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Thursday, 12 June 2008

Prices of some new properties going down

Move may signal end of months-long stand-off between buyers and sellers

By Fiona Chan, Property Reporter

GOOD news for homebuyers: The prices of some new
developments are finally starting to come down.

At least two new projects have been tagged with prices below what they were expected to fetch just months ago.

This may be because developers are faced with no sign of improvement in the cooling property market, consultants say.

They may be choosing to move units by making their projects more affordable rather than continuing to wait out the gloomy sentiment.

One example is Dakota Residences in Dakota Crescent, a 99-year leasehold project by Ho Bee Investment and NTUC Choice Homes.

Sales of its 348 units will start next Saturday at an average of about $950 per sq ft (psf) - below the $1,000 psf to $1,100 psf that Ho Bee had previously targeted.

This means a 1,300 sq ft three-bedroom unit would cost about $1.24 million, down from as much as $1.43 million previously.

'After the land cost and building cost, the break-even price is actually almost $900 psf,' said a property agent, who asked not to be named.

The Straits Times understands that about 120 units will be released in the first phase, and prices may go up by at least 5 per cent for the remaining units, depending on demand.

For now, the two- and three-bedroom units that face away from Geylang River are said to cost $950 psf to $970 psf, while the bigger four-bedroom units facing the river will go for $1,000 psf.

City Developments' (CDL) Shelford Suites in Shelford Road has also started previews for its 77 units at about $1,600 psf on average.

Market watchers said this was lower than expected, as two units were sold in March for $1,869 psf and $1,905 psf.

Shelford Suites' launch had been delayed for months as CDL waited for sentiment to improve.

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