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Thread: Developers ready to launch, but may hold their fire

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    Default Developers ready to launch, but may hold their fire

    http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/sub/...99940,00.html?

    Published October 3, 2009

    Developers ready to launch, but may hold their fire

    Many looking at market conditions, competition before deciding launch date

    By KALPANA RASHIWALA AND UMA SHANKARI

    (Singapore)

    DEVELOPERS are busy getting projects launch ready. However, whether they release them by this year's end or next year will depend on market conditions, 'ground feedback' from potential buyers and the segment of the market the projects are in.

    Far East Organization began previewing its Alba condo at Cairnhill Rise this week. The property giant is believed to have released 18 units up to the seventh floor of the 18-storey freehold condo, which has a total 50 units. The 18 units range from 1,862 to 2,250 sq ft.

    Under the project's 'white plan', Far East can customise apartment layouts to suit buyers' preferences. The developer told BT that prices start from $2,400 psf. Alba comprises a single Y-shaped tower; most floors will have three units per floor although there are two levels in the development with just one unit per floor.

    Oxley Land also began previewing [email protected] at Lim Ah Woo Road yesterday. The five-storey freehold project comprises 72 units, of which 45 are smallish one-bedders of 258-527 sq ft. The smallest unit is said to have been snapped up at about $400,000. As of 6pm yesterday, more than 50 units in the project were said to have been sold. The average price is believed to be about $1,000 psf. No interest absorption scheme (IAS) was offered.

    Other developers will also be rolling out projects with smaller units. Frasers Centrepoint chief executive Lim Ee Seng said that the company's upcoming project in Serangoon, Residences Botanique, will have a large number of small units to cater to increased demand for such homes. 'I do see a lot of young people buying,' said Mr Lim, adding that many such buyers are looking for smaller apartments, which are more affordable for them.

    Developers say they will study market conditions carefully before going ahead with launch plans.

    City Developments' residential launches planned for the rest of the year include the 228-unit The Quayside Isle Collection at Sentosa Cove and a condo on the former Albany site at Thomson Road with about 160 units. A spokeswoman said the developer will consider market conditions and the readiness of the project before deciding whether to launch in Q4 2009 or wait until next year.

    CapitaLand said its 165-unit condo on the former Char Yong Gardens site will be launch ready by the end of the year. But, it could not confirm if the project will definitely be launched by end-2009.
    EL Development's managing director Lim Yew Soon said that his company will consider various factors before deciding to launch a project. 'Is the current market valuation able to support the expected launch price? If yes, we can proceed. If no, we will have to either lower our launch price or defer the launch till the market valuation increases,' he said.

    'Are there any other projects in the vicinity that are also launching soon? If possible, we'll try to avoid launching on the same weekend to avoid competition.' Mr Lim is aiming to roll out EL Development's next project, at Stevens Close, in Q2 next year.

    Savills Singapore managing director Michael Ng reckoned that generally developers are likely to launch mass- and mid-market projects this year, and restock their landbank in these segments next year when the government resumes sales of sites from the confirmed list.

    However, developers are unlikely to be in a hurry to sell off their luxury residential projects since it will be harder for them to find replacement land, given the more difficult regime currently for collective sales, Mr Ng argued.

    'The luxury segment will improve much more in the next 12 months with the influx of more high networth buyers, particularly from Asia this round,' he said.

    According to Urban Redevelopment Authority data, the stock of yet-to-be sold units from all projects with pre-requisites for sale has shrunk from over 18,000 units as at the end of last year to 14,791 as at end-Aug this year. The figure includes unsold units in launched or partly launched projects as well as developments that have yet to be launched.

    Of the 14,791-unit supply at end-Aug, 44.3 per cent or 6,551 units are in Core Central Region); with 4,745 units in Rest of Central Region and 3,495 units or 23.6 per cent in Outside Central Region, where suburban condos are located. However, there is more supply in the pipeline. At end-Q2 2009, there were 23,354 unsold units for which developers had obtained planning approvals but not bagged the pre-requisites for sale, though these can be secured in a relatively short time. A further supply of about 2,000 private homes can be built on five reserve list sites triggered recently.

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