HDB ‘Sky’ flats in Queenstown sought-after despite no viewings

By Valerie Kor
/ EdgeProp Singapore |
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SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - Earlier this year, SkyVille@Dawson and SkyTerrace@Dawson in the Dawson Road area, located in Queenstown, have achieved their minimum occupation period (MOP). As such, owners are now able to sell these units on the resale market.
Buyers have been willing to purchase units at premium prices following Zoom virtual viewings, says Adelyn Chan, associate division director at PropNex and founder of the D3 Dawson Team. Chan’s team exclusively handles the resale of HDB flats and private properties in District 3, namely, the city-fringe areas of Alexandra, Bukit Merah, Commonwealth, Queenstown and Tiong Bahru.
During the two months of the “circuit breaker” that ended on June 1, some buyers were willing to commit to a purchase after having viewed the properties via virtual tours only. For instance, last month, a 669 sq ft, three-room flat at SkyVille and another similar-sized unit at SkyTerrace were sold after just one virtual viewing. The units were sold at around $650,000 to $700,000 each. Virtual open houses of these flats received more than 10 attendees each time, says Chan.
Despite the more cautious sentiment and an expected recession for Singapore this year, there will be more “million-dollar flats” entering the market in the Dawson area, notes Chan.
EDGEPROP SINGAPORE - D3 Dawson Team Adelyn Chan, founder of PropNex’s D3 Dawson Team (13th from right) and her fellow agents (Photo: Adelyn Chan)
Adelyn Chan, founder of PropNex’s D3 Dawson Team (13th from right) and her fellow agents (Photo: Adelyn Chan)
Associate division director Dena Sandras and James Ho, associate group director at PropNex, also brokered the sale of a five-room flat in Tanglin Halt for close to $900,000 at the end of May through virtual means. The 1,184 sq ft unit is in a 12-year-old HDB block that is located within a short walk of the Commonwealth MRT Station on the East-West Line.
Not being able to conduct its usual roadshows and sales canvassing, Chan’s team sends periodic updates to residents through emails and phone messages, and conducts frequent virtual viewings. “I used to think that virtual viewing worked more for new-launch projects which were sold off-plan rather than resale apartments because buyers wanted to inspect the condition of the actual completed units,” says Chan. “But that has changed.”
Even when the economy resumes fully, Chan expects home buyers to continue browsing for a home online to shortlist the properties that they are interested in visiting physically. “Buyers can view as many units as they want online,” she adds. “We are now conducting intensive training on virtual selling for our agents.”
Earlier in April, PropNex’s D3 Dawson team also brokered the sale of a 1,055 sq ft, five-room, maisonette flat at SkyTerrace @ Dawson for $1.01 million. The buyer had viewed the flat physically just before the circuit breaker kicked in on April 7.
Ho handled the sale together with his colleague, Diane Ong, associate marketing director of PropNex. By having colleagues collaborate through their “Swing system”, the agents can split advertising cost as well as the commission among themselves. The system allows up to 60 agents to market their units collectively and handle enquiries more quickly.
Upcoming HDB projects in the area that are scheduled to be completed by end of this year are SkyResidences, SkyParc and SkyOasis, provided there have not been any construction delays as a result of remaining Covid-19 measures and outbreak of infections among construction workers at the foreign workers’ dormitories.
These new developments are the result of the Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS) programme in the Tanglin Halt and Margaret Drive area announced six years ago as part of an effort to renew the Queens-town HDB estate, one of Singapore’s oldest.
EDGEPROP SINGAPORE - alexandra linear canal park "Sky" developments incorporate landscaped gardens and communal spaces. They are also conveniently linked to the 1.3km Alexandra Canal Linear Park, which connects to Robertson Quay and Clarke Quay (Photo: EdgeProp Singapore)
"Sky" developments incorporate landscaped gardens and communal spaces. They are also conveniently linked to the 1.3km Alexandra Canal Linear Park, which connects to Robertson Quay and Clarke Quay (Photo: EdgeProp Singapore)
The new HDB projects — Sky-Residences, SkyParc and SkyOasis — are part of a new generation of public housing developments that incorporate landscaped gardens and communal spaces within the development. They will also be linked to the 1.3km Alexandra Canal Linear Park which connects with Robertson Quay and Clarke Quay along the Singapore River. HDB is also building a 200m-long Dawson eco-corridor from Dawson Road to Tanglin Road, which is slated for completion by the end of this year. These HDB flats are located near the Queenstown MRT Station.
More Build-To-Order (BTO) developments will join these “Sky” developments in the near future.HDB launched a traffic impact assessment study last October with plans to build about 5,000 new HDB flats in the area by 2027. The first 2,060 BTO flats on two sites could be launched by 2021 and 2022. These flats will likely be near amenities such as Queensway Shopping Centre, Alexandra Hospital and Ikea, and are expected to be sought-after when they are launched for sale.
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