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Financing your EC purchase

With new executive condominiums (ECs) gaining popularity among home buyers, there has been an increase in the number of enquiries on financing for such properties. Unlike buying new build-to order (BTO) or resale HDB units in the open market, there is no HDB concessionary loan available for aspiring EC home buyers. Here is a guide for purchasers before they embark on their new EC purchase.

Note that key HDB rules are applicable on new EC purchases and are detailed in HDB’s website:

• CPF housing grant (for example, $30,000 CPF housing grant for first-time buyers);

• Resale levy (second-timers who apply for new EC projects where the land sale was launched on or after Dec 9, 2013 will have to pay a resale levy, similar to second-time applicants who are buying BTO flats);

• Minimum occupation period (MOP);

• Ownership on private property; and

• Dual-key EC units.

Assess affordability

The first step for EC home buyers is to assess affordability and home loan eligibility by obtaining an in-principle approval from the banks. Banks will require information on income and debts. This point will be explained in the later part of this article.

Option to purchase and sale and purchase agreement

An EC buyer will pay a 5% booking fee for the option to purchase (OTP), to exercise the sale and purchase agreement (HDB approval takes up to six weeks, before the developer issues the S&P agreement in the following two weeks), and pay the balance of the down payment within nine weeks of the OTP.

Apply for a home loan

Upon the payment of the 5% booking fee in exchange for the OTP from the developer, it is highly recommended that buyers apply for a home loan before exercising the S&P agreement.

The documents required are:

• OTP document issued by developer;

• Copy of purchaser’s identification document;

• Income documents;

• Latest statements on credit cards and any other home, personal and auto loans; and

• HDB InfoWeb “Financial information” printout.

Once the loan is approved, a letter of offer will be sent to the borrower. A lawyer from the bank’s panel of law firms will be appointed to act for the borrower and the bank.

Bridging loan

A home buyer who plans to use the cash from the sale of his HDB flat to pay for the new property can consider the use of a bridging loan (BL) when applying for an EC loan. This will effectively help him tide over any short-term financial needs. The bridging loan amount will be the difference between the purchase price or valuation of the new property, whichever is lower, and the applied home loan amount.

Legal work and final payment

The lawyer who acts for the EC buyer will advise on the unfinanced portion and the minimum cash component, as well as on the use of CPF. At the end of nine weeks from the OTP, when legal checks are completed, the lawyer will finalise the mortgage with the borrowers on key documents such as mortgage-in-escrow and deed of assignment. Within two weeks of exercising the S&P agreement at the law firm, the stamp duty will be payable (cash up front, with subsequent reimbursement from CPF if applicable).

Loan disbursement

Upon the booking of their new EC from developers, purchasers can choose to pay via the Normal Progressive Scheme (NPS) or the Deferred Payment Scheme (DPS). For those who choose NPS, the developer will instruct the buyer’s lawyer to have the funds released whenever a certain stage is completed. Monthly instalments will therefore kick in gradually based on loan disbursements by the bank, according to the different stages of the project completion. Under DPS, the purchaser can defer the 80% loan repayment till the project is ready to move in, that is, after having received the Notice of Vacant Possession or Temporary Occupation Permit. For home owners who are still servicing their existing HDB loan, no loan repayment on their new EC purchase is therefore required until TOP is served.

Depending on the payment scheme the EC buyer chooses, the lawyer representing the borrower and the bank will release the funds to the developer based on the different stages of completion for those buyers who are on NPS, unless they have chosen DPS for their EC purchase.

Loan-to-value, tenure and minimum cash down payment for EC purchase

For EC home buyers, the maximum loan to value ratio is 80% (see Chart 1 for loan-to-value ratio, tenure as well as minimum cash down-payment requirements when taking a bank loan).

Chart 1

EC Loan Chart 1

Total debt servicing ratio (TDSR) and mortgage servicing ratio (MSR)

EC buyers are subject to TDSR and MSR rules (see Chart 2).

