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1. Written by News on 29-09-2009 14:07
 
 
Another 116 units sold
WEEKEND buyers again flocked to one of the most popular recent mass market condominium launches, though the frenzied pace of selling of late last week appeared to have slowed slightly. 
 
City Developments (CDL) said it had sold another 116 units at the weekend preview of its latest condo project Hundred Trees , bringing total sales to 316 units. 
 
That is nearly 80 per cent of the development, or more than 90 per cent of the 350 launched units. The condo, which sits on the 267,598 sq ft former Hong Leong Garden condo site in West Coast Drive, has 396 units. 
 
The average price achieved is about $910 per sq ft (psf), up from the initial price of $895 psf for the first 151 units sold, the developer said yesterday. 
 
There was a ’slight adjustment of 1 to 2 per cent increase in price’ for the subsequent phases, it said. 
 
As with many recent launches, the smaller units were the first to be snapped up. CDL started the preview last Thursday and sold 200 units, including all the 22 one-bedders and most of the two-bedders, within two days. 
 
The 66 two-bedders priced from $701,000 as well as the six penthouses costing $2.4 million to $2.6 million were sold out after the weekend. 
 
CDL will be formally launching the 956-year leasehold condo for sale this weekend even though most units were sold in the preview. 
 
About 25 per cent of the buyers paid 2.5 per cent on top of their purchase price in order to take up the interest absorption scheme. 
 
The scheme allows them to defer the bulk of the purchase price until the condo is completed. This option was removed by the Government earlier this month, though projects that were offered for sale with the scheme before the removal can continue to do so. 
 
CDL said 85 per cent of the buyers were locals, and that they were a balanced mix of HDB upgraders and buyers who already live in private residential property. 
 
Its group general manager Chia Ngiang Hong said the company observed that some buyers were keen to hold their units for investment or rental income in view of the upcoming redevelopment projects like Clementi Town Centre.
 
2. Written by News on 26-09-2009 20:08
 
 
Over 200 units sold
SALES at City Developments Ltd’s (CDL) Hundred Trees condo in the West Coast area crossed the 200-unit mark by 6pm yesterday. 
 
As at that time, CDL had released 280 of the total 396 units in the 956-year leasehold condo, the developer said in a release yesterday evening. 
 
Earlier yesterday afternoon, CDL said that it had released a selected number of units for soft launch at an average price of $895 per square foot (psf). 
 
However, BT understands that the above pricing was for the initial batch of about 150 units released on Thursday for a preview to former owners of Hong Leong Garden Condominium (from whom CDL bought the site for the project), CDL staff and a few special guests. 
 
A further 130 units released yesterday were probably priced slightly higher, market watchers reckoned. 
 
CDL is also offering interest absorption scheme (IAS) in exchange for a 2.5 per cent price premium. CDL did not provide a breakdown on how many buyers picked up their units on IAS. 
 
Although IAS was scrapped on Sept 14, a developer can still offer the scheme if before that date, it had entered into an agreement on this with a partner bank and had already offered units in the development for sale under IAS before Sept 14. 
 
BT understands that Hundred Trees’ 200-unit sales figure as at 6pm yesterday includes nearly 40 units sold on Thursday. All 22 one-bedroom units have been sold and the two-bedders are substantially sold too. 
 
One-bedders were priced from around $498,000 while prices of two-bedroom apartments began from about $655,000. 
 
‘The development has a high proportion of smaller units. That makes the lump-sum investment affordable,’ observed Knight Frank chairman Tan Tiong Cheng. ‘At that kind of price level, they have sold that many units . . . they’ve done a good job. The project has a nice name: Hundred Trees. 
 
‘Demand does not seem to be severely tempered by the recent government measures to cool the market,’ he added. 
 
DMG & Partners Securities analyst Brandon Lee said: ‘In the mass market, anything priced between $800 psf and $900 psf will sell. Basically, there’s a lack of alternative investment options out there amidst the current low interest rate environment and a lack of faith in financial products.’ 
 
