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SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - On April 11, Singapore-listed City Developments Ltd (CDL) announced that 278 units (about 51.5%) of its 540-unit Irwell Hill Residences condo project were snapped up on its launch weekend. The average price of units sold in the luxury development was $2,700 psf.
About 80% of the buyers are Singaporeans, while the remaining are made up 20% are Permanent Residents (PRs) and foreigners from China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, South Korea, UK and other nationalities.
The most popular unit types were one-bedroom-plus-study and two-bedroom units. The smallest of just three sky penthouses, the four-bedroom unit of 2,185 sq ft was sold for over $9 million ($4,123 psf).
“We are delighted with the strong take-up for Irwell Hill Residences, which marks CDL’s first residential launch for the year,” says Sherman Kwek, CDL group CEO. “The overwhelmingly positive response reflects the demand for well-located and thoughtfully designed properties.”
Aerial shot of the twin 36-storey towers of the 540-unit Irwell Hill Residences with its pixel-patterned facade by Dutch architectural firm, MVRDV (Photo: CDL)
Prime location, make-up of unit types
According to Ismail Gafoor, CEO of PropNex, the robust sales is due to the project’s location – with a prime District 9 address, proximity to Great World City retail mall and the upcoming Great World MRT station on the Thomson-East Coast Line; and attractive pricing. “Even if it wasn’t an integrated development, the combination of its location and pricing were definite draws,” he adds.
Another positive attribute of Irwell Hill Residences is the makeup of its unit types. About 81% of the units made up of studios, one – and two-bedroom apartments with sizes from 398 to 829 sq ft, and priced from just below $1 million. “Investors and homebuyers had many choices in terms of affordably priced small units,” points out Gafoor. “In a lot of developments, the one- and two-bedrooms are only confined to certain stacks, and there are fewer such units on the higher floors, where the prices are higher too.”
The three- and four-bedroom units with sizes ranging from 861 to 1,582 sq ft, were priced from $2.144 million to over $4 million. These were also sought-after, although they made up only about 18% of the units at Irwell Hill Residences.
Showflat of a two-bedroom unit, which together with the one-bedroom-plus-study, were among the most popular units among homebuyers and investors at Irwell Hill Residences over the weekend (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
Irwell Hill Residences’ launch weekend performance is the latest proof that “investors and homeowners are looking for attractively priced projects in prime District 9,” says Mark Yip, CEO of Huttons Asia. “They are on the hunt for stable assets and yield.”
Besides the Great World MRT station, Irwell Hill Residences is easily accessible to the CBD, Orchard Road shopping belt and Orchard MRT station, the Singapore Botanic Gardens and East Coast via the upcoming MRT station or by car, adds Yip. “The unique eco-inspired, pixel-patterned façade designed by Dutch architectural practice MVRDV was another draw.”
As the development was conceptualised during the Covid-19 circuit-breaker period last year, emphasis was given to nature, flexible spaces and smart home features “to cater to evolving lifestyles and changing needs”, says CDL’s Kwek. Over 75% of the development designed by Dutch architectural firm MVRDV is filled with lush greenery, including four conserved majestic raintrees, he adds.
Showflat of a four-bedroom unit with private lift lobby at Irwell Hill Residences (Photo: CDL)
Predominantly local buyers
“Before the travel restrictions are fully lifted, many of the buyers of private housing in the prime districts and city fringe locations are local residents,” points out Nicholas Mak, head of research at ERA Realty. “Therefore, in the current market, residential projects where units have price quantum that are palatable to local buyers would be warmly received.”
The strong sales at Irwell Hill Residences comes on the back of other recent launches at Midtown Modern, where 61% (340 out of 558 units) were sold at an average price of $2,800 psf last month. Prior to that, The Reef at King’s Dock saw 65% of the 429 units sold at an average price of $2,330 psf at the end of January. “The property market is still very upbeat given the low interest rate environment,” says PropNex’s Gafoor.
However, one can’t assume that every project launch will see sales cross 50%, cautions Gafoor. “Buyers are looking at projects with strong attributes: mixed-use or integrated developments, good location and prime districts,” he lists. “Buyers are discerning and are ready to enter the market when they feel that the projects are being launched at a fair price. That’s why projects such as The Reef, Midtown Modern and Irwell Hill Residences have done well.”