Chart 2

EC Loan Chart 2

Banks will assess the buyer’s loan application based on both TDSR and MSR computations. Under the TDSR framework, banks need to review the monthly total debt obligations and gross monthly income. The TDSR computation therefore limits the amount of loan to borrowers, capped at 60% of gross monthly income less outstanding debt obligations.

MSR will also apply on ECs purchased directly from the developer, in addition to TDSR computation. The MSR limits the amount one can borrow on the purchase of the new EC, capped at 30% of the gross monthly income.

In terms of acceptable gross monthly income, the buyer has to furnish acceptable income documents for gross income computation. Do note that a 30% haircut will be applicable for variable income (the table below illustrates how the purchase price and maximum loan for an EC is derived based on both TDSR and MSR ratios).

Aden Pang is head of mortgage alliance at consumer secured lending, OCBC Bank. For further enquiries on EC loan financing, contact OCBC Bank at 6363 3333.

This article appeared in the The Edge Property pullout of Issue 738 (July 25, 2016) of The Edge Singapore.


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New lessons from recent EC launches

The handful of executive condominium (EC) projects launched this year has seen mixed results. On the weekend of July 16 and 17, Sim Lian Group’s Treasure Crest EC opened for bookings. It saw 362 (72%) of the 504 units in the project snapped up over the two days at an average price of $742 psf.

“In the current EC market, sales performance is primarily dependent on two factors — pricing and location,” says Ong Teck Hui, JLL national director of research. “At Treasure Crest, pricing appears to be the dominant factor in attracting buyers.”

Treasure Crest’s average price of $742 psf undercuts the other projects launched in the Sengkang-Punggol area in late 2014 to 2015. The four EC projects launched — Bellewaters, The Terrace, The Amore and The Vales — averaged $786 to $800 psf, notes JLL’s Ong. These four projects had land costs ranging from $331 to $367 psf per plot ratio (psf ppr) whereas Treasure Crest’s site was secured at $280 psf ppr, giving it the price-competitive advantage, he points out.

Beyond pricing, the spacious unit sizes of 958 to 1,345 sq ft were also a main draw, says Sim Lian Group. Location was pivotal, as the project is located in Sengkang New Town and a short walk from the Cheng Lim LRT station.

The previous weekend, Hao Yuan Investment launched its 358-unit Northwave EC. The project is located at the junction of Woodlands Avenue 12 and Gambas Avenue.

Northern districts — supply from earlier launches

The contrasting performances of ECs launched within a week of each other was also played out in the Sembawang area three months ago. The third week of April saw the launch of Qingjian Realty’s 632-unit The Visionaire at the corner of Canberra Drive and Sembawang Road. The Visionaire was also positioned as an EC with Smart Home features.

The launch of The Visionaire was followed just a week later by that of the 628-unit Parc Life at Sembawang Crescent by Frasers Centrepoint and Keong Hong Holdings. The project is adjacent to Canberra Park.

As at end-June, 195 units (31%) at The Visionaire were sold at a median price of $811 psf. Meanwhile, Parc Life sold 82 units (13%), with the latest median price at $759 psf. The difference in sales could be due to The Visionaire’s proximity to the upcoming Canberra MRT station. Some agents reckon the Smart Home features also drew buyers.

Parc Life and Northwave were the two latest EC launches in the northern districts of 25 and 27, which include Sembawang, Woodlands and Yishun. ECs launched in these districts in 2H2015 still have unsold units, notes Emily Eng, director of residential services at OrangeTee.

For instance, The Brownstone was launched a year ago and is 70% sold. Signature at Yishun was launched in end-September; the neighbouring The Criterion was launched in early October. As at end-June, 25% of the units at Signature at Yishun have been sold, while the take-up rate at The Criterion was 22%.

“These ECs were also launched within weeks of each other,” notes OrangeTee’s Eng. “There is a larger supply pool in the north, and competition is therefore more intense. Much of the demand had already been soaked up by these earlier launches by the time Parc Life and Northwave made their [respective] debuts recently.”

