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Condo-like flats in Boon Keng going on sale

Hot demand expected for second lot of public housing offered by private developers

A FLURRY of applications is expected for the latest batch of flats that look like condominiums but sell for just about two-thirds the price of condo units in the same area.

The second batch of public housing being offered by private developers goes on sale tomorrow, one year after the first lot was launched to overwhelming demand.

Like the first project in Tampines, the latest 714-unit project in Boon Keng, to be ready in September 2011, offers condo-like trappings such as timber flooring, built-in wardrobes and kitchen cabinets, and airconditioning.

In fact, some boast features condo owners would love.

Some flats will have wall-to-wall balconies in living rooms and master bedrooms that look out onto the Kallang River and beyond.

Large bay windows will extend to all bedrooms – and even the shower stalls in the bathrooms. And lift lobbies will come equipped with a card access system.

Giving a sneak peak of showflats at the development called City View @ Boon Keng yesterday, developer Hoi Hup Sunway Development said it is offering 72 three-room flats, 168 four-room flats, and 474 five-room flats – housed in three 40-storey blocks.

Under this programme, private developers are given a free rein over the design, pricing and sale of the homes, as long as they adhere to the general rules of public housing.

For the Boon Keng development, three-room flats units are priced at $349,000 to $394,000; four-room units at $523,000 to $597,000; five-room units at $536,000 to $727,000. On average, they are going for $520 psf.

Their prices are wedged between those of resale Housing Board flats and private 99-year leasehold condos in the same area.

A five-room, 11-year-old HDB flat near the project site changed hands for $545,000 in November, for example, while units at private condo Kerrisdale in Sturdee Road sold for $731 psf to $786 psf late last year.

Property agency chief Chris Koh, from Dennis Wee Properties, expects demand to be good. He said that the prices are ‘very reasonable’, considering the flats are near central Singapore and owners of HDB flats in the area are asking for $50,000 to $70,000 above the valuation of their properties, even if they are more than 10 years old.

Potential buyers are also watching closely. Hoi Hup Sunway has received about 1,000 inquiries in the past month. Those who sign up for a unit face a computer ballot to decide who books a unit.

The 616-unit project in Tampines attracted nearly 6,000 applications – just before the property market recorded a huge upswing. Last month, 316 surplus flats offered by the HDB in the outlying towns of Hougang, Sengkang and Punggol attracted a staggering 5,147 applications.

Competition for these Boon Keng flats is expected to be intense. Businesswoman Serene Sia, 38, wants a unit ‘badly’ as she thinks private property is out of her reach. Asked what she thought her chances would be, she said: ‘I seriously don’t know.’

Those interested can apply online at http://www.hoihup.com from 9am tomorrow. Applications close on Jan 16.

Other similar developments – which could house about 2,500 more units – are being planned for Ang Mo Kio, Bishan, Toa Payoh, Simei and Bedok.

But Hoi Hup Sunway spokesman Wong Chee Herng does not think it will dent the response to his project. ‘The demand is still very much greater than supply,’ he said.


Source: The Straits Times 4 Jan 08


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