Posts tagged: Executive Condominium (EC)

Oct 18 2010

Canopy sells 100 units over the weekend

WITHIN an hour of opening its doors on Saturday, The Canopy in Yishun had sold all the 20 units allocated to upgraders.

Another 80 or so units were booked by first-time buyers over the weekend, said Mr Tan Zhi Yong, managing director of MCC Land, which is developing the project.

The executive condominium (EC) – only the second to be launched in the last five years – has 406 units in total. In the first month of sale, 95 per cent of the units are set aside for first-timers, which means upgraders and other buyers can only buy 5 per cent of these units.

But next month, the remaining unsold units will be opened up to all buyers.

Mr Tan expects better sales then, saying demand is especially strong from upgraders.

In total, the project drew about 450 applications for its units, Mr Tan told The Straits Times.

But he said some applicants dropped out of the race because their monthly income levels exceeded the $10,000 cap imposed on EC buyers.

ECs, the most premium form of public housing, are subject to similar restrictions on eligibility, ownership and resale as normal HDB flats. But after 10 years, these restrictions are lifted and the developments become like private condos.

Several hundred interested buyers thronged the showroom over the weekend, Mr Tan said.

But not all the visitors ended up booking a flat, because while ECs have risen in price and quality over the last 10 years, the income ceiling for eligible buyers has stayed the same.

This means many buyers who can afford the units in The Canopy have breached the income cap, he said.

‘A lot of buyers asked us to appeal for them, some saying that they had just crossed the income ceiling this month only.’

Source: Straits Times, 18 Oct 2010

Oct 10 2010

344 units sold in Esparina Residences EC

A TOTAL of 344 units were sold in Frasers Centrepoint’s 573-unit Sengkang executive condominium (EC), Esparina Residences, as of 6pm yesterday.

The developer had received 1,155 applicants for the project since it was launched on Sept 30. Eligible applicants with a ballot number had priority to enter the showflat for the balloting and booking of units yesterday.

But only 344 units were sold. Because of the balloting process, some potential buyers could have decided not to purchase a unit at all if their preferred unit had been sold. In particular, three-bedroom units, penthouses and dual-key units (which are units that can be divided into two separate apartments with different entrances) proved to be popular, Frasers Centrepoint said.

Prices at Esparina Residences range from $590,000 to $723,000 for a two-bedder; $697,000 to $981,000 for a three-bedder; and $1 million to $1.18 million for a four-bedroom unit. Penthouses are priced at between $864,000 and $1.3 million. On a per square foot (psf) basis, unit prices range from $730 to $750 psf on average.

Esparina Residences is the first EC project to be offered to homebuyers since end-2004.

ECs are a hybrid of public and private housing. New EC units are sold with eligibility, ownership and resale restrictions similar to those for public housing, but these restrictions cease to apply after 10 years.

Another EC project, MCC Land’s 406-unit The Canopy in Yishun, previews this weekend. MCC Land has priced the units at an average of $600 to $700 psf. Unit sizes at the 99-year leasehold project range from 872 sq ft to 1,410 sq ft in two, three and four-bedroom configurations. There will also be 22 penthouses of between 2,088 and 2,239 sq ft.

Source: Business Times, 9 Oct 2010

Oct 09 2010

Esparina Residences sells 344 units in 1 day

Big crowd at balloting for units at first EC to be launched in 5 years

BUYERS snapped up 344 units of Esparina Residences, the first executive condominium (EC) to be launched in five years, on the first day of sales yesterday.

Dual-key apartments, a studio attached to either a two- or three-bedder for extended families to live together, were the most popular with 61 of the 71 available sold, said developer Frasers Centrepoint Homes. Three-bedders were next with 212 of 283 sold, while 12 of the 20 penthouses went.

Experts say the huge response was expected as the project located near Buangkok MRT station had been more than 100 per cent oversubscribed with 1,155 applications for the 573 units.

Pent-up demand from first-timers who will be able to make use of the $30,000 CPF housing grant and more affordable prices compared with mass market condos also added to the interest.

Frasers said on Wednesday that almost 75 per cent of the applicants were young professionals aged between 25 and 40, with half of all applicants falling within the $8,000 to $10,000 income bracket – the so-called sandwich class.

Mr Jonathan Tee, 22, booked a 1,001 sq ft three-bedroom unit with his girlfriend for about $750 per sq feet (psf).

‘We think that the price offered is quite attractive, it is a good location near the MRT plus Frasers is also one of the top developers,’ he added.

