Friday, February 25, 2011


This is the latest project in the CBD that will be launching soon.

SkySuites is slated to be the tallest residential building in Singapore - 72-storey high! The 99-year leasehold development has a total of 360 apartment units plus 5 commercial units on the first level, and is expected to TOP in Nov 2015.

SkySuites is developed by Arcadia Developments Pte Ltd, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Allgreen Properties Limited.

The wife and I understand that SkySuites is open for pre-booking now, with the VIP Preview to be held in the mid of March. We have no information on the expected price though.

SkySuites @Anson (Project Details) 

SkySuites (Facilities)


Thursday, February 24, 2011

For those eyeing THE TRILLIUM...

Following is a report in this week’s edition of THEEDGE SINGAPORE.

The Trillium hits $2,238psf – by Angeline Cheong
Following completion in December, buyer interest has returned to the 231-unit The Trillium located along Kim Seng Road. The luxury condominium was fully sold by Lippo Group at private previews in early 2007, at prices averaging $1700psf.
The Trillium

Prices of units at the project, which obtained its TOP in December, are well supported above the $2000psf level. A 5,533sqft penthouse on the 28th floor of one of the three 29-storey towers was sold last month for $12.38 million ($2238psf), according to a caveat lodged on Jan 25, which was after the latest round of government measures. The price achieved at the penthouse is just below the peak of $2239psf in 2007, when a 2,217sqft unit on the 25th floor was sold for $4.9 million.

Most apartments in the development enjoy a 270 degree view of the city skyline and the Singapore River as well as private lift access. Two bedroom apartments measure 1,400sqft while five-bedroom ones are 2,440sqft and penthouses, more than 5,000sqft each.

The Trillium is also popular with homebuyers and investors, given that it’s just across the street from the Great World City shopping mall. There’s also a free shuttle service from Great World City to Orchard Road and Chinatown. The property is within walking distance to Clarke Quay, along the Singapore River and a short drive to the CBD and Marina Bay. It is also very near amenities, such as eateries and the wet market at Tiong Bahru.

Since its completion, The Trillium has seen greater interest from owner-occupiers than from investors, notes Harry Boey, a property agent with PropNex. When the project was first launched four years ago, most of the buyers were said to be Indonesian Chinese, owing to its proximity to Great World City. Boey is currently marketing a two-bedroom, 1,400sqft unit with a price tag of $2.8 million ($2000psf).

Currently, 30% of the units at The Trillium are occupied. Investors are waiting for the right time to sell and, in the meantime, putting their property on the market for lease, observes Lester Tan, a property agent with HSR International. He is marketing a two-bedroom unit, which is up for lease with an asking monthly rental rate of $7,588.

The trillium has not been spared from the effects of the government’s property cooling measures, with the resale market having turned sluggish, notes Boey. On the other hand, sellers have holding power and are willing to wait for the right price.

There were three transactions from Jan 25 to Feb 1, with prices ranging from $2050 to $2238psf, according to caveats lodged with URA Realis.

The seller of the 5,533sqft penthouse on the 28th floor, which was sold for $12.38 million ($2238psf) on Jan 25, reaped a 21% capital gain, having purchased the property for $10.24 million ($1850psf) in 2007.

A 2,217sqft unit on the 16th floor was sold for $4.6 million ($2100psf) on Jan31. The previous owner had purchased the unit for $3.9 million ($1760psf) in 2007, thus enjoying a 19% gain.

On the 10th floor, a 1,797sqft unit was sold for $3.69 million ($2050psf). This is a 17% gain for the seller, who purchased it for $3.138 million ($1746psf) in 2009. Prior to that, the unit was sold for $2.793 million ($1554psf).

Now, how many of you actually knew that The Trillium is also a flower? The wife and I certainly did not... until tonight that is... while trying to search for a photo of The Trillium (the condo) on the web.
The Trillium (flower)


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Enbloc news: Amber Towers

The ST today reported that Amber Towers, a 35-year-old residential project in the Katong area, is being put up for collective sale.
Amber Towers 2Amber Towers

The freehold project has an indicative guide price of $168 million to $172 million. This works out to between $1,152psf ppr and $1,180psf ppr. No development charge is payable.

Amber Towers is in Amber Road and comprises 54 apartments distributed in two towers.

