Monday, December 3, 2012

Would I buy the CityLife EC?

EC's are the rage of the year and especially the bigger units penthouses which I find a big value for money. You can never find sizes of penthouses in private condo going for that type of pricing. We've heard the tired old argument ECs are not Private Condos. Well, a recent report states the price differential between a resale ECs and a private condo is very minimal. This is what matters, we sell in a bull market.

The most anticipated launch next month will be the CityLife EC. The CityLife plot next to Tampines Trilliant EC was acquired by SingXpress on early May 2012 for $233mil. This works out to about $373 psf ppr. Add in the marketing and construction costs, you might be looking at a similar breakeven price of $600psf per unit in the new development (quite similar to Trilliant's breakeven psf). Add in the developer's profit margin, you might have new units selling for $700 - 800psf.

Can you see why EC penthouses are a steal (always the first to be fully sold out) with their asking prices of $550-600psf (the developer's  breakeven psf pricing). I've explained why you need to pay for the roof in the Tampines Trilliant article and that's why the psf is as such. So , do not worry too much about buyer's unwillingness to buy a penthouse. They are the prized assets of any condos and people will usually be willing to pay a little more for the space especially those who like condo facillities but yearn for "landed spaces" in the sky.

When I looked at CityLife, I found the much hoo-haa 4300sqft penthouses not really a value buy as it has simply too much roof space to be acceptable for me. However, the 2300-3300ish-sqft 5bedrooms (not sure whether it is a penthouse but it is type G4-Gx) are EXCELLENT! To me the layout is very much like a landed in the sky. It is a SINGLE LEVEL OF AWESOME GOODNESS (not a duplex). If you can get those facing the park or unblocked, i'm sure you will sell much easier and faster and more expensive than the inner facing ones.

For selling, the prices that exceeds $2mil will have a harder time selling. Can you imagine a 4300sqft penthouse bought for $2.4mil and trying to sell for $2.8-3mil? Most singaporeans would go for a landed at this kind of pricing. As you might have read, after the CMs, a lot of units that are moving are those <$1.5mil. So, be careful of buying something that is out of the norm too much ($1.6-1.8mil is still alright I feel). Your buyer base will shrink dramatically especially since you can only sell to foreigners after year 10 and locals from year 5 onwards. Local buyers have a choice between your unit and a landed.

The layout is very suitable for multi-generation living with the parents taking one ensuite, the couple taking one ensuite and leaving 3 more rooms for children and study. The living and dining room is situated at a corner with a big roof terrace surrounding the two frontages. You can imagine the wholesome goodness of the roof terrace if you can spend some money to do up the landscaping. It will be something similar to this... a landed in the sky. Just imagine it wraps two corners. Oh.. ignore the phone number, it is not mine.

Just imaging replacing the swimming pool(Citylife is just PES) with landscaping as below. And I can imagine my kids and family enjoying the outdoor space right in the comfort of our home.

It will be shiok! If this came online in February 2012, I would definitely have bought this as I much prefer this to the current Trilliant Penthouses layout. Again, if you are doubtful of your purchase, just look at the condos/ECs around Tampines and Bedok Reservoir. Then see how it stacked up against an EC with 3 shopping malls and 2 MRT lines straight to town. Of course, the arrival of QBAY next year by FEO, Sekisui House and Frasers near Temasek Poly will bring some excitement. They bought the piece of land at $417psf ppr and expected selling price should be around $900-$1000psf guesstimate.

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