Crowd at Copen Grand on preview weekend (Photo: CDL)
EDGEPROP (SINGAPORE) - Copen Grand, the first executive condo (EC) in Tengah Town, Singapore’s first smart and sustainable precinct, saw a total of 465 out of a total of 639 units or 72.8% taken up on the first day of sales booking on Oct 22.
The average launch price was $1,300 psf, with an additional 3% for those who opted for the deferred payment scheme (DPS).
All unit types were well-received by homebuyers, with the four-bedroom deluxe units fully taken up, says Copen Grand’s joint developers, City Developments Ltd (CDL) and MCL Land in a statement on Oct 23.
Prices range from $1.08 million for a two-bedroom plus study to $1.48 million for a four-bedroom deluxe. Four-bedroom premium units were priced from $1.58 million, while five-bedroom premium units are upwards of $1.88 million. Unit sizes range from 807 sq ft for a two-bedroom plus study to 1,722 sq ft for a top-floor five-bedroom premium unit.
Copen Grand’s first-day sales translate to a conversion rate of 20.3% based on the 2,300 e-applications received between Oct 7 to 17, in the lead-up to the launch.
Read more: Copen Grand EC receives 2,300 e-applications
The results make Copen Grand “the best-selling EC in terms of the number of units and percentage sold since Rivercove Residences in 2018,” says Mark Yip, CEO of Huttons.
Rivercove Residences is a 628-unit EC at Anchorvale Lane in Sengkang, where nearly 80% of the units were snapped up on the first day of launch in April 2018. Copen Grand’s sales have surpassed the 414 units taken up on the launch day of Parc Central Residences at Tampines in Jan 2021.
What is even more impressive is that the sales feat was achieved just three weeks after the latest round of property cooling measures that came into effect on Sept 30.
Copen Grand's 639 units are spread across twelve 14-storeys blocks on a 237,032 sq ft, 99-year leasehold site in Tengah Garden (Picture: CDL/MCL Land)
“The cooling measures did not really affect the take-up rate of the ECs, because they were not designed to bring down the market but to address the higher interest rate environment and to caution homebuyers to exercise greater financial prudence,” says Ismail Gafoor, CEO of PropNex.
Minister for National Development Desmond Lee said as much in Parliament on Oct 4: that the measures were aimed “at moderating demand in the HDB resale market and ensuring that HDB flats continue to remain affordable”. (Find HDB flats for rent or sale with our Singapore HDB directory)
The strength of the sales at Copen Grand also demonstrated that these homebuyers “have the financial means to bridge the gap” despite the interest rate floor being raised from 3.5% to 4% for banks in assessing mortgage repayment ability for residential property, notes PropNex’s Gafoor. This applies to both total debt servicing ratio (TDSR) for private property which was reduced to 55% last December, and mortgage servicing ratio (MSR) for HDB flats and ECs which has been capped at 30%.
What is unique about ECs is that qualifying homebuyers “can opt for the deferred payment scheme and use the construction period to build up their savings”, points out Huttons’ Yip.
Based on Huttons’ estimates, a couple earning a combined monthly household income of $14,000 and taking a 75% loan over 30 years, will need 3.1 years of contribution to the Ordinary Account of the Central Provident Fund to make up for the lower loan amount. “Opting for the deferred payment scheme allows buyers of ECs to tide over the current high interest rate environment,” Yip adds.
Sherman Kwek, group CEO of CDL Group sees Copen Grand as “a future icon for Tengah Town”. When completed in 2027, the development will be within walking distance of three MRT stations on the upcoming Jurong Regional Line - Tengah, Hong Kah and Tengah Plantation - as well as a bus interchange. It is well connected to the existing Choa Chu Kang, Boon Lay and Jurong East MRT stations.
“This project is the epitome of green and smart living,” says Kwek. “With future-forward infrastructure and comprehensive amenities coming up in this beautifully master-planned district, Copen Grand homeowners will enjoy living in such a precinct.”
Artist's impression of Copen Grand's multi-tiered clubhouse (Picture: CDL/MCL Land)
Rob Garman, CEO of MCL Land adds: "We are eager to see our buyers’ first-mover advantage come to fruition as Tengah Town, Singapore’s first smart and sustainable precinct evolves and thrives with Copen Grand at its centre.”
As the first EC in Tengah, Singapore's first car-free town centre, Copen Grand proved to be “very appealing” to homebuyers, says Doris Ong, deputy CEO of ERA Singapore.
While the majority of the homebuyers of Copen Grand were those living in the west, there were some who came from elsewhere, such as the East, adds Ong. “First-time homebuyers are more mobile, unlike most couples with children of school-going age who are unwilling to disrupt their education by moving too far away from their existing or preferred schools.”
Besides first homebuyers, there was strong demand from second-timers too, says PropNex’s Gafoor, with the 30% quota allocated for second-timers fully taken up by 2pm yesterday. “This shows that there are many more second-timers who want to buy a unit in Tengah but did not have an opportunity to do so yesterday,” he adds.
“However, the quota for second-timers will be lifted after one month, and they will be able to buy the balance units then.”
It’s not surprising that demand from second-timers or upgraders is so strong, notes Gafoor. Recent new launches of suburban, 99-year leasehold private condos were in the range of $2,100 to $2,110 psf. New EC prices are now in the $1,300 to $1,330 psf bracket. “The price gap is about $780-$800 or 58-60% between ECs and suburban condos today,” says Gafoor. “These upgraders have come to the realisation that if they want the lifestyle of a condominium with facilities, a private condo may be out of their reach but ECs present a value proposition.”
Second-timers are not subjected to additional buyer’s stamp duty, and they need not sell their existing homes until they receive the keys to their new ECs, points out ERA’s Ong. “Even then, they have up to six months to sell their existing flat,” she says. “They need not look for an interim rental property and suffer the inconvenience of moving twice.”
Tengah is part of the greater Jurong Master Plan and is near the employment clusters of Jurong Lake District, Jurong Innovation District and Tuas Port (Source: EdgeProp Landlens)
E-applications for second-time buyers will take place from Nov 17 to 23, with sales booking to commence on Nov 26, according to CDL.
Tengah, a master-planned new town, is also part of the wider Jurong Master Plan. It is close to major employment clusters in the west such as the Jurong Innovation District, Jurong Lake District and Tuas Port. “This is bound to attract homebuyers,” says PropNex’s Gafoor. “I expected Copen Grand to do well, and based on the number and proportion of units sold, it should give confidence to the market.”
Huttons’ Yip believes the sales achieved at Copen Grand will also give developers’ confidence a boost when bidding for EC land parcels.
Read more: City Developments-MCL Land previews Copen Grand at prices starting from $1.08 mil