North Gaia is expected to be the first new executive condominium (EC) to be launched in 2022. In this article, we dive deeper into its location and explore the price trends of other ECs and why buying one can be a worthwhile investment.
Strong interest from developers for the North Gaia land site
North Gaia had heavy competition from developers. A total of 7 bidders were vying for the site, which was eventually awarded to Sing Holdings Limited for a tender price of $373.5 million. This translates to $576 per square foot per price ratio (psf ppr).
The last EC launch in Yishun was in 2015, and the projects were Signature At Yishun (525 units) and The Criterion (505 units). They had about 6 to 8 bidders vying for their respective sites as well.
Based on the application of the written permission retrieved from URA space, it was indicated that there are about 616 units expected in North Gaia – more than the previous EC launches.
EC units launched at an increasingly slower pace
Although it appears like the number of EC units launched has been increasing in the last few years, the number of projects released each year is still in limited quantity. In 2021, there were a total of 1,609 units launched.
This was a result of 3 project launches, namely Parc Central Residences, Provence Residence and Parc Greenwich. As of writing, these projects have sold over 80-90% of its units. Demand for EC units is typically strong due to its scarcity.
Lower land sale prices for ECs
Developers generally pay a lower amount for an EC site as compared to a normal condominium. Through our analysis of the recent sites awarded under the Government Land Sales (GLS) programme, we can observe that there is a juxtaposition in land bid prices for EC sites and condo sites in the Outside Central Region (OCR):
The average land sale prices of an EC are lower as compared to a condominium site. For example, the average land sale prices in 2021 for an EC site was $631 psf ppr as compared to the $1,195 psf ppr for a condominium. There is a huge difference of $563 psf ppr between the two types of sites.
Hence, developers are able to pass on their savings in terms of assigning a lower price for EC projects. This can be observed in the following section.
ECs are typically positioned at a lower price
We analysed the recent prices of ECs and condominiums in the OCR segment. The reason for choosing condos in the OCR to compare is because ECs are typically located in these segments and it will be a fairer comparison to observe these prices.
Based on our research, average unit prices of ECs are sold at a lower price compared to condominiums. The main reason the prices of ECs are lower compared to other private properties is because developers are able to enjoy lower land bid costs, as mentioned above.
Price Appreciation of ECs
Another advantage of purchasing an EC is that buyers are able to enjoy capital appreciation over time as it is a valuable asset to hold.
We took a look at some EC project prices in 2012 and compared their resale prices in 2021 and we can clearly see that the 5 projects in the table have had price appreciation over the years.
On average, there was a 40% increase in prices from the time the project was sold in 2012, up till its resale price in 2021.
Previous EC launches in Yishun such as Signature At Yishun and The Criterion have both had a high price appreciation over the years.
Signature At Yishun was launched at an average unit price of $773 psf in 2015 and was subsequently sold at a resale price of $942 psf. This contributed to a 21.9% price appreciation in the development.
Similarly, The Criterion was launched at an average price of $796 psf in 2015 and was sold at a resale price of $955 psf in 2021. This resulted in a 20.0% price appreciation as well. Both of the projects were also sold out within 3 years from launch.
Outlook for North Gaia
Based on the reception of the past EC projects and the expected pent-up demand in the Yishun area, we can expect North Gaia to be well received by buyers when it is officially launched. The benefits of owning an EC are noteworthy, in terms of lower prices and capital appreciation in the long run.
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