The plot measures 40,708sqft and has a permissible plot ratio of 2.8.

The site can be redeveloped into a high-rise condominium with a gross floor area of 145,813sqft, subject to confirmation by the relevant authorities.

It could yield about 110 units, each about 1200sqft in size.

This is the first time Amber Towers has attempted to mount a collective sale.


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Ascentia Sky: 4-Bedroom unit (Review)

This is really the one that the wife and I came especially to see - the 1851sqft, 4-bedroom (Type D) unit. The 4-bedders in Ascentia Sky range from 1733 - 1991sqft, and all have similar layout except for the 1991sqft unit.
4-Brm FP

The 4-bedroom units come with their own private lift and lift lobby. Although you get more privacy of access to your unit, this area actually eats into your total livable area.

As you enter the apartment, one of the bedroom (Bedroom 3) is immediately on your left (or right, depending on the orientation of your unit). The glass partitions you see are just ID and do not come as an option.

The living and dining area is rectangular-shaped and comes with compressed marble floors. We liked the regular shape but find it a tad small for a 4-bedder unit. It reminded us of the living/dining area in our previous apartment, which was only about 1530+sqft!

The balcony is huge - this plus the planter box easily takes up about 200sqft of floor-space. The consolation is that you get a long rectangular strip that is fully sheltered. This makes the balcony/planter box area alot more functional. We reckon you can easily fit an 8-seater long dining table here, or two separate tables of mahjong, whichever is to your fancy.

The kitchen is L-shaped and of decent-sized. The developer has thrown in a host of kitchen appliances with the unit - the exact brands are yet to be confirmed, but you will get a fridge, oven, hood, hob, dishwasher and even air-conditioning! The kitchen cabinets also looked to be of good quality.

The wife and I loved the yard area - this is very spacious and functional, e.g. for laundry drying and ironing. The opposite set of windows just before the back door provide good natural lighting and the necessary ventilation for this area.

The home shelter is large enough to fit a regular single-bed, so you do not have to worry about finding that bed that fits for your domestic helper.

One of the common bedroom (Bedroom 2) is tucked towards the same end as the kitchen, with a comman bathroom (Bathroom 2) separating the two. This is the smallest of the 3 common bedroom - you probably have to contend with a single bed here, or use this room as a study. This is also the only bedroom that has a balcony - the balcony stretches from the living area across to this bedroom, so one can actually access this bedroom via the balcony.

One of the unique feature of the 4-bedders in Ascentia Sky is the absence of a junior suite - you get two common bathrooms on opposite ends of the apartment instead. We actually quite liked this idea, as it allows the option of dedicating one bathroom (e.g. Bathroom 2) as a guest toilet. This is especially if you are using Bedroom 2 as a Study or Guest Room.

The common bathroom is good-sized, and comes with homogenous-tile floors/walls. It is also fitted with "Bravat" sink/toilet and a nice set of "Bravat" shower fitting in the shower cubicle. Nothing sophisticated in here, but the quality fittings do stand out.

Over at the other end, you find two common bedrooms (Bedrooms 3 & 4) as well as the master bedroom. These two common bedrooms are regular in shape and seemed larger than Bedroom 2, maybe because of the additional bay window area that is missing from the latter. The bedrooms come with nice timber-strip flooring and decent quality wardrobes. The two bedrooms share a common bathroom (Bathroom 3), which is almost a replica of Bathroom 2 but just a tad smaller.

The master bedroom is very spacious by current standards - you still have quite abit of space after fitting a King bed inside. The only problem we have is the tiny wardrobe space, which then again, is common these days.

The master bathroom is probably the area within the apartment we liked best - from the good quality marble floors/walls, to the chic cone-shaped bathroom sink and last but not least, the unique black-coloured shower fittings. You also get a bath-tub plus an adjacent standing shower area, so you do not have to climb in/out of the tub (and risk slipping and hurting yourself - don't laugh, it has known to happen!) if you just want a shower.
Master Bath2
Master Bath1

Price-wise, following are prices quoted for 2 selected (South Facing) 4-bedroom units:
  • #06-07 (1851sqft) -   $2,315,800 or $1251psf
  • #11-06 (1851sqft) -   $2,360,500 or $1275psf
The monthly maintenance for a 4-bedder is estimated to be around $360. The developer will also absorb the stamp duty for each unit purchased. This effectively represents a 3% discount on the selling price. However, the catch is that this will be in the form of a rebate upon TOP.

