hit 454 people here as of yesterday.

Mr Soh said: 'Life still has to go on. The virus isn't really fatal unless your immunity is low. The seasonal flu can be equally bad and it's just that H1N1 is another strain of the flu virus.'

Another 89 new flu cases

WITH 89 new cases of H1N1, the total tally is now 454 confirmed cases in Singapore.

Pending investigation: 53 other cases.

The new local cases include 10 new cases in the Republic Polytechnic cluster and seven new cases in the Maju Camp cluster.

There are also two new cases in the Tekong cluster.

In addition, there is a new cluster from an NUS Orientation Camp comprising three new cases and one previously unlinked case.