SINGAPORE — Property developer GuocoLand will be launching residential project Midtown Bay, in Beach Road near Bugis MRT station, on Saturday (Oct 5), with one-bedroom units starting from S$1.38 million.
The 99-year leasehold project is the residential component of Guoco Midtown, a S$2.4 billion mixed use development that includes a 30-storey office building, shops and food and beverage outlets for the public.
The 33-storey residential block comprises 219 units, close to half of which are one-bedroom units. About 70 units are two-bedders and the rest are duplex units.
At a media briefing on Tuesday (Oct 1), Ms Dora Chng, the general manager for GuocoLand’s residential division, said one-bedders range in size from 409 sqf to 527 sqf. The starting price of S$1.38 million translates to about S$3,374 psf.
The two bedroom units, with areas of between 732 sqf and 775 sqf, will be selling for at least S$2.08 million, a psf price of about S$2,842.
Ms Chng said the number of units to be sold in the first phase this weekend has not been finalised.
When completed in 2022, the Guoco Midtown development, on a 163,000 sqf site between Beach Road and Nicoll Highway, is expected to bring in an additional 10,000 office workers, residents and visitors daily.
While the psf price of above S$3,000 for one-bedders is higher than that of most other residential projects, analysts say that its overall quantum is considered reasonable for city living.
Data from property agency OrangeTee also showed that residential units in two other mixed-use developments in the central region — South Beach Residences and Wallich Residences — have been transacting at above S$3,300 psf in the first three quarters of 2019.
When asked whether GuocoLand was concerned about Midtown Bay’s reception given that recent data has shown that units priced S$1.5 million and below tended to be more popular, its group managing director Mr Cheng Hsing Yao said that GuocoLand is “not in a strict price game”.
“If you whittle everything down to dollars and cents, than you don’t need developers with innovative ideas and quality. Yes, dollars and cents is important but I think equally important is the value you get out of it,” he said.
The demand for centrally-located properties seem to be resilient based on the third quarter flash estimates from the Urban Redevelopment Authority released on Tuesday.
Prices of properties in the core central region grew 2.9 per cent from the previous quarter — the fastest among all the regions across Singapore. This comes after 2.3 per cent growth in the second quarter.
Property analyst Ong Kah Seng said it’s a sign that there is high investor confidence for high-end, centrally located residential properties in Singapore.
“This is quite set to continue into the coming months and until the first half of 2020 at least,” he added.
Analysts also told TODAY that the buyer profile for Midtown Bay would be those looking for high-end properties, instead of mass-market developments.
Mr Desmond Sim, head of research for Singapore and South East Asia at property consultancy CBRE, said the property may appeal to single- or dual-income households without children who would not need a bigger suburban property near schools.
“They might need proximity, need the hustle and bustle. You cannot compare with the generic demand pie,” he added.
OrangeTee’s head of research Christine Sun added that mixed-use developments are rare and exclusive.
The development’s location at Bugis is also very strategic, said Mr Ong.
Compared with the core Central Business District (CBD) areas at Tanjong Pagar and Raffles Place, which tend to hollow out after working hours and weekends, Mr Ong said the Bugis/Beach Road area has been resilient in maintaining its branding as a lifestyle area even though its so close to the CBD.
The work-live-play concept that Guoco Midtown is pushing for would have more chances of success in Bugis than other central areas, he added.
Mr Sim expects the project’s weekend launch to do well, with the majority of its one- and two-bedroom units sold.
Mr Ong expects a take-up rate of between 35 and 50 per cent.
PLANS FOR ANOTHER PROJECT
GuocoLand also highlighted its successful purchase last month of the Tan Quee Lan Street site, which is located above Bugis MRT station, close to the Guoco Midtown site. The developer said it is also looking to build a mainly residential development targeted at families on the site.
While plans have not been finalised, Mr Cheng said he hopes the new site will bring about greater connectivity in the area, linking users of Guoco Midtown to Bugis MRT station.