As Ascentia Sky is already built up to the 17/18th storey, progressive payment is already up to 40% (for units in the low floors) or 30% (for units on the higher floors).

What we like:
  • Location - You cannot possibly go wrong with Ascentia Sky. Located along Alexandria Road and minutes away from the CBD and Orchard Road, it is also about 100m from Redhill MRT Station. 
  • The unit layouts, especially the 4-bedroom - All the rooms are regular and good-sized and very functional.
  • Quality of furnishing and fittings are very impressive, if what we see is what we get.
  • Being of North-South orientation, we can expect the units (especially those on the higher floors) to be quite breezy. Thus less need for air-conditioning, which translates to smaller electricity bills.
What we dislike:
  • The living/dining area for the 3 and 4-bedders are rather small. Ideally, the balcony can certainly be smaller with more space accorded to the living/dining area. 
  • The area around Ascentia Sky is rather built up, with Tanglin Regency/Tanglin View directly across from Alexandria Road and HDB blocks surrounding the project. We were also told that the plot of land next-door to Ascentia Sky is slated for further residential developments. As such, only the higher floor units (we reckon 17 and above) will likley get the Tanglin/Orchard or Sentosa views that the project boasts. The rest will probably have to contend with looking at the pool/facilities below.
In summary, Ascentia Sky is probably one project that the wife and I will consider buying into. And our preferrence (budget withstanding) is a lower-floor (6th or 7th), South-Facing 4-bedder unit that overlooks the lap-pool. The North-Facing units will probably be noiser, given the busy Alexandria Road.


Have some fishball noodles in your shoebox...

Yes, the wife and I have said before that we probably should give this subject a rest. But we just cannot help ourselves after reading this article in the Sunday Times today.

We can almost see Jansenboy furiously working on his spirited defense of shoebox units (we still love you though, Jansenboy). And yes, the writer is just another mere individual voicing his concerns about such apartment in a sea of thousands who have put their faith (and money of course) on such units.

But what the wife and I have yet to it in the papers or better, on our blog... is for people that have bought into and taken possession of say, shoebox units of less than 400sqft, to come out and say with absolute honesty (i.e. cross my heart and hope to die) that they are happy with the living space that are accorded with their apartments and are delighted to live in them.

Until then, we will continue to stand on the side of the naysayers. And please continue to give us our 6 fishballs, even if you have to charge us more for them!

Smiley Face


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Ascentia Sky (Project Details)

Ascentia Sky is a 99-year leasehold project by Wing Tai Holdings. It consists of one 45-storey block with a total of 373 apartment units.

The project resides on a site area of about 92,000sqft and is a full-facility condo, which includes a tennis court!
Site Plan
Site Plan Legend

Other than the facilities found on the ground level, Ascentia Sky also has a number of sky gardens - each with its own different themes and facilities.
Facilities (S)
Facilities (N)

The unit types consist of 2-, 3- and 4-bedrooms as well as penthouses. There are also 2 duplex units (North Facing).
South Facing
Unit D (S)
North Facing
Unit D (N)


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Breaking News: Jan 2011 private home sales fell to 3-month low!

Singapore’s January private residential sales fell 11 percent from December to the lowest in three months as the government introduced more measures to curb property speculation.

Private home sales fell to 1,189 in January from 1,332 last month, according to the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s website. That’s the lowest since October, when 1,066 homes were sold, according to data on the government website.


New property sales update: Robust sales at new launches

According to a ST report today, sales have been robust at new property launches across the island, with buyers especially keen on Waterfront Isle near Bedok Reservoir.

Waterfront Isle
Of the 384 flats released for sale at the 561-unit estate, 270 have been sold.

Prices were about $922psf when the condominium – a joint venture by Far East Organization and Frasers Centrepoint – was launched on Feb 5, but have since risen to $936psf.

Waterfront Isle’s one-bedroom units of 592sqft are selling from $575,000, while prices of some units with a reservoir view have climbed to an average of $1,050psf.

Loft @Stevens
Oxley Holdings’ Loft @Stevens in Stevens Road has sold between 70% and 80% of its 44 units. Most of the apartments at this freehold condo in District 10 are small one-bedders between 335sqft and 570sqft. Agents said only two or three of these units were left after yesterday’s preview sale.

