New Jurong buzz triggers red-hot response at condo launch

The packed showflat for the 710-unit Lake Grande condo in Jurong West Street over the weekend. About 87 per cent of the 500 units released for sale on Saturday were sold at an average price of $1,368 per sq ft.
The packed showflat for the 710-unit Lake Grande condo in Jurong West Street over the weekend. About 87 per cent of the 500 units released for sale on Saturday were sold at an average price of $1,368 per sq ft.PHOTO: MCL LAND

In an unusual occurrence in today's lacklustre private residential market, a condominium launch over the weekend drew a red-hot response.

Lake Grande, a 710-unit condo along Jurong West Street that is being developed by MCL Land, released 500 units for sale on Saturday. About 87 per cent of these apartments - or 436 in total - were sold at an average price of $1,368 per sq ft.

MCL Land chief executive Koh Teck Chuan said 83 per cent of the transactions were for the one- and two-bedroom units. Seventeen out of every 20 buyers are Singaporeans.

Lake Grande, a 17-storey project with units in one- to five-bedroom configurations, is a few minutes' walk from the Lakeside MRT station and overlooks Jurong Lake.

While the private residential market is showing signs of hitting a trough - with prices in the second quarter seeing the slowest pace of decline since values started falling at the end of 2013 - the strong demand for Lake Grande units cannot be taken as a sign of improving buyer's sentiments, market watchers cautioned.

Rather, the red-hot reception is likely to have been stoked by the Government's plan to develop the Jurong Lake District as a second Central Business District and the home of the future high-speed rail (HSR) terminus connecting Singapore to Kuala Lumpur.

A big step was recently taken in the HSR development, with Singapore and Malaysia signing a memorandum of understanding last week that paved the way for more detailed planning and eventual construction of the ambitious rail link.

"The main contributing factor for Lake Grande's strong sales is all the hype over the Jurong Lake District masterplan and the high-speed rail coming onstream in 2026," Savills Singapore research head Alan Cheong told The Straits Times.

"While Lake Grande and Treasure Crest executive condo (which was launched the previous week) did well, I don't believe we can make a blanket conclusion about sales rebounding in leaps and bounds. One swallow does not make a summer and demand is still project-specific," he added.

Cushman & Wakefield's research director Christine Li said Lake Grande also benefited from the short supply of unsold small homes in Jurong.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 25, 2016, with the headline 'New Jurong buzz triggers red-hot response at condo launch'. Print Edition | Subscribe