Sales galleries and showflats go online

By EdgeProp Team / EdgeProp Singapore | April 17, 2020 6:00 AM SGT
SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - Despite more stringent safe distancing measures that kicked in from March 27, developer GuocoLand has sold two units at its luxury Wallich Residence located in the heart of Tanjong Pagar. Both are 1,313 sq ft, three-bedroom apartments located on the 50th and 51st floors of the 64-storey, 290m-tall skyscraper. One unit was purchased for $4.7 million ($3,580 psf) and the other for $4.8 million ($3,656 psf). The buyer is said to be a Chinese national who is a resident in Singapore.
 Screenshot of the living room of a three-bedroom unit at Wallich Residence (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
Screenshot of the living room of a three-bedroom unit at Wallich Residence (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
Having viewed the project last December, the buyer did not need to pay a second visit to the development. “We only needed to show her a video of the project to refresh her memory,” relates Dora Chng, general manager (residential) at GuocoLand. “And she went ahead with her purchase.”
Since the “circuit breaker” measures came into effect on April 7, all developers’ project sales galleries and showflats have to be closed until May 4. No physical viewings of projects are allowed. Shared amenities in private residential projects, from clubhouse to the gym and swimming pool, have closed.
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For a landmark luxury residential tower like Wallich Residence, the closed amenities include an infinity swimming pool with spectacular city views, meeting rooms, collaborative workspace and a board room with a private dining room.
Screebshot of the dining area of the three-bedroom unit at Wallich Residence, which has an adjoining balcony (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
Screebshot of the dining area of the three-bedroom unit at Wallich Residence, which has an adjoining balcony (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
However, that does not mean showflat viewings have ceased altogether. GuocoLand has launched virtual tours of show units for Wallich Residence and Martin Modern, as well as the sales gallery and showflats of Meyer Mansion in collaboration with EdgeProp Singapore. It has also rolled out marketing videos and is conducting live streaming of agent briefings.
“We have already adopted virtual walkthroughs of showflats since 2017, with the launch of Martin Modern,” says Chng. “But the quality of the virtual tours are much better today. You can explore the space, measure it, zoom in on the materials used, the kitchen appliances or bathroom fittings.”
For uncompleted projects, such virtual tours are useful tools, not just for property developers and agents, but for consumers too, adds Chng. This is particularly useful for those who have seen the project, but have not decided on their choice of units.
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Screenshot of the actual view from the three-bedroom unit on the 53rd floor of Wallich Residence (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
Screenshot of the actual view from the three-bedroom unit on the 53rd floor of Wallich Residence (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
The month-long “circuit breaker” is moving into its third week. In the first week, many people were just settling in to working from home and getting their children used to home-based learning.
“People have already had their fill of watching Netflix, Korean dramas and YouTube videos,” says Chng. “You now have a platform to view as many showflats as you like.”
Chng sees virtual showflat tours as an equalizer for consumers: Even those with a budget of $1 million can visit sales galleries and showflats of projects where units start from $3 million. “With virtual tours, you can visit showflats of any project you like and at any time,” she says. “For developers, it means reaching out to a wider group of people.”
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Screenshot of the open kitchen at the three-bedroom apartment, where you can zoom in on the kitchen appliances (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
Screenshot of the open kitchen at the three-bedroom apartment, where you can zoom in on the kitchen appliances (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
It helps that Wallich Residence is a completed development and an iconic one at that. Completed in 2017, it contains just 181 luxury residences and spans the 39th to 64th floors of Singapore’s tallest tower. It is perched on top of the 38-storey Guoco Tower, a premium office block. Adjacent to it is the 223-room, five-star hotel, Sofitel Singapore City Centre. The integrated development now called Guoco Tower (previously Tanjong Pagar Centre) includes a retail podium, which is linked directly to Tanjong Pagar MRT Station.
The biggest penthouse of 21,108 sq ft was sold for $73.8 million last year to the UK’s richest man, James Dyson. Meanwhile, another penthouse of 3,509 sq ft fetched $17.5 million in January this year. This translated to $4,987 psf – the highest psf price achieved at Wallich Residence to date.
“One of the main attractions of Wallich Residence is the view from the apartments,” says Chng. “The virtual tour allows you to see the actual view from the balcony and each room.”
Screenshot of one of the bedrooms at Wallich Residence - where every room has a view (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
Screenshot of one of the bedrooms at Wallich Residence - where every room has a view (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
GuocoLand is also working with URA’s Controller of Housing, which has recently allowed electronic payment for deposits and progress payments as well as instalments. “That has opened up another arena for us so that options can be exercised without having to meet in person,” says Chng. “Virtual tours will go hand in hand with developers’ other marketing collaterals.”
The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic will make many property developers rethink the way they conduct project launches, adds Chng. “Do we still need a big sales gallery or a big tent?”
She sees buying property online gaining acceptance over time. “After all, people are already shopping online and buying luxury items such as Gucci handbags,” says Chng. “So why not property? For sure, it’s a big-ticket item, and the single largest purchase for most Singaporeans. People just need to become more comfortable with the idea, and over time, it will become the norm. It just needs a longer runway to take off.”
Chng: With virtual tours, you can visit showflats of any project you like and at any time, For developers, it means reaching out to a wider group of people (Photo: EdgeProp Singapore)
Chng: With virtual tours, you can visit showflats of any project you like and at any time, For developers, it means reaching out to a wider group of people (Photo: EdgeProp Singapore)
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