Nov 20, 2010
UE's exec condo to target young couples
Analysts upbeat about demand for upcoming Sengkang project
By Yasmine Yahya
UNITED Engineers (UE) is hoping to cash in on the pent-up demand for affordable housing among young couples with the unveiling of Austville Residences, a 540-unit executive condominium.
The 99-year leasehold project is expected to be launched some time next month or in January. It is located between Sengkang East Avenue and Buangkok Drive, a three-minute walk to Kangkar LRT station and five minutes away from Ranggung LRT station.
Prices will start from $650 per sq ft (psf), with two-bedroom units priced from $562,000.
UE said this will be the first executive condo in Singapore to have a theme design - the developers have taken Australian nature resorts as their inspiration.
The project will include features such as a beach-style pool, a barbecue corner and a vineyard-inspired dining pavilion. It is the third executive condo to be unveiled this year, and analysts expect it to be just as popular as the previous two, especially among young couples.
'For the location, I think the price is reasonable. If you look at recent launches of private residential properties, take-up has been good,' said Mr Steven Tan, executive director of residential at property agency OrangeTee.
'The market is receptive to private property prices of $800 to $900 psf. The average prices of executive condos represent a 20 per cent discount to that. Plus, since it's considered public housing, first-time buyers can get the $30,000 Central Provident Fund grant as well,' he added.
The senior manager of Asia-Pacific research at Cushman & Wakefield, Mr Ong Kah Seng, was equally upbeat.
'Looking at how oversubscribed Esparina Residences was, it reflects that there is strong demand for executive condos in various locations waiting to be absorbed. There is also continued relevance for executive condos to cater to the 'sandwiched class', which will help executive condos appreciate as choice dwellings.'
Esparina Residences was one of two executive condos launched earlier this year. Situated near Buangkok MRT station, it has a median price of $761 psf. So far, 425 of its 573 units have been sold.
The other one launched, The Canopy in Yishun, has been selling at a median price of $658 psf. Of its 406 units, 104 have been taken up.
Executive condos are a hybrid of public and private housing. Before this year, the last one was launched in 2005. This is just one reason why they are proving to be so popular today, said Mr Ong.
'Executive condos are popular primarily due to the long dearth of new projects and prices of private suburban condominiums which have generally reached record highs. Executive condos are hence the closest substitutes for eligible buyers who wish to enjoy a condominium living experience,' he said.
Austville features six 18-storey towers with two- to four-bedroom units, including 30 penthouse units. Unit sizes range from 811 to 1,241 sq ft.
UE said the expected temporary occupation permit date for Austville will be no later than 2014.