CDL said yesterday evening that it will be releasing more units in the development to cater to the ‘overwhelming response’. Hundred Trees is being marketed by CB Richard Ellis and Huttons. 
 
CDL, part of the Hong Leong Group, is familiar with the West Coast area. In recent years, it has developed Monterey Park Condominium. And recently, it completed Botannia condo, a joint development with CapitaLand. ‘CDL knows it’s not that easy selling larger units in that location,’ a market watcher observed. 
 
Sources said that potential buyers who had submitted blank cheques by Thursday night balloted for queue numbers issued yesterday morning when the showflat opened. The balloting however was for a queue number to enter the showflat, and not for selection of units, unlike the ballot conducted in late July for the sale of units at Optima@Tanah Merah condo.
 
3. Written by News on 26-09-2009 02:56
 
 
Priced at $895 psf
CITY Developments Ltd (CDL) is said to have begun selling the first phase of the 956-year leasehold Hundred Trees condo in the West Coast area at an average price of $895 per square foot. 
 
Buyers can opt for an interest absorption scheme (IAS) – but they’ll have to pay 2.5 per cent more. 
 
About 150 of the project’s total 396 units are believed to have been released under the first phase. 
 
Sales to former owners of the Hong Leong Garden Condominium – from whom CDL bought the site through a collective sale in 2007 – began yesterday. CDL staff as well as special guests were also invited to purchase units at Hundred Trees yesterday. 
 
The preview for other buyers who had pre-registered interest in the development begins today. 
 
BT understands that one and two-bedroom apartments, and two bedroom-plus-study units make up around 40 per cent of total units in the 12-storey condo. 
 
Prices of one-bedders, which are about 485 square feet, begin from over $500,000. Two bedders range from 690 to 786 sq ft while two-plus-study units are between 915 and 1,227 sq ft. 
 
‘With a relatively large proportion of smaller units, the absolute price quantum per unit has been kept relatively affordable,’ a market watcher said. 
 
Hundred Trees’ average price is below earlier expectations in some quarters of about $930-$980 psf. 
 
However, it is higher than the recent transactions in the West Coast area, noted analysts. Over the past few months, units at Botannia and Carabelle (both completed this year) have sold at a median price of about $800 psf while units at The Parc Condo, which is still under construction, have changed hands at a median price of about $850 psf, according to caveat data. 
 
Analysts’ estimates of CDL’s pre-tax earnings from Hundred Trees vary widely, from about $75 million to $135 million, depending on the efficiency ratio (ratio of the project’s total saleable area to gross floor area) and construction cost assumptions. 
 
CDL paid $131.5 million for the 266,076 sq ft Hong Leong Garden Condominium plot. This worked out to about $363 psf of potential gross floor area inclusive of development charge, which was reported at about $23 million at the time. 
 
The site is zoned for residential use with a 1.6 plot ratio. Some analysts have suggested that CDL’s breakeven cost could be below $700 psf. 
 
Hundred Trees takes its name from some 100 pink mempat trees, dubbed the local version of Japan’s sakura or cherry blossoms, that will line the project’s walkways. The location is popular with the Japanese community; there are Japanese schools nearby and Japanese restaurants in the Hong Leong Garden Shopping Centre next to the Hundred Trees site. 
 
Although IAS was scrapped on Sept 14, a developer can still offer the scheme for a project if the developer and its partner bank have entered into an agreement before that date to offer IAS for the project and the developer has already offered units in the development for sale under IAS before the same date.
 
4. Written by News on 09-09-2009 03:58
 
 
Expected preview last weekend of Sept
City Developments is expected to preview Hundred Trees condo on the former Hong Leong Gardens site in the West Coast area in the last weekend of September. Earlier market talk was that the 396-unit project will have an average price of about $930-$980 per square foot (psf). However, some quarters suggest the project will be ‘priced competitively’. The 12-storey development has a 956-year-leasehold tenure. The Hundred Trees condo will be decked with Mempat trees, often dubbed the local version of Japan’s sakura or cherry blossoms.
 

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