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Esparina Residences sells 344 units in 1 day
Big crowd at balloting for units at first EC to be launched in 5 years
The Straits Times - October 9, 2010
By: Esther Teo
BUYERS snapped up 344 units of Esparina Residences, the first executive condominium (EC) to be launched in five years, on the first day of sales yesterday.
Dual-key apartments, a studio attached to either a two- or three-bedder for extended families to live together, were the most popular with 61 of the 71 available sold, said developer Frasers Centrepoint Homes. Three-bedders were next with 212 of 283 sold, while 12 of the 20 penthouses went.
Experts say the huge response was expected as the project located near Buangkok MRT station had been more than 100 per cent oversubscribed with 1,155 applications for the 573 units.
Pent-up demand from first-timers who will be able to make use of the $30,000 CPF housing grant and more affordable prices compared with mass market condos also added to the interest.
Frasers said on Wednesday that almost 75 per cent of the applicants were young professionals aged between 25 and 40, with half of all applicants falling within the $8,000 to $10,000 income bracket – the so-called sandwich class.
Mr Jonathan Tee, 22, booked a 1,001 sq ft three-bedroom unit with his girlfriend for about $750 per sq feet (psf).
“We think that the price offered is quite attractive, it is a good location near the MRT plus Frasers is also one of the top developers,” he added.
Another buyer, Mr Chua and his fiance – whose ballot number was picked after three agonising hours of waiting – said their first choice had gone but they decided to go for another three-bedroom flat on a lower floor instead.
HSR chief executive Patrick Liew said that “response has been tremendous” as the undersupply of ECs over the past five years meant that demand has stayed high. He expects the project to sell out “in a short while”.
Mr Steven Tan, executive director of residential at the OrangeTee agency, said the project’s high take-up rate on a single weekday was very encouraging.
“If they miss this, buyers might have to wait for a while to have another EC site so close to an MRT station... If they wait, they might also exceed their income ceiling so they might have chosen to buy now,” he added.
MCC Land’s viewing of its EC The Canopy at Yishun Avenue 11 begins today. Bookings start next Saturday.
The 99-year leasehold, 406-unit project will offer two-, three- and four- bedroom units ranging from 872 sq ft to 1,410 sq ft, and 22 penthouses between 2,088 sq ft and 2,239 sq ft. Average prices will range from $600 psf to $700 psf.
OrangeTee’s Mr Tan said The Canopy will be catering to a different catchment of buyers in the Yishun and Woodlands area compared with Esparina Residences but he expects response to be similarly strong.
Its lower psf price also meant that it could meet the needs of more price-sensitive buyers, he added.
Despite the high number of applicants, not all flats were sold as some potential buyers might have backed out after not being able to get their preferred units. With 95 per cent of the units reserved for first-timers, second-time applicants were turned away two hours into the ballot after the quota was reached.