The six-storey developments has a mix of one- and two-bedders with prices starting at $720,000 for a 335sqft unit.

Nin Residences
Nin Residences in Pheng Geck Avenue in Potong Pasir was also well-received, with almost half of the 219 units sold. The 99-year leasehold project is being developed by Qingjian Realty and comprises two blocks, one of five storeys, the other 19.

Nin Residences has one-, two- and three-bedroom units with prices between $1,200psf and $1,300psf. A 452sqft one-bedder starts from around $700,000.


Monday, February 14, 2011

Ascentia Sky (3-bedroom unit photo-review)

The wife and I had the impression that Ascentia Sky is a "sold out" project. So we were rather surprised (pleasantly) to be invited to view the showflats over the weekend.

The sales gallery is located directly across from the actual site.
Sales Gallery

Ascentia Sky located along Alexandra Road, right across from Tanglin View and next-door to The Metropolitan. Entrance to the development will be via Alexandra View, a new access road that runs between Ascentia Sky and The Metropolitan.

Ascentia Sky consists of one block of 45-Storey, and consists of 373 units. It is developed by Wing Tai Holdings, and scheduled for TOP in 3Q 2012. The development consists of 2-, 3- and 4-bedroom apartments of at least 1,000sqft (sorry, no "shoeboxes" here).

The wife and I were told that this is the final selling phase of the project. The launch was made just before Chinese New Year, and only about 70 units remain for sale. Of which, most are 3- and 4-bedrooms, with very few 2-bedders left.

The photos shown here is from a typical 3-bedroom (Type C) unit. The unit type is of standard size (1475sqft), so it is just a question of which facing you prefer - The "North Facing" units look towards Tanglin/Orchard (or the apartments/HDB flats opposite Alexandra Road for lower-floor units), while the "South Facing" units will supposedly get a good view of Sentosa (or rather, the HDB and Redhill MRT Station for low-floor units).
3-Brm (Type C)

And speaking of MRT Station, the nearest station (Redhill) is a mere 100m away! We were also told that the grounds on which Ascentia Sky is built is elevated by about 0.5m from ground-level. In addition, the units are built on pillars that are about 5-storey high. So the lowest units (2nd floor) are actually on the same level as a 6th floor unit in neighboring developments.
3-Brm FP

As you enter the unit, a short walkway leads you into the living/dining area. However, this is not before you see the "fish bowl"-like kitchen on your left.
Main Entrance (3Brm)

The living room is rectangular shaped and come across as a tad small. This is probably because of the large balcony and planter-box space within the apartment, which takes up about 100sqft. The consolation is that the balcony area is fully covered, and its rectangular shape does make it rather functional, e.g. as an external dining area, which frees up space for the living room.
 LivingDining (3Brm)

The kitchen is almost square-shaped, and is of good size. The huge window located between the back of the kitchen and the yard provide ample ventilation for both areas - you be surprised how often this important feature is missing from many other new projects we have seen so far.
kitchen (3Brm)

The unit comes with a small yard area with dedicated space for your washing machine (separate dryer will have to be stacked on top of the washer). It also has a small bathroom and and the home shelter will probably fit a custom-made single bed.
aYard (3Brm)

The common bedroom is huge by current standards - it can easily fit a Queen bed (or was it a Super-Single?!) and still have ample space within to move about. This is especially considering that the unit comes with bay windows!
C.Bedroom1 (3Brm)

The common bathroom is good-sized, and comes with nice looking fittings.
C.Bath (3Brm)

The wife and I especially loved the huge master bedroom (for a 3-bedder). However, it can certainly do with more wardrobe space, which is just a small strip flushed against the wall to your right as you enter the bedroom. Then again, it is a common curse for all new developments these days, so you and your loved one will probably have to move some of your clothings to the other bedroom for storage... or just make do with less clothes.
Master (3Brm)

The master bathroom is equally impressive - it is spacious and comes with very eye-catching fittings. We especially like the black-colored wall mounted shower-set in the long bath, which is a departure from the standard stanless steel shower you get in other projects.
Master Bath (3Brm)

When we visited the showflat last weekend, the actual construction of Ascentia Sky has reached the 17th floor. And we were told that they are completing an average of 2 floors per week!
Actual Site

We will be posting a more detailed review of the 4-bedroom (1851sqft, Type D) unit in the next couple of days.

