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Prices and rentals rising fast in Upper East Coast

Spillover demand from nearby districts and rumours of collective sales push prices up

THE buzz in the property market these days is all about the price recovery in the suburban areas.

Cheaper private homes on the outskirts of town are seeing a rebound in prices and rentals, as the strong market sentiment at the top end filters down.

Homebuyers have started turning out in force for these entry-level condominiums. Many have sold en bloc and are seeking replacement units.

Apart from the central Orchard Road area, a popular collective sale district is the East Coast, which has seen nearby Upper East Coast Road become one of the biggest hot spots for home seekers.

Some projects in the district, which stretches from Upper East Coast Road to Bedok North Avenue 4, have rocketed in price, by up to 65 per cent, since January.

Figures from consultancy Savills Singapore show that overall home prices in the area climbed by 20 per cent to 65 per cent between January and August, depending on the specific street.

This compares with a rise of about 10.3 per cent for all suburban areas in the first six months of this year, according to the Urban Redevelopment Authority.

But Savills’ director of business development and marketing, Mr Ku Swee Yong, was quick to add that some of the Upper East Coast projects have seen such large jumps in price because of ‘collective sale rumours’.

‘The general price increase is nowhere near 65 per cent overall,’ he said.

Rentals in the Upper East Coast have also soared, supporting the price increases. Average asking rents jumped 13.7 per cent in July and August, on top of a 4.7 per cent rise in the previous three months, said

Savills. They average $3.07 per sq ft (psf), or about $3,000 for a 1,000 sq ft unit.

Mr Ku noted that the Upper East Coast is benefiting from a spillover in demand from nearby Districts 14 and 15, which include Marine Parade, Katong and Telok Kurau.

Several estates there have gone en bloc, forcing the sellers to seek new homes. Many of them have been priced out of the increasingly expensive East Coast properties, so they have shifted their focus to cheaper homes further east.

This situation is similar to that in town, where city-fringe areas such as Newton and Novena have benefited from the record number of collective sales in the Orchard Road area and its surroundings, said Mr Ku.

He added that even more developments in the vicinity are expected to go en bloc soon. These could include Ocean Park, Rich East Gardens, Bagnall Court and the two Eastern Lagoons.

Apart from the collective sale draw, Mr Ku noted that the Upper East Coast profits from its proximity to Changi Airport and East Coast Park, as well as various golf courses, including Tanah Merah Country Club and Laguna National Country Club. All these are attractive to ‘mobile professionals’, he said.

He predicts that by the end of next year, new benchmark prices will be achieved for the area. These could go up to $1,100 psf for the Bedok South Avenue 3 and Bedok Camp areas, and up to $1,700 psf from Siglap Centre to Bedok South Avenue 1.


Source: The Sunday Times 30 Sept 07

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