It was reported in The Straits Times yesterday that CapitaLand has hired a world renowned architect with a reputation of head-truning designs to shape their major condominium project in Bishan.
The site, near Bishan MRT station, was acquired by CapitaLand for $550 million in February this year. The winning bid, which translated to $869psf ppr, had set a new record for 99-year leasehold suburban condo site. This led some experts to predict selling prices of between $1,400psf and $1,700psf - a new record for suburban homes.
Experts also say that enlisting a world-class architect may be a way for developer to overcome price resistance by differentiating their product.
But judging by the sales progress of several "designer projects" in the market, it is quite evident that pricing remains the primary concern with buyers. This is despite the brand name and added touch of glamour that desginer architects bring to these projects.
Reflections By The Bay (No. of units: 1,129)
The Interlace (No. of units: 1,040)
d'Leedon (No. of units: 1,715)
In our opinion, the less than stellar sales seen at such "designer projects" can be attributed to another important factor - exclusivity. It may be appealing to live in a project designed by a world-renowned architect, even if you have to pay a premium for the apartment. However, it loses much of the shine when you have to share the "glamour" with a thousand other unit owners.
Something for developers to ponder about...?