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19 Sep 2014

Upcoming Waterwoods EC to offer private lifts

Source: Channel News Asia
By Wong Siew Ying

An upcoming executive condominium (EC) project Waterwoods in Punggol will offer private lift lobbies for larger units - a feature more commonly associated with upscale apartments.

Its developer Sing Holdings said the project will also be the first to include maisonettes in the EC segment.

Waterwoods is Sing Holdings' first foray into the executive condominium market and the builder of mid to high-end homes will be adding some exclusive features to the project.

For example, 48 five-bedroom units and maisonettes will come with private lift lobbies that lead right into the apartment.

They form nearly 13 per cent of the total number of 373 units at Waterwoods.

The sizes of these units range between 1,636 square feet and 1,701 square feet. Waterwoods has a wide selection of apartment types ranging from two-bedders to penthouses.

EC developers have been creative in introducing new features to attract buyers to their projects.

Citylife@Tampines had drawn flak last year for playing up on the "luxe appeal" by offering a mega 'presidential suite'.

Sing Holdings said its private lift lobbies should see a more favourable response.

Sing Holdings Limited's CEO Lee Sze Hao said: "I don't think that will be a concern of being too over luxurious. This private lift lobby has always been offered to higher end projects but it is also a functional feature. It provides exclusiveness and privacy for the buyers and all it takes is another two square metres of space for the unit. Because of the additional space required, this feature will be offered to larger units."

The developer said it has yet to price the units. Some property agents said based on recent transacted prices at EC projects around the area, like Ecopolitan and Lush Acres, the estimated selling price could range between S$780 and S$880 per square foot.

Potential buyers can register their interest for the project from September 27 to October 6.

Waterwoods will be the second last EC project to be launched for sale this year, the other being SkyPark Residences in Sembawang.

Nicholas Mak, executive director at SLP International Property Consultants, said: "In the first eight months of next year, there won't be any new EC launches due to government regulations so there is a possibility that demand for EC could pent up.

“From next year August onwards, there will be about five new EC projects with a total of about 3,100 units that would come into the market in a very short span of time so competition during that period in the future is going to be fairly intense."

The outlook for the EC segment appears bright with analysts expecting some upside in prices and strong demand for units.

Temporary housing scheme extended to more groups

Source: The New Paper
By: Siau Ming En

More families are now eligible for rental flats under the Parenthood Provisional Housing Scheme (PPHS), while the waiting times for these flats will be shortened, under a slew of changes announced by the Housing and Development Board (HDB) yesterday.

Previously, only married couples who are both first-timers were eligible for flats under this scheme, which was introduced in January to provide married couples with a temporary housing option as they wait for their Build-To-Order (BTO) flats to be completed.

The scheme is now open to divorced or widowed parents with children as well as married couples where one spouse is a second-time applicant for BTO flats. Engaged couples are also now able to apply for these units in advance, but must produce their marriage certificate within three months of moving into the PPHS flat.

“The change will better cater to other families who are also in need of affordable temporary housing while waiting for their new flats to be completed,” said the HDB in a statement yesterday. Married couples will still get priority in selecting a PPHS flat, it added.

Those eligible also no longer have to wait for periodic launches of these flats to apply. They can now do so at any time. They can also do so right after they have booked a new BTO flat. Previously, they had to wait until after they had signed the agreement for lease, which could take a few months. After applying, families will be able to select and move into the rental units by the following month.

The changes are the latest in a series of efforts by the HDB to be more inclusive in its eligibility criteria for HDB flats. In March, the Government announced measures making it easier for divorcees to buy a BTO flat for the second time.

In a written reply on Monday to a parliamentary question posed by Jurong GRC Member of Parliament Ang Wei Neng on the number of married first-time applicants that have taken advantage of the PPHS, the Ministry of National Development said 327 married couples have taken up the rental flats under the scheme, of which 225 have children.

Asked how many families are expected to benefit from these changes, the HDB said it had received feedback and requests for the PPHS to be extended to couples yet to be married and divorced or widowed persons with children. It added that the demand for these units would depend on a number of factors such as the families’ preferences and urgency for alternative housing, among other things.

It added that there are currently 800 PPHS flats across four locations which have been retrofitted and are ready for immediate occupation.