Double-digit vacancy rate

The main concern now is that the supply of ECs has outpaced demand, says Desmond Sim, head of research at CBRE Singapore and Southeast Asia. The number of launched and unsold EC units across the island was 4,112 units as at end-June, almost double the total of 2,232 units a year ago.

The spike in the number of unsold units is also due to the higher number of EC projects launched in 1H2016 relative to 1H2015 (see table). However, the number of EC units sold in 1H2016 was 1,850 compared with 2,550 units in 2015. “As the absorption rate has slowed, there’s now a supply overhang, which is unprecedented,” notes CBRE’s Sim. “ECs used to be sold out at launch. Five years ago, you rarely heard about high vacancy rates in ECs.”

There were 2,901 vacant units out of a total stock of 20,351 as at end- 1Q2016, bringing the vacancy rate to an all-time high of 14.3%. The higher vacancy rate could be attributed to the higher number of new EC projects completed in 1Q2016, including CityLife@Tampines, Waterbay in Punggol, Twin Fountains in Woodlands (adjacent to Bellewoods) and The Topiary, which collectively added 2,015 units to the inventory of completed units. Some owners of these newly completed projects may not have moved in yet, which also contributed to the higher vacancy rate, explains Sim.

The high inventory of unsold units could lead to a new phenomenon: privatisation of units within the same EC at different dates, notes CBRE’s Sim. “In the past, ECs tended to be 100% sold prior to completion,” he explains. However, if some of the ECs launched recently are not fully sold when the Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP) is obtained, then buyers who purchase after completion will have their minimum occupation period effective from their date of purchase. “It will be similar to those buying HDB flats under the Sale of Balance Flats Scheme, where the MOP of five years is effective from the point of purchase,” says Sim.



Silver lining

There is a silver lining to unsold stock in the EC market, as future supply has been curbed. Only one EC site has been put up for sale under the government land sales (GLS) programme this year. It was the recent launch of a 226,199 sq ft site at Anchorvale Link in Sengkang, which can be developed into a 635-unit project. The tender for the site will close on Aug 23. “URA and HDB are making a concerted effort to cut back on the GLS sites [allocated] for the development of ECs,” observes Sim.

There are only two other ECs in the pipeline for launch in 2H2016 and 1H2017. These are the EC at Choa Chu Kang Avenue 5 by Qingjian Realty in a joint venture with its investment arm Bohai Investments, and Suntec Investment; as well as an EC on Yio Chu Kang Road by Hoi Hup. “Going by the recent pickup in EC transactions, this will be a window of opportunity for developers to clear their existing stock,” says Eugene Lim, key executive officer of ERA Realty.

With the tender for the EC land parcel at Anchorvale Link closing on Aug 23, the earliest the new project can be launched will be 15 months later, which is end-2017, says OrangeTee’s Eng.

Deferred payment scheme

Unlike prime condos, ECs cannot be marketed overseas by developers, as they are a restricted product. And even though there is an option for EC buyers to take up a deferred payment scheme (DPS), most opt for the normal progressive payment because there is generally a 3% premium for the former, say property agents.

For example, at Treasure Crest, 85% of the buyers are said to have opted for the normal progressive payment, with only 15% taking up the DPS.

“EC buyers are very price-sensitive, so the 3% premium makes a lot of difference to them,” says Lim Yong Hock, key executive officer of PropNex Realty. “This is unlike the buyers of the completed prime condos that have recently offered DPS — they tend to be investors. EC buyers are 100% owner-occupiers who want certainty of purchase.”

Qingjian Realty offered to absorb the 3% premium for buyers who took up the DPS for three of its EC projects: Bellewoods and Bellewaters, which were launched in late 2014 and early 2015 respectively; and The Visionaire. This means buyers who opt for the DPS will pay the same price as those under the normal progressive payment scheme.

“Most people still opted for the normal progressive payment scheme at The Visionaire because the TOP is still some time away,” says a property agent who requested anonymity.

