An artist's impression of Forett At Bukit Timah. PHOTO: FORETT AT BUKIT TIMAH
THE launch of Forett At Bukit Timah will amp up competition in District 21, delivering more options for buyers in the area.
Indicative prices for the 633-unit freehold project by Qingjian Realty (South Pacific) Group and Perennial Real Estate Holdings start from S$1,800 per square foot (psf). The former Goodluck Garden site on Toh Tuck Road was acquired via a collective sale in 2018 for S$610 million.
"In the vicinity, the nearest direct competitors would be View at Kismis and Daintree Residence," said Wong Xian Yang, associate director (research) for Singapore and South-east Asia at Cushman & Wakefield, noting that both of these are 99-year leasehold projects.
Aside from the freehold tenure, Forett's location in Bukit Timah as well as its proximity to greenery, schools and amenities could prove attractive to some buyers, he added.
The upcoming Linq@Beauty World, while freehold, is a smaller development with 120 units.
In the longer term, there could be competition from a 99-year leasehold commercial and residential site along Jalan Anak Bukit.
In end-June, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) released the 3.22 hectare site - which can potentially yield about 845 residential units - for sale under a dual-envelope tender system.
However, with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the URA has extended the tender period, which will now only close end-March of 2021.
Mr Wong reckoned that in the event of a successful tender, the project may only launch for sale in 2022 at earliest.
"The existing projects in District 21 have generally seen decent sales amid the pandemic and economic downturn," noted Wong Siew Ying, head of research and content at PropNex, which is a marketing agent for Forett At Bukit Timah.
She estimated that sales for Forett At Bukit Timah - which commenced public viewings last weekend - could surpass 100 units, with the project likely selling 20 per cent of the 633 units. A 20 per cent take-up on a launch weekend could be considered a very strong performance in today's market, she added.
She said: "As the first major project launch after the circuit breaker and phase one, Forett At Bukit Timah will likely serve as a barometer of market confidence."
Last weekend, all appointment slots for the first weekend of public viewing of the sales gallery were taken up. To comply with safe distancing requirements, viewings are being carried out by appointment only.
The virus outbreak has prompted developers to change the way they sell and market their projects, such as by leveraging on digital technology. Prospective buyers for Forett At Bukit Timah will be able to book units virtually without having to be physically present at the sales gallery, said PropNex.
Yen Chong, deputy general manager for Qingjian Realty, said: "Virtual tours will be made available on the Forett website for those who may not have secured their desired appointment slot or those who would like another look at what we have planned for Forett."
Prospective homebuyers who viewed the sales gallery have given positive feedback on the project's landscaping and architecture, unit mix and concept, she added.