For those looking to buy/rent at Marina Bay...

One Shenton will be the latest residential development at Marina Bay to achieve completion, with the temporary occupation permit (TOP) expected this month. This is according to a report in the latest edition of THEEDGE SINGAPORE.

TheEdge (Jan14)

City Developments Ltd’s 341-unit One Shenton was designed by world-renowned architect Carlos Ott and comprises of two gleaming towers of 50 and 43 storeys linked by a podium with 11 retail units. The 99-year leasehold development contains a mix of units featuring one bedroom (with or without study) to four bedrooms. There are also penthouses, sky suites and sky villas.

Like most buyers of property in Districts 1 and 2 in the CBD, the majority of purchasers at One Shenton are investors expecting strong rental rates and future capital appreciation, says Kelvin Cheong, an associate director of Dennis Wee Realty Pte Ltd. “Rental rates at One Shenton will probably be in the same range as that of The Sail @Marina Bay. However, One Shenton cannot command the same rates as Marina Bay Residences, whose location offers unobstructed sea views for most of its units.”

Owners are already asking agents to put their units up for rent. Desmond Tan, division director of resale agency at HSR, estimates that one-bedroom units sized at 517 to 1,001sqft (for those that come with a study) have asking monthly rental rates of $4,000 to $4,800, while two-bedroom units of 904 to 1,227sqft are going for $5,300 to $5,500.

One Shenton’s three-bedroom units measuring 1,455 to 1,604sqft are likely to indicate $6,000 per month – similar to The Sail, which commands $5,700 to $6,500 depending on layout.

At Marina Bay Residences, on the other hand, three-bedroom units command $8,000 to $9,000 a month, as the three- and four-bedroom apartments there have private lift entrances.

At the soft launch in January 2007, units at One Shenton were sold at $1,500 to more than $2,000psf. At least 70% of the 341 apartments were snapped up during the preview. The highest average price achieved was $2,757psf, or a total of $5.2 million, for a four-bedroom, 1,894sqft on the 44th floor in June 2007.

In the week of Jan 18 to 25, 2011, One Shenton saw two transactions at $1,970 and $1,999psf, according to caveats lodged with URA Realis. The highest price was set on Jan 21, when an 850sqft, one-bedroom unit on the 23rd floor changed hands in a sub-sale for $1.7 million. This represented a 22.4% capital gain for the seller, who bought the unit for $1.39 million ($1,633psf) from the developer during its launch four years ago. The other transaction, also a sub-sale, was for a 36th-floor, 581sqft unit, which was sold for $1.14 million.

The latest asking price at One Shenton is from $2,040psf or so, says Cheong. This is slightly lower than the 1,111-unit The Sail also by City Developments and Keppel Land’s 428-unit Marina Bay Residences. The Sail has an average asking price of $2,050psf, while owners at Marina Bay Residences are indicating $3,130psf, he adds.

In the most recent transactions there, based on URA Realis data, a 1,184sqft, 10th-floor unit at The Sail changed hands for $2.6 million ($2,196psf) in the resale market on Jan 13, while a 1,636sqft unit at Marina Bay Residences went for $5.12 million ($3,130psf) on Jan 7.

Definitely waaaaaay too rich for the wife and I, but may be good information for those of you with a couple of spare millions. If you buy a one-bedder at One Shenton for $1.7 million and assuming a rental of $4.8K/month, the rental yield comes up to be around 3.4% - still decent especially if you consider the pittance you get from putting money in the bank these days.


Friday, February 11, 2011

Sales status: Canberra Residences

MCC Land’s 320-unit Canberra Residences in Sembawang has sold 160 of the 200 preview units. The average prices of typical units range from $830 to $860psf with sizes varying between 614sqft and 2,250sqft. The project will be officially launched tomorrow.


Project Details
Project Name: Canberra Residences
Location: Canberra Drive, Sembawang (District 27)
Developer: MCC Land (Singapore) Pte Ltd
Tenure: 99-years Leasehold
Site Area: Approx. 242,920 sq ft 
Total No. of Units: 320
No. of Carpark Lots: 320
Estimated TOP: November 2015
Description: Proposed Condominium Housing Development comprising 13 blocks of 5-storey residential buildings with Attic, basement carpark, swimming pool and clubhouse facilities.

