Sunday, June 27, 2010

Buying craze has indeed slowed down

Published June 28, 2010 (Business Times)

68 units sold at Waterfront Gold
Two of 5 blocks, or 150 units, of Bedok Reservoir condo released last Friday


FRASERS Centrepoint and Far East Organization have sold 68 of the 150 units for sale at the Waterfront Gold condo fronting Bedok Reservoir as of yesterday.

These were units released by the developers last Friday.
The 99-year leasehold condo, which has a total 361 units, is priced at $950 psf on average.
Over 70 per cent of units sold were smallish apartments - one bedders, one bedroom with study units and two bedders.

Buyers were predominantly Singaporeans and there was a roughly equal split between those with HDB and private addresses. In absolute price terms, the cheapest unit sold was about $555,000, for a 581 square foot, one-bedder on the second level. Both penthouses released (about 2,000 sq ft each) were sold at an average price of about $1,025 psf or $2.1 million each.

While Waterfront Gold's sales seem tepid compared with launches earlier this year, Frasers Centrepoint Homes chief operating officer Cheang Kok Kheong said the outcome was 'within our expectation and quite remarkable given today's market sentiment'.

'We are testing the upper end of prices in the upgraders' market and because of the location and facilities, we are positioning Waterfront Gold as an upper-mid market condo rather than a mass-market product.

'For instance, we have a sky park with a dedicated express bubble lift and toilets in the development will have marble floors,' he added.

Mr Cheang also said the developers are offering two of the project's five blocks, or 150 units, as part of 'a deliberate attempt not to sell out the project'.

'We wish to sell progressively and keep the remaining three blocks until the location of the Bedok Reservoir Station on Downtown Line 3 is announced.'

Market watchers recall that during March/April, when home buying sentiment was stronger, developers used to achieve sales of about 300 units in the first weekend of a project's release.

Knight Frank managing director (residential services) Peter Ow attributed Waterfront Gold's sales result to a 'combination of challenging pricing and a slower market'.

Waterfront Gold is the third in a series of four condos that Frasers Centrepoint and Far East are developing on the former Waterfront View site.

Waterfront Waves was first released in January 2008 at an average price of about $750 psf, followed by the launch of Waterfront Key in July last year at $735 psf on average.

The developers have been raising prices in these two projects.

Waterfront Waves is now fully sold and the remaining 100-odd apartments at Waterfront Key are now selling at average prices of $850 psf for poolview units and $950 psf for reservoir-facing units.

Now for my comments:

The developers launch 150 units out of the 361 units that they have. What does this statement tell you?
Well, I see it that the developers have also seen a large dropped in the number of buyers. Anyway, why wait for the confirmation of the MRT station? Just launch all the units available and see the response.

Anyway, compared to March/April where selling 300 units can be easily achieved in the first weekend, but now? Only 68????

That's a 72% dropped in sales. What's more, most of the buyers are buying only the smaller units. What does this show again? No locals are interested to buy the bigger units to stay. So what do we do? Of course we target the bigger units.

Let's wait for more signals before we commit.

Have you started to build your war chest yet?

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