Another buyer, Mr Chua and his fiance – whose ballot number was picked after three agonising hours of waiting – said their first choice had gone but they decided to go for another three-bedroom flat on a lower floor instead.

HSR chief executive Patrick Liew said that ‘response has been tremendous’ as the undersupply of ECs over the past five years meant that demand has stayed high. He expects the project to sell out ‘in a short while’.

Mr Steven Tan, executive director of residential at the OrangeTee agency, said the project’s high take-up rate on a single weekday was very encouraging.

‘If they miss this, buyers might have to wait for a while to have another EC site so close to an MRT station… If they wait, they might also exceed their income ceiling so they might have chosen to buy now,’ he added.

MCC Land’s viewing of its EC The Canopy at Yishun Avenue 11 begins today. Bookings start next Saturday.

The 99-year leasehold, 406-unit project will offer two-, three- and four-bedroom units ranging from 872 sq ft to 1,410 sq ft, and 22 penthouses between 2,088 sq ft and 2,239 sq ft. Average prices will range from $600 psf to $700 psf.

OrangeTee’s Mr Tan said The Canopy will be catering to a different catchment of buyers in the Yishun and Woodlands area compared with Esparina Residences but he expects response to be similarly strong.

Its lower psf price also meant that it could meet the needs of more price-sensitive buyers, he added.

Despite the high number of applicants, not all flats were sold as some potential buyers might have backed out after not being able to get their preferred units. With 95 per cent of the units reserved for first-timers, second-time applicants were turned away two hours into the ballot after the quota was reached.

Source: Straits Times, 9 Oct 2010

Oct 07 2010

MCC Land to launch executive condominium at Yishun

Developer MCC Land is launching its first residential project, The Canopy Executive Condominium, at Yishun from October 9 to 13.

The 99-year leasehold 406-unit project will offer a full range of condominium facilities.

Sizes for the Executive Condominium range from about 872 square feet to 1,410 square feet for two to four bedrooms.

The project will also have 22 penthouses sized between 2,088 and 2,239 square feet.

Marketing agent, CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) said prices are expected to range between an average of $600 to $700 per square foot.

CBRE said the Canopy is located in the well-established mature estate of Yishun, supported by a comprehensive range of amenities and schools. Within the grounds, the developer has paid a lot of attention to designing an eco-friendly project. BCA has awarded The Canopy the BCA Green Mark Gold Plus Standard.

Tan Zhi Yong, MCC Land Managing Director, said: “We made a conscious decision to build a basement carpark to maximise greenery on the surface level. Given that we are catering to families with young children, we want to ensure that there are enough open spaces. The apartment sizes are relatively larger than previous EC projects. With its affordable pricing, we are confident that The Canopy will attract a lot of interest.”

MCC Land said the Yishun Avenue 11 project has been attracting a lot of interest from potential buyers.

Bookings will start from October 16.

Joseph Tan, CBRE Executive Director for Residential, said: “We expect keen interest from first-time buyers who will be able to make use of the $30,000 CPF housing grant, less immediate cash outlay compared to HDB resale flats and with no Cash Over Valuation to pay.

“Financing has also been eased for upgraders who need not pay a resale levy ranging from $15,000 to $50,000 when they buy a new EC flat. These conditions make for an attractive investment for investors with a medium-to-long term view.”

This is the second Executive Condominium launch in less than a month.

Frasers Centrepoint Homes launched Esparina Residences, an Executive Condominium, on September 30th.

Executive Condominiums are now making a comeback after five years as the government steps in to ramp up flat supply for middle-income home buyers.

Source : Channel News Asia, 7 Oct 2010

Oct 05 2010

High demand seen for The Canopy

Yishun executive condo previews this weekend with units at around $650-$700 psf

DEMAND for the second executive condominium (EC) to be launched in the last five years – MCC Land’s 406-unit The Canopy in Yishun – is expected to be strong once the project previews this weekend.

MCC Land (Singapore), a unit of Chinese state-owned enterprise Metallurgical Corporation of China or MCC Group, intends to launch all the units at one go at prices of around $650-$700 per square foot (psf).

The 99-year leasehold project at at Yishun Avenue 11 will have 2-bedroom, 2+1-bedroom, 3-bedroom, 3+1-bedroom, 4-bedroom and penthouse units ranging from around 870 sq ft to 2,200 sq ft, MCC Land said.