Location map

More details and floor-plans can be found at the following website:


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Enact a law to bar "pro-enbloc" residents from management council...really?

The wife and I came across the letter below in the ST Forum page today.

We agree wholeheartedly and empathize with the writer that alot of what she said does happen at estates with so-called "enbloc potential". However, is it really fair to enact a law that bar residents with enbloc intentions from sitting on a management council? Afterall, it is usually a democratic election process, whereby an AGM is held and council members are voted in through majority votes.

The bigger question here is if the "pro-enbloc" residents can be motivated enough to band together and assume office on an estate's management council, why can't the "anti-enbloc" residents step forward to do the same? If it is indeed true that many of the residents within that estate are against enbloc, some of these "anti-enbloc" residents should be able garner enough votes to become management council members. 

We wonder if the writer realized that she has already identified the crux of the problem here, i.e. few (anti-enbloc residents) are keen on running for office in any estate, and fewer still are willing to argue with loud neighbours who harbour an agenda. If the people who are directly impacted by an enbloc process are unwilling to step forward and be proactive in opposing the process, they should not then "cry father cry mother" (to borrow a hokkien term) when the management council of their estate is monopolised by (motivated) pro-enbloc residents.

In our humble opinions (as always), it is the "ostrich, leave it to other people to do something about it" or "the government should make a law to stop this, because we felt victimised despite the fact that we are not prepared to do anything ourselves to safeguard our own interests" mentality that is the real issue here.

And for the record, the wife and I are not currently or have ever been with a "pro-enbloc" camp...


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Enbloc News: Amber Glades

As reported in The BT today, Amber Glades, a smallish freehold residential development in District 15, has been put up for sale by public tender with an indicative price of about $120 million, or an estimated $1,078psf ppr.

This is the fourth time the property is being offered for collective sale. The first attempt was made in 2007 with a guide price of $145 million or $1,345psf ppr inclusive of development charge. This was followed by a second attempt in 2008. Last August, the owners again put the property on the market, this time with an indicative price of $130 million.

Marketing agent Colliers International says the latest guide price is comparable to the recent sale of Marine Point, which was sealed at $1,056psf ppr.

Amber Glades comprises two 10-storey blocks with a total of 63 units on a regular-shaped 40,917sqft site.

Under the 2008 Master Plan, the site is zoned for residential use with a gross plot ratio of 2.8. Colliers said in their press release yesterday that the successful buyer can re-develop the site to accommodate a 22-storey block comprising 100 apartments with an average size of 1,050sqft each.

Owners are expected to receive between $1.34 million and $2.24 million each from the collective sale, depending on the unit size. The tender will close on March 2.

Here's hoping that it will be fourth time lucky for Amber Glades...


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

So it's goodbye to paper-thin walls at showflats, finally?

Below is an excerpt of a BT report today:

The Ministry of National Development (MND) plans to introduce new regulations to make sure that developers build showflats that accurately represent the actual units in a project, sources told BT.

The move is meant to ensure that buyers are not misled by the interior design work at some showflats, which developers use to entice buyers before a residential development is completed.

Developers have been known to leave out structural walls and columns when building showflats in order to make apartments seem more spacious. Another common tactic is to avoid clearly marking where a balcony starts, which makes living rooms appear larger.

With the new rules,
  • Developers will be prevented from leaving out structural walls and columns from their showflats if completed units in the development will have these structures.
  • Structural walls in showflats will have to be on the same thickness as those in the actual homes.
  • Non-structural walls will have to be clearly marked out.
  • Showflat ceiling heights will have to be accurately reflected.
  • The transition from the living room to the balcony will also have to be clearly demarcated, although how this can be done is still being finalised.
MND could also mandate that other essential elements such as bomb shelters and service balconies have to be present in showflats, sources added.

The ministry is likely to launch a consultation exercise within the next few weeks before finalising the new regulations. The new rules could then be implemented in the second half of this year, BT understands.

Developers BT spoke to said that the problem of misleading showflats is not all that common in Singapore.

“The bigger boys don’t really do it (build misleading showflats),” one developer said. “But it happens, especially with so many new entrants in the market.”

