THE upcoming launch of MCL Land's J Gateway in Jurong East with prices in the bullish region of $1,600 per sq ft (psf) is set to test buyers' appetite for suburban homes.
Average prices of homes at the 738-unit development are expected to range from as high as $1,650 psf for a 474 sq ft one-bedder to $1,450 psf for a 1,163 sq ft four- bedder, according to marketing agent Huttons.
International Property Advisor chief executive Ku Swee Yong said the launch price of $1,650 psf will be a record for the Jurong East area. But he said J Gateway will draw buyers as it is the first condominium to be launched near Jurong East MRT station in 10 years.
One agent said he has received over 100 queries from interested buyers in the past three weeks.
In comparison, developments launched in the area in the last few years are further from Jurong East MRT station - The Lakefront Residences, launched in 2010, is two MRT stops away while Parc Oasis is at Chinese Garden MRT station.
Echoing a similar view, R'ST Research director Ong Kah Seng said while prices at the new condominium are "slightly on the high side", its prime location is a top draw for buyers.
Mr Ong believes the makeover of Jurong East will draw buyers. "I would think that a lot of buyers are excited about projects in new growth areas. I would suppose Jurong East is able to offer that."
Based on the Government's Master Plan 2008, the 70ha Jurong Gateway encompasses amenities such as the Jurong East MRT station, existing and upcoming malls like Jem, J Cube, Westgate and Big Box, and Ng Teng Fong Hospital.
In due course, a new hotel will be developed in Jurong Gateway - a site there was bought for $238.2 million in November by Resorts World Singapore, a unit of Genting Singapore.
Jurong Gateway is one of two zones - the other being Lakeside - that make up Jurong Lake District.
Other consultants say prices at 99-year leasehold J Gateway are not far off from what other condos are also asking.
Savills Singapore research head Alan Cheong pointed out that some units at recently launched The Trilinq at Clementi, just one MRT stop away, sold for $1,500 psf. He said: "If you adjust for J Gateway's location within the new Jurong Lake District, you would think the range of $1,450 psf to $1,650 psf is definitely expected."
If J Gateway has a successful launch, this will likely have a ripple effect on prices of homes in the Jurong East area, said Mr Cheong: "It's like disturbing a quiet pond. With one mega launch like this, it will certainly create waves around the region."
Prices of units at Keppel Land's The Lakefront Residences in the Lakeside area are at $1,434 psf for a 495 sq ft unit, and are expected to inch up, said Mr Cheong.
That in turn, might lift resale prices of older condominiums such as Parc Oasis, which are at $1,022 psf for a 1,076 sq ft unit.
"Gone are the days where you can find anything below $1,000 in the suburban areas at new launches," he noted.