Qingjian Realty to launch condo in Bukit Batok

Qingjian Realty (South Pacific) Group said on Wednesday it is launching its first mixed-use development in Singapore.

Located in Bukit Batok, the development offers 516 residential units and 6,000 square metres of retail space. While the developer had yet to confirm estimated average rental price for its retail space, it said the average price for its residential units was S$1,280 per square foot (psf).

The 99-year-leasehold’s sales launch will be on Saturday, and construction is expected to be completed by November 2021.

Qingjian Realty (South Pacific) deputy general manager Yen Chong said Koufu and NTUC FairPrice Finest were the two anchor tenants for Le Quest, and hopes to partner close to 100 tenants for its retail segment.

She expects more than 40 per cent of the retail units to be taken by food and beverage outlets, and the remaining space to be taken by other shops.

While the average price of S$1,280 psf may seem high for a Bukit Batok property, Ms Chong said: “It’s a fair price for homeowners. This is what we think is a good price that people can afford.”

She added that the site was near Jurong Lake District and the upcoming Jurong Innovation District.

One of the development’s selling points is its use of technology to integrate the living and commercial units for homeowners.

For example, Koufu managing director Pang Lim said in Mandarin that he intended to integrate technologies such as robotics into the Koufu in Le Quest, potentially automating delivery services from Koufu to residents of the property.

When asked about the viability of the retail venture, Ms Chong noted the lack of commercial options in the development’s vicinity meant there would be little competition for Le Quest’s retail outlets. “There’s really nothing else nearby. So far we’ve received a good mix of interested tenants, ranging from cafes to pharmacists to enrichment centres for children.”

In May last year, Qingjian paid S$301.16 million – or S$637.57 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr) – to secure the 1.5-hectare site.

An analyst said that it is becoming more common to see residential properties in the outer regions costing above S$1,100, like this one.

The developer may have priced this property higher because they feel homeowners would pay more for a property if it is sitting atop a commercial centre.

He explained that even though the average price was comparatively high, it may be attributable to the large number of studio and one-bedroom units.

Qingjian said that of its 516 units, 36 are 431-sq-ft studio apartments, and 96 are 495-sq-ft to 614-sq-ft one-bedroom apartments.

This means close to a quarter of the units on offer are considered small units, and it means that the average price is higher since smaller units tend to cost more per square foot.

There have not been any property launches in the Bukit Batok area in at least a decade, the most recent one being the 280-unit The Jade condominium which launched in 2002.

This has caused a lack of supply in the immediate area, and this could work in the developer’s favour.

Even though it is located quite far from central Singapore, there could still be demand in the form of Bukit Batok residents wanting to upgrade and move into better houses in the same area.

In the future, the market may accept the S$1,280 per sq ft price and it could even become the new norm for that region.

Adapted from: The Business Times, 20 July 2017

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