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Bugis shines as Duo Residences sales soar
Close to CBD and Orchard Road, area is expected to attract investors
By: Rachael Boon
STELLAR sales last week at Duo Residences, near Kampong Glam, drew attention to the cultural precinct that has now become an eclectic neighbourhood.
Kampong Glam is part of Bugis, a long-time commercial and office district, with landmarks such as Bugis Street and the National Library Building in Victoria Street.
Ms Chia Siew Chuin, director of research and advisory at Colliers International, said: "The Bugis area blends both the present and the past. It is an area that is mixed with the modernity of tall shiny steel and concrete complexes, and the heritage of buildings from a bygone era."
The latest data at property portal STProperty indicates Duo Residences garnered the highest number of page views by home buyers. The project's average asking price is $1,994 per sq ft (psf).
A total of 574 units at the 660-unit residential development had been sold as of Nov 17. It is part of the Duo project by M+S, a joint venture between Temasek Holdings and Khazanah Nasional.
Set to be the largest mixed- use project in the Bugis-City Hall area, Duo is expected to add to the area's bustle once it is completed in 2017.
Close to the Central Business District (CBD) and Orchard Road shopping belt, projects in the area can command premium prices.
For example, units at the 360-unit Concourse Skyline were sold at a median price of $2,279 to $2,839 psf from January to October, said Ms Chia.
R'ST Research director Ong Kah Seng said the location is "definitely a draw for investors" as tenants, especially expatriates on limited housing allowances who want to be near the CBD, would likely be interested.
But he added that with the high prices of city fringe homes, "owners looking to resell their units may have to price them accordingly to fit the TDSR limits of more buyers". Under the TDSR (Total Debt Servicing Ratio) framework, banks are not allowed to approve a home loan that pushes a buyer's monthly debt servicing to more than 60 per cent of his monthly gross income.
The area is going through development, redevelopment and infrastructure works, such as the Downtown MRT Line around Bencoolen and Bugis, said Chesterton Singapore research head Elaine Chow. She said: "There is potential for upside in capital values and rentals, as the Bugis area is not yet saturated with new condominiums."
Strong sales at Duo Residences reflect buyers' confidence and the appeal of the area, she added. "As such, Bugis looks set to be on the radar of investors and home buyers looking for alternative upcoming areas at the city fringe for a while."