By Linette Heng, Reporter, firstname.lastname@example.org, The New Paper, 24 July 2017 at 06:00 am
A 531-unit, resort-style executive condominium (EC) named Hundred Palms Residences was sold out in just seven hours at its official launch on Saturday, showing signs of optimism in a soft property market.
The Yio Chu Kang Road property has also become the most oversubscribed executive condominium in history, with more than 2,700 e-applications received before its launch, its marketing agent ERA said in a statement yesterday.
ERA's key executive officer Eugene Lim told The New Paper that the attractive pricing - units were sold at an average of $836 per square foot (psf) - and location in Hougang, a mature estate, made it popular.
Mr Lim added: "It has been a long time since an EC was launched here, and the next EC launch would only take place quite some time later."
Picture posted by Hundred Palms Residences
Picture posted by CHRISTINA NG, temasekhome.com. 
Buyers of Hundred Palms were mostly concentrated in the housing estates of Hougang, Serangoon, Sengkang and Punggol, said ERA.
Most of the buyers were new Housing Board owners, due to a quota that allows only 30 per cent of each EC development to be allocated to second-time HDB applicants.
The EC, a hybrid of public and private housing, also subjects applicants to an income ceiling of $14,000. Buyers also have to adhere to a minimum occupation period of five years before they can sell in the open market to Singapore citizens or PRs.
After 10 years, the EC would be fully privatised and can be sold to foreigners.
Based on preliminary figures released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority last week, the total number of developer sales for the first half of this year is up 73.8 per cent year on year.
Developers sold 3,426 private homes in the second quarter of this year, up 15.7 per cent from the previous quarter.
Compared with the same period last year, it was a significant 51.9 per cent jump.
Hundred Palms is the second EC launch this year. The 497-unit iNZ Residence in Choa Chu Kang attracted more than 450 e-applications on its opening weekend in February.
So far, the developer has sold 264 units, including 24 units last month at a median price of $786 psf.
The prices at Hundred Palms, which consists of three-, four- and five-room apartments, are also close to recent EC sales. MCL Land's Sol Acres in Choa Chu Kang Grove were transacted at a median price of $829 psf, units in The Visionaire in Sembawang were moved at $811 psf, while Signature at Yishun fetched $757 psf.
Mr Winston Lee, regional head of special projects at Property Guru, pointed out that prices and rentals have been declining, while vacancies have been creeping up.
He added: "Demand is strong only when the price, product and location is good. Hundred Palms checks all the boxes, especially with its location, as well as features such as North-South facing for every unit and well-sized units."
International Property Advisor's Mr Ku Swee Yong thinks that many Hundred Palm buyers are riding on the current property hype and taking advantage of Government subsidies accorded to EC buyers.
He said: "It is the smallest quantum required for investors, especially with the grants. But they should also realise that profits are not guaranteed because rentals have been falling and the number of foreigners will not be increasing."
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Posted by Michael Tatlock
 Linette Heng, Reporter, email@example.com, The New Paper, Hundred Palms is most oversubscribed executive condominium in history, posted on 24 July 2017 at 06:00 am, http://www.tnp.sg/news/singapore/hundred-palms-most-oversubscribed-executive-condominium-history
 Christina Ng, Hundred Palms Residences EC in Yio Chu Kang, https://www.temasekhome.com/hundred-palms-residences-ec-in-yio-chu-kang/