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18 March 2013

18th March, Monday




Urban Vista 43% sold after launch weekend

Source: Business Times

Developers of the 582-unit Urban Vista condominium project sold 250 apartments, or 43 per cent of the total, over the weekend, according to a representative for the developers Fragrance Group and Aspial Corp subsidiary World Class Land.

The bulk of the 99-year leasehold units that sold between Friday, in which 180 units were sold at a preview, and Sunday were one- to three-bedroom units, the representative said. The developers released 230 units at the preview and an additional 80 units over the weekend.

The apartments were priced at an average of $1,350 per sq ft (psf), which included a 7 per cent discount for homeowners in light of recent property cooling measures.

Overall, Urban Vista comprised 135 one-bedroom apartments, 249 two-bedders, 160 three-bed-rooms and 37 four-bedroom units.

An analyst said Urban Vista's weekend sales were reasonably successful, given the circumstances.

He said that with a take-up rate of more than 40 per cent, "signs are very healthy" that genuine buyers and long-term owners are still looking for opportunities to invest.

But he noted that Urban Vista had been priced at a discount, a reflection that developers are giving up margin in order to sell units in the face of property cooling measures.


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BTO flat buyers face longer wait amid labour and supply strains

Source: The Straits Times

Home buyers might have a longer wait for the keys to their Build-To-Order (BTO) flats.

A combination of the construction industry labour crunch and a ramp-up in the Housing Board's building programme is stretching the completion period for new BTO projects by several months.

The private sector has already taken a hit as contractors push back deadlines and take longer to complete projects, as the industry struggles with fewer workers.

And this seems to have affected the Housing Board sector as well, with estimated waiting times for some recent standard BTO projects of 20 storeys and below being stretched to as long as 43 months.

The National Development Ministry said in 2010 that the waiting time - from booking a flat to collecting the keys - for such BTO projects launched after the middle of 2011 would be about 2 1/2 years, or 30 months.

But this seems to be no longer the case, despite the Housing Board moving to a building "ahead of order" system.

A quick check of January's BTO launches shows that estimated completion times for projects of under 20 storeys range from 32 to 43 months. For bigger projects - with more storeys and units - the waiting time stretches to as long as 58 months, or nearly five years.

A Housing Board spokesman noted that the construction time for each project depends on many factors, such as the complexity of the design features, soil conditions and other site constraints.

For standard BTO projects of 20 storeys and below completed from 2010 to last year, however, the average construction time was 30 months, he said.


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