Of late, a few developments – including those offering mostly small, “shoebox” units – have come under criticism for having showflats with ceiling heights that are “not real”, extending living room spaces into balconies, and extensive use of glass and mirror walls in place of structural walls.

In one extreme case, an entire wall which was supposed to separate one unit’s living room from the next apartment was replaced by just masking tape on the floor – albeit high-end masking tape.

Sometimes, even sales agents who walk prospective buyers through such showflats do not know that they are not accurate representations of the completed units.

The wife and I certainly welcome the proposed new regulations for showflats, which we felt are long overdue. As long as we can remember (and this is dating way back to the 1990s), the actual completed unit of many projects seemed to be somewhat smaller than what we recalled seeing in the showflat of similar size/configuration. This is especially in relation to the bedrooms.

And it is somewhat unfair to put the blame on “new entrants in the market” – if you have been following our showflat reviews, you will find that even established players have been guilty of "vague" representations. How else can you explain the "what you see is not what you get" ceiling heights and “baby grand” straddling between the living and balcony area…?

So what is your pet peeve on the issue of showflat "misrepresentation"? To get the ball rolling, here's one of ours:
You step into a 3+Study showflat, see the frosted-glass wall separating the small Study and the adjacent walkway, and think to yourself "hey, this is an excellent idea as the last thing I need is another concrete wall that takes up additional space". But when you ask the marketing agent if the glass partition comes as an option, the response you get is "Oh, this is just ID. If you want to do this, it is subjected to approval from the condo management after you take possession of the unit, and at your own cost"...


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Waterfront Isle: Our sales figure yesterday was over reported!

The wife and I ran a post yesterday saying that 133 units of Waterfront Isle was sold as of 9pm yesterday.

The correct number should be 125. We apologize for the over reporting.


Saturday, February 5, 2011

Hot off News 5 Tonight: 133 units of Waterfront Isle sold.

It was reported in the news tonight that as of 9pm, Far East/Fraser Centrepoint have sold 37 of the 59 new units launched today.

This has increased the number of units sold at Waterfront Ise to 133, out of the 191 units in total that have been launched so far.

Looks like the developers' gamble to launch more new units during the Chinese New Year holiday period has paid off this time...

District 19 is now seond-most popular!

At least in 2010 anyway, as reported in the ST today.

The perennial issue that the wife and I have with District 19, especially new condo developments located in Lorong Chuan, Hougang and Serangoon, is the traffic condition along the CTE. Not only is traffic heavy on this expressway, the jams (in our opinion) is also the most unpredicable amongst all the expressways.

One can always argue that you can make use of the peripheral roads to get around, but the CTE is still the shortest link for those heading to the CBD and City area. And with the impending construction of the North-South Expressway and once these new projects start to TOP, we expect the traffic situation along the CTE to be even worse...


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Gong Xi Fa Chai!

2011 CNY


Sales status: Waterfront Isle

The BT today reported that Far East Organization and Frasers Centrepoint have sold 88 (Fatt Fatt.. how prosperous!) units in their 561-unit Waterfront Isle development in the Bedok Reservoir area over the last few days.


The developers released 132 units in the 99-year leasehold project at a preview which started on Jan 28. Of these units, 88 units (67%) have been sold at an average price of $920psf.

Waterfront Isle will be officially launched on Feb 5, the third day of Chinese New year.

Far East Organization, which is marketing the project, said prices will start from $575,000 for a one-bedroom apartment – excluding an additional 5% cost which will be returned to buyers in the form of furniture vouchers once the development obtains its TOP in 2015.

Including the extra cost for the vouchers, prices at the project will start from $605,000.

Far East said that the furniture vouchers were being given to “build a stronger base of long-term buyers”.

Waterfront Isle is the last project in the Waterfront Collection, a master-planned joint venture development between Far East and Frasers Centrepoint. The entire collection comprises four development fronting Bedok Reservoir.

Units in the first three projects in this master-planned development are mostly sold. Waterfront Waves is 100% sold, Waterfront Key is more than 85% sold and Waterfront Gold is more than 75% sold.

Singaporeans and permanent residents make up 80% of the buyers of Waterfront Isle. About half of the buyers are residents now living in the east in estates such as Bedok and Tampines, Far East said.

The wife and I have previously said that Waterfront Isle is solely developed by Far East – we now stand corrected.