SINGAPORE – The penthouse at an executive condominium (EC) in Tampines that sparked controversy over its lavish appointments seems to have attracted plenty of interest.
The 514-unit EC itself, City- Life @ Tampines, was more than three times subscribed with more than 1,700 applications received by the deadline yesterday.
Mr Jeffrey Hong, chief executive of marketing agent Global Property Strategic Alliance (GPS), noted that about 30 per cent of sales hotline inquiries it received were geared towards either the 4,342 sq ft penthouse or the six skysuites.
The skysuites are four- and five-bedroom units with a living or dining room that opens out to a wrap-around open terrace just below the penthouse floor.
National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan earlier said in a blog post that developers should remember the policy intent of ECs: to help Singaporean families earning $12,000 or less a month buy a condo for a price under the market rate.
His post came on the back of reports about a string of ECs sold at sky-high prices.
The developers, a consortium comprising Amara Holdings, Kay Lim Holdings and SingXpress Land, added that the dual-key and larger-sized units drew the most interest.
Amara Holdings chief executive Albert Teo noted that the response was “overwhelming” in the light of the project’s December launch, which is typically quieter due to it being the school holidays and festive period.
CityLife opens for booking on Dec 29.
Applications for The Topiary in Sengkang, a 700-unit EC, also closed this week.
Kheng Leong, who is developing the project in a joint venture with Qingjian, told The Straits Times that just over 600 applications were received during the five-day application period which closed on Tuesday. Sales start tomorrow.
The Topiary will have units ranging from 753 sq ft to 2,476 sq ft, with prices ranging from $580,000 for a two-bedroom unit to an expected minimum of $1.28 million for penthouses.
Experts said location is key to why an EC in a mature estate like Tampines attracts more interest than in Sengkang, which also has a larger supply of ECs in the pipeline.
OrangeTee head of research and consultancy Tan Kok Keong noted that CityLife also received a lot more hype and had fewer units.
But there is likely to be a saturation point for the EC market and the turning point could happen some time next year, he added.
“There have been a record number of new EC launches and the Government can consider putting more EC sites on the reserve list of the land sales programme for the first half of next year instead,” Mr Tan said.
One applicant, senior manager Alvin Leow, hopes to secure a three-bedroom unit at CityLife.
“I’m surprised at the response. I chose CityLife as it was in a mature estate and close to the MRT station and shopping malls,” he said.
“But it looks like my chances are slim now, since I’m also a second-time applicant.”
(Source: The Straits Times)