Forett achieves 30% sales on launch day via ‘virtual balloting’

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/ EdgeProp Singapore
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August 10, 2020 10:15 PM SGT
SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - This evening, joint developers Qingjian Realty (South Pacific) Group and Perennial Real Estate Holdings announced that they have sold 190 units or 30% of the 633-unit project, Forett at Bukit Timah. The sales were achieved over the long National Day weekend, starting with a balloting that was conducted at the sales gallery on the morning of August 8, and streamed on Facebook Live. Meanwhile, the property agents whose clients had expressed interest in buying a unit in the project, logged in from their various locations on Zoom.
Irene Ang, Phua Chu Kang & Yen Chong, Qingjian Realty - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
Singaporean actor, Irene Ang (right), famous for her role as Rosie Phua in local sitcom Phua Chu Kang, alongside Yen Chong, deputy general manager of Qingjian Realty, conducted the balloting on August 8 (Photo: Qingjian Realty)
The ‘virtual balloting’ was conducted by Singaporean actor, Irene Ang, famous for her role as Rosie Phua in local sitcom Phua Chu Kang, alongside Yen Chong, deputy general manager of Qingjian Realty. This allowed those who had submitted a cheque as expression of interest to tune in remotely from the comfort of their homes or even if they are out shopping.
Close to 800 cheques were said to be collected as expressions of interest ahead of balloting day. More than 23,000 viewers logged in on August 8 for the virtual balloting, including Singaporeans based overseas. “Some told us that they were logging in from the US too,” says Chong.
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Virtual balloting is a novelty in the real estate market. “It was not easy to pull off,” according to Doris Ong, COO of ERA Realty Network. “Homebuyers shared that they appreciated that it was hosted by an experienced emcee as it made the whole online session professional and entertaining. It made them feel even more confident with the developer.”
Shot live at the Forett sales gallery, the virtual balloting was broadcast on Facebook Live (Photo: Qingjian Realty)
About 90% of the buyers are said to be Singaporeans and many were owner occupiers. There were several “multiple-unit purchases” too, particularly by parents who bought several units for their grownup children; and family members or siblings who want to live close to each other, says Qingjian’s Chong.
While the two- and three-bedroom units were popular, many of the four- and five-bedroom units were also taken up. “Units sold were quite balanced across all unit types,” says Ken Low, managing partner of SRI.
Average price of units sold was $1,880 psf, “which is attractive” given the freehold tenure of the project and the site area of more than 360,000 sq ft, Chong adds.
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Agents zoom session Qingjian Realty - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
Agents logged in on Zoom during the balloting session (Photo: Qingjian Realty)
“Forett stood out from the rest simply because of its freehold status and the transformation of the Bukit Timah area,” says Ismail Gafoor, CEO of PropNex Realty. “It’s also the pricing of the project which was at a sweet spot. Usually a freehold property is priced about 20% higher than a leasehold property in the same area. And most of the new developments in the area are 99-year leasehold.”
According to Alan Cheong, head of research for Savills Singapore, Forett “outperformed most of the other projects launched in the Bukit Timah area over the past 10 years”. He attributes it to the developer’s “savvy and tenacious marketing efforts”.
PropNex’s Gafoor reckons it could be the timing of the project’s launch too. “It was the first significant project launch since early April when Kopar at Newton was launched just before the circuit breaker,” he says. “And that was four months ago.”
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Forett will add an early bounce to the August new home sales numbers, coming on the back of close to 1,000 new units sold in June, and an expected 900 to 1,000 units sold in July. “It shows the resilience of the residential market and will give confidence to other developers with launches in the months ahead,” adds Gafoor.
Check out the latest listings near Forett at Bukit Timah and Bukit Timah Primary School
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For price trends, recent transactions, other project info, check out Forett at Bukit Timah project research page