Mixed-Use Developments Draw Homebuyers

Source: Business Times – 26 January 2013

Mixed-use developments integrating residential and retail components have become an attractive proposition for homebuyers, notably couples and young professionals, according to Far East Organization.

Chia Boon Kuah, chief operating officer for property sales, said this after a recent offering, the 99-year-leasehold The Hillier, sold its last residential units last weekend.

The homes at the 528-unit SOHO development at Hillview Avenue 2 commanded an average price of $1,474 per square foot and should be ready by 2016, after launching for sale in January last year.

The Hillier comes with an adjoining two-storey mall known as HillV2, which was over 60 per cent leased as at yesterday.

The success of The Hillier follows a trend for other similar mixed-use residential projects over the last few years from Far East.

Its Tennery SOHO development at Woodlands Road, integrated with the Junction 10 Mall, sold all 338 homes within a year of its launch in December 2010.

Close to all the 319 units at the Greenwich in Seletar, as well as the 992-unit Watertown in Punggol have also been transacted since their launches in August 2010 and January 2012, respectively. Both projects come with a retail component.

“Many of these buyers are couples or young professionals who are seeking not just a roof over their heads, but a home that resonates with their desired lifestyle, allowing the merging of live-work-play spaces,” Mr Chia said. He noted that Far East developments are appealing to a new breed of buyers who want a combination of a more spacious location that can be outside of the city centre but remains close to retail amenities and major transportation networks.

Accordingly, “we plan our developments and create residential concepts based on the site’s locational attributes and features as well as our understanding of homebuyers’ aspirations”, Mr Chia said.

For example, the HillV2 mall joined to The Hillier will feature an assortment of lifestyle outlets, from Market Place by Cold Storage to cafe Dean & DeLuca and Wine Connection Bistro, when it is completed next year. The development is also near the future Hillview MRT station and two expressways.

Within The Hillier itself, residents can expect usual condo facilities, such as a pool, a jacuzzi and a tennis court.

Familiarity plays a part too. Sizeable demand for these mixed residential-retail developments came from people who already knew the area well.

Despite the latest round of property-cooling measures – many of which target the residential market – Far East is still upbeat about its prospects.

“As the market adjusts to the new measures, we remain confident that the strong economic fundamentals and growth prospects of Singapore will continue to support a sustainable property market,” Mr Chia said.

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