Conversely, the DPS scheme drew significantly more buyers at Bellewaters and Bellewoods. When the scheme with the 3% waiver for units purchased under DPS was launched in June, 43 units were sold at Bellewaters, making it the top-selling project in June, while 13 units were sold at Bellewoods. “Bellewoods and Bellewaters are expected to be completed next year,” says a property agent. “This gives buyers greater certainty to plan the sale of their existing HDB home, as they know when they are moving into their new EC. The DPS is therefore attractive to buyers in this scenario.”

According to CBRE Research, in mid-2015, there was also a 3% to 5% discount for selected units at Bellewaters and Bellewoods. The result was that more than 100 units were sold in each of the ECs in 3Q2015, according to caveats lodged. Both projects are substantially sold.

Some developers have also come up with creative schemes. At The Terrace, the developer offered a referral scheme in which the buyer gets a $10,000 rebate, while the referrer gets a $10,000 referral fee. At least 125 units have been sold under the scheme, based on caveats lodged so far.

MSR effect

The total debt servicing ratio (TDSR) has hurt sales in the private housing market, but the introduction of the mortgage servicing ratio (MSR) of 30% has had a greater impact on EC buyers.

The MSR is more restrictive relative to the TDSR. Assuming a couple has a housing budget of $700,000, at 3.5% interest rate and a 25-year home loan, the couple will need to have a combined monthly household income of at least $9,345 to meet the MSR limit to buy an EC of that price. Under a TDSR of 60%, the combined household income would only need to be $4,672 a month to afford a $700,000 private property, estimates ERA’s Lim.

The increase in the monthly household income ceiling for EC buyers from $12,000 to $14,000 last August has also received a mixed response from buyers. While the pool of eligible EC buyers may now be bigger, those in the $12,000-to-$14,000 income bracket may still eye private property as being more attractive, as their prices have softened, says JLL’s Ong.

Owing to the uncertainty in the economy and the job market, households with a combined monthly income of $10,000 may opt for “the safer choice” of buying BTO (built-to-order) flats instead of ECs. “This could further reduce the demand for ECs,” says Nicholas Mak, executive director of SLP International.

‘EC prices sticky downward’

Prices of private condos have generally softened by about 10%. By comparison, JLL’s Ong notes, prices of new EC projects have been more sticky downward and have fallen just 4% in mid-2016 from the peak of $826 psf in 1Q2015.

ECs are still attractive to buyers, as there is still a 20% to 30% price gap compared with private condos in the same area, says PropNex’s Lim. EC launches today are priced at $750 to $800 psf, and suburban condos in the same area are priced at $1,000 to $1,200 psf, he estimates.

Given the price gap, ECs are therefore still relevant in today’s market and serve the needs of the sandwiched class, says OrangeTee’s Eng.

For now, with a supply overhang of more than 4,000 unsold units — equivalent to the supply from eight projects — and slowing demand, the EC market may look bleak. As future supply shrinks, however, the unsold inventory will eventually be soaked up. “Over the long term, EC prices tend to be more resilient than those of private condos,” says Lim. “There is still demand for ECs, but buyers have a lot more choices.”

This article appeared in the The Edge Property pullout of Issue 738 (July 25, 2016) of The Edge Singapore.


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Executive condos: The real deal or just a hype?

Executive condominiums, a hybrid of private and public housing, have been perceived as a low-cost, high-return investment asset. This is not a baseless proposition. Most of us are aware that new ECs are typically priced at a 20% to 30% discount to private condos of similar attributes. Furthermore, they will attain condo status 10 years after they are completed. Intuitively, EC prices would catch up with condo prices towards privatisation, which underscores their value proposition.

The most notable example is Bishan Loft EC, which was launched in 2001. Prices increased 157% from $422 psf at launch to $1,084 psf this year. The project outperformed the URA price index for private non-landed homes, which trended up 56% over the same period. It also outshines Rafflesia Condominium in terms of price performance. Prices at Rafflesia Condominium appreciated 37% from $760 psf at launch to $1,043 psf this year. Located on Bishan Street 21, the condo is less than 400m from the Marymount MRT station and a stone’s throw from Raffles Institution.