The launch comes as the first EC development to be offered to homebuyers since end-2004, Esparina Residences at Sengkang, continued to see buoyant showflat turnout since applications opened last Thursday.

Applications continued to come in thick and fast over the weekend.

Developer Frasers Centrepoint has received close to 1,000 applications for the 573-unit development as of Sunday.

‘If sales (at Esparina Residences) pan out well, we expect stronger demand for another upcoming EC at Yishun (the 406-unit The Canopy) which is priced lower at $650 psf,’ said DMG & Partners Research analyst Brandon Lee.

Units at Esparina Residences are priced from $730 to $750 psf on average.

ECs are a hybrid of public and private housing. New EC units are sold with initial eligibility, ownership and resale restrictions similar to public housing, but these restrictions cease to apply after 10 years.

In contrast to the buoyant EC segment, market watchers said that buyer interest in mass market private homes has waned somewhat since the government introduced fresh measures to cool the property market on Aug 30.

Hoi Hup and Sunway have sold around another 20 units of their freehold Kembangan project Vacanza @ East over the last week, taking total sales in the project to 110 units of the 141 units released. The project has 473 units in all.

And over at Pasir Ris, City Developments also said yesterday that it sold another 23 units at NV Residences last week – taking total sales as of Sunday to 358 out of 400 units released in the 642-unit development.

CityDev previewed the 99-year leasehold development on Sept 8 at an average price of $830 psf but later raised prices by about 1-2 per cent.

Source: Business Times, 5 Oct 2010

Sep 08 2010

Exec condos expected to retain allure

Demand may cool now, but facilities, location will bring back buyers

DEMAND for executive condominiums (ECs), the premium Housing Board flats, will probably be sustained after a short-term blip, say market experts.

They were commenting on the impact of new housing rules announced last week, which are set to dilute market share for ECs.

These flats come with condo-like facilities and were previously the only way the so-called sandwich class could buy new HDB flats.

Such buyers, with household incomes of between $8,000 and $10,000 a month, now have another option: HDB flats under the design, build and sell scheme (DBSS), developed by private developers and with generally better finishes than other HDB flats.

Previously, an $8,000 monthly income cap applied to DBSS flats, which meant households earning $8,000 to $10,000 could look only to ECs, the resale HDB market, or private housing.

Market experts say EC demand might take a short breather as buyers hold off purchases in anticipation of falling prices following the market cooling measures.

A typical four-room build-to-order HDB flat is $300,000, a DBSS unit is about $500,000 and an EC unit, about $700,000.

Experts say although DBSS flats cost less than ECs, the lifestyle element of the condo facilities is still a key draw. A site’s location is often a key factor too in determining its popularity.

DTZ head of South-east Asia research Chua Chor Hoon said developers might be forced to cut prices in coming months and contend with thinner profit margins, should buyers hold off on purchases.

One potential litmus test will be Esparina Residences, an EC by Frasers Centrepoint and Lum Chang Building Contractors near Buangkok MRT station, expected to be launched next month.

Mr Colin Tan, research and consultancy director of Chesterton Suntec International, said he expects the new rules to have minimal impact on EC demand.

‘I think demand has more to do with the location of a site and the way you market the development. The impact must be looked at on a case-by-case basis and cannot be generalised,’ he said.

DMG and Partners property analyst Brandon Lee expects some people who might have bought EC units to choose DBSS homes now. But the overall impact will be minimal as EC demand from first-time buyers was still ‘quite strong’, going by the latest resale applications.

‘The last EC, Far East’s La Casa in Woodlands, was launched in 2005, which means this sandwich class has since then been tapping the HDB resale market and mass private homes where prices have been on the uptrend,’ he said.

OrangeTee head of research and consultancy Tan Kok Keong said since the minimum occupation periods for both resale flats and new flats were now similar, some potential resale flat buyers might now choose DBSS or EC homes instead, making up for any loss in demand.

Developers made aggressive bids in the government land sales programme in the first half of this year, with a Sengkang EC site fetching a record $320.58 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf ppr) in May.

However, experts say that margins might not be overly affected by the changed market conditions.

Most of the four EC bids tendered so far this year would break even at $550 to $600 psf, DMG’s Mr Lee said: ‘Based on current EC secondary prices of $650 to $700 psf, fairly healthy margins of 10 to 15 per cent can still be made. I think this will also be helped by the fact that they have all been won by contractors or joint ventures with contractors, so construction costs can be better controlled.’

