Rachael Boon | The Straits Times | Saturday, May 11, 2013

SINGAPORE – Going by recent searches on the STProperty website, the Pasir Ris and Punggol areas are attracting the most interest from potential home buyers.

The most searched project on the site in the week ended May 5, based on page views, was the Waterbay executive condominium (EC) in Punggol, which was launched last October.

Ripple Bay condominium in Pasir Ris was next, followed by Bartley Residences, next to Bartley MRT Station.

Knight Frank consultancy and research head Alice Tan said rising private home prices, especially for mass market units, are prompting home buyers to look at ECs as an affordable alternative.

Waterbay is the only EC in the top 10 so its popularity could be linked to growing interest in the Punggol area.

“Waterbay EC could be attractive to budget-conscious home buyers, for its lower price points and location attributes with its proximity to the Punggol Waterway and future retail amenities at Waterway Point,” she added.

There is also keen interest in projects that have launched within the past year or so, including Bartley Residences, launched in February last year, and Urban Vista, released in March.

Interest also rises when developments are close to receiving their temporary occupation permit (TOP) status, hence the clicks on Hundred Trees, located at West Coast.

The condo, which expects to receive its TOP next year, has recorded a slight increase in its average price from $1,322 per sq ft (psf) last October, to $1,394 psf in March.

Upcoming projects in an area could have created renewed interest in older projects such as the 646-unit Icon in Tanjong Pagar, one of STProperty’s popular searches.

A mixed-use development called Tanjong Pagar Centre by Singapore-listed GuocoLand will open in the area in 2016 with the boast of being Singapore’s tallest building at 290m.

Knight Frank’s Ms Tan said: “The development has heightened the attractiveness of Tanjong Pagar in terms of business vibrancy.

“This has promoted the interest of private homes in the locality, such as the Icon, which is near the future mega development.”

She added that Tanjong Pagar is an increasingly attractive locality for buyers and investors keen to own private homes in the central business district, thanks to lower prices than in Raffles Place and Marina Bay.

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