The example is not unique to Bishan. Prices of ECs in less stellar locations have also rallied ahead of private condos. Take The Quintet EC in Choa Chu Kang, which was launched in 2003 at an average price of $367 psf. Prices have increased 110% to an average of $769 psf this year. In comparison, prices at The Warren, also in Choa Chu Kang, increased 76% from $445 psf to $781 psf over the same period. The Warren and The Quintet were completed in 2004 and 2006, respectively.

Price performance of randomly selected ECs versus comparable private condos

A foolproof investment asset?

In the past few months, some market watchers have vouched for ECs as a foolproof investment asset that offers superior investment returns compared with private condos. This is true for owner-occupiers because ECs are heavily discounted to private condos of comparable age in their vicinity, giving homebuyers a head start in the race for capital appreciation.

However, the downside of buying ECs is the resale and subletting restriction during the five-year minimum occupation period that may cause home owners to miss out value deals in the market. Home owners also lose the flexibility of renting the property should the need arise. Assuming a net rental yield of 2.5% to 3% for private mass-market condos, the subletting restriction would result in a cumulative 13% to 15% loss in rental yields over five years. Together with a construction period of three years, EC buyers may have to wait up to eight years to unlock the value of their properties. The upfront discount, therefore, serves to compensate for these restrictions.

It is also worth noting that EC prices are somehow still 2% to 5% lower than those of comparable condos even after they are fully privatised, with the exception of Bishan Loft EC. Units at The Quintet EC, for example, fetched $769 psf on average in 2016, 2% shy of the $781 psf transacted at The Warren. Similarly, units at Park Green EC in Sengkang changed hands at $718 psf this year, 4% below the $747 psf average price at Rio Vista in Hougang. Both developments were completed in 2004, although there could be micro-locational forces at play that cause the difference in their prices. One possible explanation is that private condos are perceived to offer better-quality products and finishes. However, this is subjective considering that recent EC developers have upped their game with thematic concepts, strong facilities and smart-home features.

Tipping the balance with location

The price appreciation for private condos near an MRT station may be more significant than that of ECs in their vicinity. This is evidenced by The Jade, which is located next to the Bukit Batok MRT station and West Mall. Prices appreciated at the same pace as those for The Dew EC on Bukit Batok Street 21 between their launch dates and 2016.

Separately, well-located old condos present an alternative buying opportunity. They are cheaper than new condos in their vicinity and prices could be on a par with new ECs. Most of us are familiar with the 1,006-unit Mandarin Garden Condominium on Siglap Road, which is one of the oldest condos in Singapore. Two 1,572 sq ft units on the low floors were transacted at an average price of $353 psf in 2001. Prices have since more than doubled to $834 psf, based on comparable transactions in 2016. The entry price of $353 psf and the 136% capital appreciation are not inferior to those of ECs that were launched in 2001, including Nuovo EC in Ang Mo Kio, The Dew EC in Bukit Batok and The Eden at Tampines EC. At the same time, the properties are not subject to the various restrictions associated with public housing. However, buyers must put up with an obsolete design and higher maintenance cost owing to wear and tear over the years.

Not all old condos offer a better investment proposition than ECs. Units at Elias Green in Pasir Ris, for example, were transacted at an average price of $357 psf in 2001. Prices have since appreciated just 60% to $572 psf this year.

Deal or no deal?

For owner-occupiers, first-hand ECs clearly offer an excellent arbitrage opportunity and the price appreciation is more pronounced after privatisation.

Price performance of ECs launched in 2001

Price performance of ECs launched in 2001

On the other hand, if the flexibility of selling and renting the unit is important, potential buyers may consider alternative assets such as older condos and new condos that are competitively priced. High Park Residences, for example, was launched in July 2015 at $989 psf. If such a deal exists in the market and affordability is not an issue, a homebuyer would be faced with equally attractive options between an EC and a private condo of the same league. However, there are limited choices in the market. The developer of High Park Residences paid less than $450 psf ppr for the land parcel in 2014. Since then, there have not been any sites that have fetched a price lower than that. As at June, there were only 37 unsold units in the project.