ECs, like other HDB flats, are subject to a minimum occupation period of five years. After that, they can be sold only to Singaporeans and permanent residents. They become private property after 10 years, and can then be sold to foreigners.

Source: Straits Times, 8 Sep 2010

Aug 15 2010

Exec condos back after 5 years

Failed Jurong tender won’t affect activity and prices, say experts; 4 projects slated for launch this year

A tender for an executive condominium (EC) site drew no takers last Thursday. But that will not affect the activity level – or prices – in the EC market this year.

Four new EC projects yielding about 1,400 units in total will be launched over the next three to six months, said a recent CBRE Research report.

These sites – in Compassvale Bow, Punggol Field, Buangkok and Yishun – were awarded in the first half of the year.

ECs are making a comeback after a hiatus of five years as the Government steps in to ramp up supply for Singaporeans who can afford more than an HDB flat but find private property out of their reach.

The last EC launch was La Casa in Woodlands in 2005.

Last Thursday, an EC site tender in Jurong West Street 42 closed without attracting a single bid, taking the market by surprise.

But there will be another four EC sites available for sale later in the year – in Punggol Drive; at the junction of Elias Road and Pasir Ris Drive 1; Tampines Avenue 8; and Segar Road.

These sites can potentially yield another 2,200 units.

An industry expert said the failed Jurong tender may affect the speed of EC launches but not prices.

‘Developers may want to rush out their EC launches because they see that the general property market may be facing more uncertainty,’ he said.

But prices will not be affected as developers who bid high for previous sites will not want to lower their final selling prices, he added.

Mr Li Hiaw Ho, executive director of CBRE Research, said: ‘Given the tender bid prices for the residential sites in recent months, developers are not likely to reduce prices of the new private homes.

‘Assuming the historical 30 per cent price gap between private suburban homes and new ECs remains, median prices of new ECs are likely to stay around $650 per sq ft to $750 psf.’

EC prices have risen with the improving property market, particularly as developers have bid higher at recent EC tenders.

But now that new mass market condos can easily cost nearly $1,000 psf or more, ECs will be attractive to some buyers as they would be priced around

$700 psf, said PropNex chief executive Mohamed Ismail.

A new EC should always be at least 20 per cent to 25 per cent cheaper than a mass market private property, he added.

This is because ECs come with sale restrictions that may cause a buyer to lose out on a market cycle and thus have to wait a few years to cash out profitably, he added.

ECs have initial sale restrictions similar to those for public housing, such as a minimum occupation period of five years.

After five years, they can be sold, but to only Singaporeans and permanent residents. They become private properties after 10 years, when they can also be sold to foreigners.

Mr Ismail said there will always be buyers keen to take the EC route to becoming a private property owner, as first-time EC buyers are entitled to HDB housing grants.

Buyers of new EC units have to meet a gross monthly household income ceiling criterion of $10,000, compared to the $8,000 income ceiling for a new HDB flat.

Source: Business Times, 15 Aug 2010

Aug 13 2010

No bids received for EC site at Jurong West

Despite a buzz generated by a resurgence of the executive condominiums (EC) in the coming months, the Housing and Development Board (HDB) has received no bids at the close of the tender for an EC site at Jurong West Street 42 yesterday.

The land parcel has a land area of over 16,800 square metres and a maximum gross floor area of about 50,445 square metres.

It has a lease period of 99 years.

Launched on July 2, the call for tender closed yesterday at noon.

Analysts said developers are spoilt for choice as the Government has been releasing a lot of land.

Mr Nicholas Mak, a real estate lecturer at Ngee Ann Polytechnic said: “There are also growing concerns that there could be a growing oversupply due to the large amount of land that the Government is offering for sale in the present Government land sales programme.

“In addition, there is also the characteristic of this site, which is that it’s not within comfortable walking distance to the nearest MRT station.”

The second half of this year will see 27 residential sites and four mixed-use sites put up for tender via the Government land sales programme.

The 31 sites are expected to yield nearly 14,000 private residential units. This is the highest potential supply for any half-yearly period since the Confirmed and Reserve Lists system started in 2001.

Source: Today, 13 Aug 2010

Aug 13 2010

Condo comeback

Government to ramp up flat supply for middle-income home buyers

SINGAPORE – The executive condominium (EC) market looks set to stir when new projects are launched over the next three to six months. According to property consultancy CB Richard Ellis, ECs are making a comeback after a hiatus of five years as the Government steps in to ramp up flat supply for middle-income home buyers.

