HOME hunters looking to buy a new place in Pasir Ris now have one more option to look at.
Today marks the launch of Pasir Ris One, perhaps the last project under the Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) where public housing is farmed out to private developers offering upscale touches.
Land sales for the scheme were suspended in July last year after a public backlash over initial high pricing for a DBSS project in Tampines. The scheme was placed under review.
But projects for which land had already been sold, including Pasir Ris One, the last of the plots, were still rolled out.
Prices at the project are comparable to those of Trivelis, a similar project in Clementi, launched recently. For instance, top per sq ft (psf) prices for a five-room flat at the 447-unit project are about $681, similar to Trivelis.
Some analysts said that the indicative selling prices seem reasonable - below $600 psf - in the lower ranges of each size category, but buyers eyeing the pricier units could be better off getting executive condos (ECs).
Indeed, applications for a new EC in Pasir Ris open next Tuesday. However, units at the 416-unit Watercolours can be booked only from June 1.
EC prices in the area range from $700 to $750 psf on average, analysts said. Unlike ECs, which are fully privatised after 10 years and can then be bought by foreigners, DBSS flats are essentially public housing and have to comply with the same rules as Housing Board (HDB) ones.
At a media briefing yesterday, Pasir Ris One developer SingXpress KayLim said indicative prices for a 700 sq ft three-room flat are $390,000 to $490,000. Prices for a 925 sq ft four- room flat are between $550,000 and $670,000. For a 1,130 sq ft, five-room unit, prices range from $650,000 to $770,000.
The development sits on a 99-year leasehold site and is about five minutes' walk from Pasir Ris MRT station.
SingXpress executive director Chan Tung Moe said: '(It) stands out for its emphasis on design... The layout, numerous innovative features... will suit the aspirational lifestyles of many Singaporeans.'
Still, PropNex chief executive Mohamed Ismail felt it would meet with some resistance from home buyers torn between buying a unit there or at an EC. 'If the gap between the two is too narrow, people may feel it is more worth it to get an EC where there are lifestyle facilities.'
He said buyers expect DBSS units, which typically have better finishing than HDB Build-To-Order (BTO) flats, to be 15 to 20 per cent cheaper than ECs.
SLP International Property Consultancy's head of research Nicholas Mak said the latest launch, as the last DBSS one, 'does not give this project any added advantage'.
Some previous DBSS projects still have unsold units.
Interested buyers can submit their E-Application at www.pasirrisone.com
between today and May 2, at midnight.
They can also do so at the sales gallery at the junction of Pasir Ris Drive 1 and Pasir Ris Central from 10am to 7pm daily during this period.