To maximise financial returns, homebuyers should look for ECs that offer higher discounts to nearby condos as well as those located near a transit node or growth corridor. Entry price has proved to be as important as location. Bishan Loft EC was launched at a 44% discount to Rafflesia Condominium, which was rolled out just one year earlier. Although we do not account for any factors that might contribute to the price difference, the significant gap in their launch prices would have a bearing on the investment returns for homebuyers.

Treasure Crest EC in Sengkang and Northwave EC in Woodlands are currently the most competitively priced new ECs in the market if we do not factor in the resale levy exemption and other forms of rebates offered at other projects. Their respective developers, Sim Lian Group and Hao Yuan Investment, paid about $280 psf ppr for the two sites in 2015, the lowest price for EC land since July 2011.

While private condos are perceived to offer better-quality products and finishes, some ECs are courting buyers with novel facilities and services that put them closer to private condos in terms of product offerings. Westwood Residences EC in Jurong, for example, is the first bicycle-themed development in Singapore that comes with a sheltered bicycle garage and designated bike maintenance area. Qingjian Realty positions The Visionaire EC as the next-generation smart home. Its smart-home apps let homeowners control the digital lock that allows access to the house as well as appliances, from air conditioners and water heaters to washing machines and refrigerators.


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AskST: Buying an EC? Subsidies, grants make it a good choice

Strong interest from buyers indicates that executive condominiums (ECs) are back in vogue in spite of the limp property market.

Developers sold 546 EC units in April, up from the 485 units moved in March and the 126 transacted in April last year, according to the Urban Redevelopment Authority.

Average EC prices rose by 5.4 per cent from 2013 to hit $794 per sq ft in 2014 and added a further 0.3 per cent to reach $797 psf last year – a sign of growing demand, noted Ms Alice Tan, Knight Frank Singapore head of consultancy and research.

Consultants agree that ECs, which are privatised after 10 years, continue to attract buyers as these public-private hybrid homes offer facilities similar to those in condominiums but at a lower price.

Here is a quick guide to buying an EC.


A key step is to check for eligibility and obtain approval from the Housing Board.

Prospective buyers cannot have an average gross monthly household income exceeding $14,000 – a ceiling that was raised by the Government last August to make ECs more accessible to a wider pool of people.

They should be first-time flat owners, or have bought only one property under HDB or received one CPF Housing Grant previously. They should not also own property overseas or locally, or have sold any in the past 30 months. Potential buyers should also check if they can get a mortgage.

“Having a comprehensive review of cash outlay in terms of mortgage payments and the impact from future rise in potential interest rates is also essential before deciding on the type of mortgage loan,” said Ms Tan.


There is a list of all ECs on sale as well as upcoming launches on HDB’s website. Check this, then make arrangements to view the project site and the showflat.

An application can then be lodged with the developer, which can offer units via computer balloting or walk-in selection, according to the HDB website.


Successful applicants will be invited by the developer to book an EC and sign the Option to Purchase (OTP) form. They can also submit an application form for a CPF Housing Grant to the developer.

All buyers, including those paying in cash, also have to pay a 5 per cent option fee.

The applicant then has to sign a Sale and Purchase Agreement, which includes a Letter of Offer if a bank is providing a loan.

Applicants also have to pay 15 per cent of the purchase price along with 1 per cent to 3 per cent legal and stamp fees, using either CPF money or cash, within nine weeks from the date of the OTP or the signing of the Sale and Purchase Agreement.


Homebuyers can collect the keys when the EC is completed.

It is important to note that buyers must occupy the EC for five years before it can be sold on the open market.


Mr Ong Teck Hui, national director of research and consultancy at JLL, noted that ECs with good transportation connectivity tend to be in demand, as well as those near amenities such as schools, shopping facilities and other conveniences.

“However, pricing for such developments tend to be a bit stiffer, although they would be better long-term investments,” he said.