Four new EC projects in Compassvale Bow, Punggol Field, Buangkok and Yishun – yielding some 1,400 units – will be launched in the next three to six months.

These sites were awarded in the first half of this year. The Government will also be selling another five EC sites later in the year – at Jurong West, Punggol Drive, Pasir Ris, Tampines and Segar Road – which are expected to yield about another 2,600 units.

The last EC launched was La Casa in Woodlands in 2005, which was completed in early 2008.

CBRE said the comparatively cheaper pricing of ECs is expected to attract a large number of HDB upgraders.

Executive director of CBRE Research Li Hiaw Ho said assuming the historical 30 per cent gap between private suburban homes and new ECs, the median prices of new ECs are likely to stay around $650 to $750 per square foot (psf).

The median price for private suburban homes as of the second quarter stood at $824 psf.

Ms Tay Huey Ying, director for Research and Advisory at Colliers International, expects prices for ECs to rise moderately. “It will still fall below private units in terms of absolute price per square foot simply because there are conditions attached,” she said.

For example, foreigners are not allowed to buy ECs. On top of that, those whose monthly household income exceed $10,000 cannot buy ECs.

Mr Li added that the prices of ECs will match those of comparable private apartments in the same locations after five years, as they will be treated as private properties.

Currently, the non-landed private home market is attracting a lower share of HDB upgraders compared to last year with only 36.1 per cent of them making new home purchases in the second quarter.

At its peak in the first quarter last year, the proportion of HDB upgraders reached 63.6 per cent but it has steadily dipped below the 10-year average of 44 per cent.

Mr Li said with the steep rise in prices of new private homes, more HDB upgraders face a bigger burden of servicing huge mortgage loans.

“The lowering of the housing loan limit from 90 per cent to 80 per cent since March this year also meant that HDB home buyers need to pay more cash upfront,” added Mr Li. “Despite this, HDB upgraders can find a less-costly alternative with the upcoming ECs.”

Source: Today, 13 Aug 2010

Aug 13 2010

No bids for EC site in Jurong

Lack of interest a sign that developers have become more selective

AN EXECUTIVE condominium (EC) site that experts thought might draw at least two or three developers failed to attract a single bid at the tender’s close yesterday.

The surprise lack of interest in the Jurong West site likely stems from the Government’s recent decision to put a record number of sites up for tender in coming months, giving developers a wealth of choice.

Bids were tipped to come in between $230 and $300 per sq ft per plot ratio for the 99-year leasehold site after strong interest in other EC tenders this year.

But developers have become much more selective and the site is not particularly appealing, being next to the expressway with no amenities nearby and some distance from the MRT, said experts.

ERA Asia-Pacific associate director Eugene Lim added: ‘If the site is not attractive, developers would presume that it would be difficult to sell. So why take the risk?’

A developer who declined to be named said: ‘There are too many choices out there. You have only so much resources so you have to pick something that you can make money from.’

EL Development managing director Lim Yew Soon said: ‘I would think most of us want to choose a site that is more attractive. There’s an opportunity cost even if you put in an opportunistic bid as you may miss the next tender.’

Ngee Ann Polytechnic real estate lecturer Nicholas Mak said developers will be more cautious with sites where they see limited pricing flexibility.

ECs are aimed at households with a gross monthly income ceiling of $10,000 so developers would want to price units at below a million each, he said. They should cost at least 10 to 15 per cent less than a private mass market condo unit.

The last time an EC site had no takers was in late 2008 when the market was weakening. That site – at the junction of Punggol Field and Punggol Road and near Punggol MRT station – eventually sold in June this year.

A Ministry of National Development spokesman said: ‘It’s not possible to conclude the lack of bids is a sign of the market cooling. Developers’ participation on Government land sales sites is affected by several factors, of which location of the sites and supply of sites are some of the considerations.’

However, Mr Mak said the Jurong West outcome will have a ‘psychological effect on the land sales market’.

‘It could signal to developers that they no longer need to bid high for sites that are not attractively located,’ he said.

The Jurong EC site can yield an estimated 460 units with a maximum permissible gross floor area of 542,988 sq ft.

Meanwhile, demand for new build-to- order (BTO) HDB flats remained strong, with 2,163 applications received for 171 four-room flats in Jurong West.

Applications for the five-room flats in the same area were nearly 12 times the 104 units on offer. The project in Bukit Panjang drew 2,123 applications for 313 four-room flats.

Source: Straits Times, 13 Aug 2010

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