Straits Times: Thu, Mar 29
A NEW Bishan project expected to be launched in the middle of next month could turn out to be the priciest suburban condominium ever to hit the market.
The Straits Times understands that the indicative average prices for CapitaLand's Sky Habitat at Bishan Street 14 are between $1,700 and $1,800 per sq ft (psf).
But these were only the preliminary prices that marketing agents received yesterday. They could well go higher - or lower - depending on buyer interest as the target launch date of mid-next month nears.
Even at these early indicative levels, the condo will set benchmark prices for the Bishan Central area and suburban projects across the island.
The $1,700 to $1,800 psf range is also well up from initial market expectations of a launch price of about $1,500 psf. CapitaLand earlier estimated the project's breakeven cost to be about $1,300 psf.
Mr Tan Kok Keong, OrangeTee's research and consultancy head, said the CapitaLand project's proximity to Bishan MRT interchange, the Junction 8 mall and popular schools such as Raffles Institution might have supported the higher-than-expected pricing.
Another potential selling point is that renowned Israeli architect Moshe Safdie, who drew up the Marina Bay Sands integrated resort, will be designing the project.
But an industry player, who declined to be named, said it would be 'a tough sell' for the 99-year leasehold Sky Habitat to be sold at $1,700 to $1,800 psf.
He pointed out that CapitaLand's d'Leedon on the former Farrer Court estate is selling for about $1,680 psf. The city fringe project is also helmed by a star architect - Ms Zaha Hadid - he said.
Sky Habitat will have 509 units across two 38-storey towers linked by bridging sky gardens. Units will range from 680 to 3,000 sq ft.
Experts said that if CapitaLand keeps to its pricing, Sky Habitat will be on a par with prime condos.
They did also note that developers often adjust indicative prices in line with market sentiment closer to the launch date.
Another 99-year leasehold project, Cheung Kong's Thomson Grand in Upper Thomson, set tongues wagging when some of its apartments were sold for about $1,600 psf when it previewed last July.
And in fact, units in completed condos in the prime areas of districts 9, 10 and 11 can be bought for less than that in the resale market.
Units have been sold at Spring Grove in Grange Road since the start of last year from between $1,400 and $1,600 psf. Some condo apartments in the River Valley area, including Aspen Heights and 2 RVG, were recently sold for about $1,600 psf or less.
Indicative price: $1,700 psf
Where: Upper Thomson
Top price: Around $1,600 psf
Where: Grange Road
Average price: $1,500 psf
Where: River Valley
Average price: $1,600 psfSource: The Straits Times