Mr Ong noted that possible EC launches for the rest of this year include Treasure Crest in Anchorvale Crescent, Northwave in Woodlands Avenue 12, and the parcel in Choa Chu Kang Avenue 5, which will likely offer 1,400 to 1,500 units.

It is also important to consider the experience of the developer, added Ms Tan. “ECs that are built by reputable developers with a good track record in quality construction could be a better bet in terms of ensuring sustainability and quality of an EC home.”


For genuine home-hunters, ECs can be a “worthwhile” buy, said Dr Lee Nai Jia, regional head of South-east Asia research at DTZ.

“They have the option of selling it five or 10 years later and, even if the price doesn’t go up much, they still gain from the various subsidies available for ECs,” he said, adding that most buyers, for instance, tend to make use of the CPF Housing Grant instead of paying cash.

Dr Lee added that those looking at ECs as a form of investment, however, should be aware of the various restrictions on subletting as well as the possible implications of higher interest rates.


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Buyers snapped up 362 units at Treasure Crest over the weekend

Sim Lian Group has sold 362 units, or 72% of the 504 units available at Treasure Crest executive condominium in Sengkang over its launch weekend. The EC was 2.1 times oversubscribed at the end of its e-application period on July 10.

All 56 four-bedroom units, approximately 1,345 sq ft in size, have been fully sold.

Units at Treasure Crest were priced at an average of $742 psf, with prices starting from $677,000 or $707 psf for a three-bedroom unit and $735,000 or $683 psf for a three-bedroom premium unit.

First-timers account for over 60% of buyers, with the rest purchased by HDB upgraders. There are 12 remaining units available for purchase under the 30% quota set aside for second-time homebuyers, which will be lifted on August 16.

Buyers have a choice of a normal payment scheme or a deferred payment scheme. The project is due to be completed in 2019.

Separately, Qingjian Realty sold 43 units at Bellewaters EC in June, which is a stone’s throw away from Treasure Crest. According to market sources, the developer has offered a waiver of the premium payable under the deferred payment schemes. Bellewaters is also one of the few remaining projects in the area which do not attract a resale levy.

The take-up rate for Treasure Crest is the highest seen for EC projects since November 2014, when Lake Life in Jurong moved 98% of the 546 units available over its launch weekend. Other ECs that enjoyed strong sales at launch are Heron Bay, Citylife @ Tampines, Lush Acres and Twin Fountains.


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5 best-selling projects in June 2016

Two of the 5 best selling projects for June 2016 were executive condominiums. Bellewaters EC at Anchorvale Crescent sold 43 units in June, while The Vales EC, also located at the same area moved 28 units in June.

Read more

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Treasure Crest EC prices start from $649,000

Sim Lian Group has priced its Treasure Crest executive condominium (EC) project at $742 psf on average, with a three-bedroom unit starting from $649,000, or $677 psf.

The 504-unit development received 1,077 e-applications during the 10-day e-application period, making it 2.1 times oversubscribed.

Sim Lian attributed the high number of e-applications to the development’s lower prices, strategic location and layout of its units. Notably, the master bedroom of all units can accommodate a king-sized bed, while the other bedrooms can fit a queen-sized bed.

Set to obtain its TOP by 2019, the 99-year leasehold project comprises 84 three-bedroom units, 364 three-bedroom premium units and 56 four-bedroom units spread across eight residential blocks. Unit sizes range from 958 sq ft to 1,345 sq ft.

The bigger three-bedroom premium and four-bedroom units were the more popular choice amongst potential buyers.

First-timers, including those applying under the Fiancé/Fiancée Scheme, accounted for around 48 percent of the e-applicants, while the rest were HDB upgraders. Majority of the applicants currently live in the north-eastern part of Singapore, specifically Hougang, Sengkang and Punggol.

Treasure Crest is located in Sengkang New Town, near the Sengkang MRT station and bus interchange.

The balloting and sales booking exercise for the project will take place on 16 July.


