More projects offer discounts to offset ABSD

SINGAPORE - Property developers intensified their discounts and incentives to entice buyers to pull out their cheque books after the government took new steps on Jan 11 to cool the private property market.

After 99-year leasehold Q Bay Residences in Tampines offered a 5-7 per cent discount last week to offset the effect of additional buyer's stamp duty (ABSD), other property developers have joined the discount bandwagon.

Far East Organisation yesterday took out an advertisement in The Sunday Times offering additional discounts of up to 4 per cent on selected properties such as The Seawind at Telok Kurau, SeaHill at West Coast Link and euHabitat at Jalan Eunos, on top of discounts already in place.

SMSes sent by housing agents showed that discounts have deepened to 10-15 per cent at d'Leedon, the Farrer Road luxury condominium developed by CapitaLand. They said that prices are starting from more than $1,300 per square foot (psf).

CapitaLand was reported to be offering discounts of up to 10 per cent subject to eligibility since November in an ongoing promotion for the 1,715-unit d'Leedon. When contacted about whether it was offering more discounts since Jan 11, a CapitaLand spokeswoman said: "I'm not responding to that". On Jan 11, the government slapped a 5 per cent ABSD for permanent residents buying their first homes and 7 per cent for Singaporeans buying their second residential property.

In November 2010, d'Leedon units were launched with an average initial selling price of $1,680 psf.

Over the weekend, "All eyes were on Q Bay Residences. It takes a lot of guts to launch right after the cooling measures," said Ong Choon Fah, chief operating officer of DTZ SEA. "But what was seen at Q Bay would give developers some comfort and the confidence to go ahead and launch."

The Frasers Centrepoint-led consortium that included Far East Organisation sold an "encouraging" 315 units out of its 630 during its first weekend on the market. This includes the 210 units moved during last Friday's preview.

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