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Northwave EC posts dismal first-day sales of about 20 units

ONLY 20-odd units at Northwave have been sold on the first day of sales, despite the 358-unit executive condominium (EC) project collecting 240 e-applications. This is a figure that has raised eyebrows among market watchers BT spoke with, who compared it with The Criterion and Parc Life – two projects which also suffered weak sales recently.

BT had earlier conducted a study of EC projects launched since 2014, which showed poor sales in many projects, contrary to the strong e-application numbers that developers claimed to have received. The study of 14 EC projects found that during the launch week, half of the projects fell short of a 20 per cent conversion rate (ie, the number of e-applicants who went on to buy a unit).

In terms of percentage of units sold over the first launch weekend, the worst performing projects were The Criterion (41 units out of 505 launched units sold) and Parc Life (51 units out of 628 launched units sold), both at 8 per cent. Northwave’s performance falls far below this threshold.

Market watchers attribute the lacklustre showing to a range of factors ranging from weak transport links to oversupply in the market.

Located at Woodlands Avenue 12, Northwave is near existing and new industrial clusters along Gambas Avenue. It is a 10-minute walk to Sembawang MRT Station – two stops away from Woodlands Regional Centre.

In the vicinity, and located much closer to a MRT station, are two completed ECs – NorthOaks and Woodsvale – that have reached the 10-year TOP mark. These two projects are not only located closer to Admiralty MRT station but developed by more established brand names, some market watchers suggested.

NorthOaks was developed by Hong Leong’s privately held property arm Hong Leong Holdings, while Woodsvale was developed by Pidemco Land which eventually merged with DBS Land to create CapitaLand.

Northwave is meanwhile Hao Yuan Investment’s fourth residential project in Singapore since the launch of The Nautical in 2012 and its third EC project after Forestville and Sea Horizon. They had, in 2012, been denied approval from the Urban Redevelopment Authority to sell units in Forestville. Despite being given instructions from Controller of Housing not to proceed with sales, the developer had gone ahead with the launch but issued a “no-sale instruction to agents”.

In the current buyers’ market, upgraders can afford to be choosy whether in the new EC market, resale EC market, or private condominium market, noted SLP International executive director Nicholas Mak.

In addition to NorthOaks and Woodsvale, there is a notable overhang of unsold stock in earlier launched EC projects in the North, namely Bellewoods, The Brownstone, Signature at Yishun and The Criterion.

Mr Mak said he expects the oversupply situation in the EC market to improve only a year to a year-and-a- half from now.

Century 21 Singapore’s chief executive Ku Swee Yong said it might be time to review the relevance of the EC scheme. He estimates there may be some 3,000 to 4,000 launched but unsold EC units in Singapore, and said the lacklustre performance is an “obvious indicator that we have flooded the market with too much”.

“In fact, increasing household income to S$12,000 for HDB BTO purchases has cannibalised the number of eligible buyers,” he said. “The authorities really should review the need for an EC scheme.”


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Treasure Crest EC 60% oversubscribed

Sim Lian Group has received 800 e-applications for its 504-unit Treasure Crest executive condominium (EC) project, making the development around 60 percent oversubscribed as of Thursday afternoon.

A total of 3,000 people have visited the Treasure Crest sales gallery since e-applications started on 1 July. The application period will close on 10 July, while bookings take place on 16 July.

The 99-year leasehold development comprises 84 three-bedroom units, 364 three-bedroom premium units and 56 four-bedroom units spread across eight residential blocks.

With unit prices ranging between $735 and $755 psf on average, larger units, specifically the three-bedroom premium and four bedroom units, emerged as the more popular options among potential buyers.

Around 48 percent of the e-applicants are first-time buyers, while the rest are HDB upgraders.

Sim Lian noted that majority of the applicants currently live in the north-eastern part of Singapore, namely Punggol, Sengkang and Hougang.

“We are heartened by the overwhelming response thus far,” said Sim Lian Group Executive Director Kuik Sing Beng.

Measuring approximately 187,831 sq ft, the EC site in Sengkang New Town is located close to the Sengkang MRT station and bus interchange. The project is set to obtain its TOP by 2019.