At a media briefing on 25 March, ahead of the start of the previews for its newest development Irwell Hill Residences, CDL shared an update on its Singapore residential strategy and upcoming asset enhancements. This story is adapted from news articles originally published in The Business Times and EdgeProp.
This year, CDL has lined up over 1,200 units. The 540-unit Irwell Hill Residences launches for sale on 10 April 2021, and the 696-unit CanningHill Piers is slated for launch in the second half of 2021. Irwell Hill Residences is a luxury District 9 development comprising one- to four-bedroom units and three penthouses, while CanningHill Piers is the residential component within the Liang Court redevelopment and is a joint venture project with CapitaLand Limited.
Given that developers sold slightly more units in 2020 than 2019, Mr Chia, who is also President of the Real Estate Developers’ Association of Singapore (Redas), commented that inventory has declined from over 30,000 units to about 24,000 units as at the end of Q4 2020.
He said, “With the government’s action to moderate the land supply, the demand and supply situation is getting more stable now.”
Singapore maintains its status as an attractive place for investments as the government has handled the pandemic well, Mr Chia notes. Physical assets have also become more attractive as it meets the primary need of households, especially given the new normal of work from home (WFH) arrangements.
“In fact, buyers are looking for bigger spaces to upgrade to. Upgraders form the core of buyer demand,” Mr Chia said.
Sustainability and smart-home features
While “live, work, play” was previously associated with mixed developments, CDL Head of Property Development Ms Lee Mei Ling said that it is now the norm.
She added, “COVID-19 has brought about many changes with a new focus on wellness, nature and WFH. Related thoughtful provisions are no longer luxuries, but must-haves for our ‘new-norm’ homes.”
For example, Irwell Hill Residences was conceptualised during the pandemic. The project’s site coverage stands at 26% and the rest of the 138,000 square feet (sq ft) land plot is dedicated to greenery and facilities.
Ms Lee said, “In terms of sustainability, we ensure Green Mark GoldPLUS certification for all our developments. We have taken about 2% to 5% construction costs to secure innovation and green features for all our new projects.”
The Building and Construction Authority’s Green Mark certification evaluates a building’s environmental impact and performance.
Additionally, Ms Lee said that newly launched projects by CDL will be equipped with digital locksets, smart lighting, air conditioning and home fire alarm devices. Common areas will also be equipped with contactless entry systems, including infra-red lift buttons, licence plate readers and facilitation of contactless delivery.
“Aside from the hardware, we also focus on the software, which is the concierge service our residents enjoy,” shared Ms Lee. The concierge service at CDL developments can offer assistance with facility booking, delivery acceptance and service requests including restaurant reservations and housekeeping services.
CDL will also be rejuvenating assets to unlock value, said Mr Chia. For instance, Fuji Xerox Towers at Anson Road, currently a 38-storey office building, will be redeveloped into a 47-storey freehold mixed-use integrated development. The new building will comprise office, retail, residential and serviced apartments. The potential uplift in Gross Floor Area (GFA) is 25% to approximately 655,000 sq ft, under the Central Business District Incentive Scheme.
Another redevelopment in the works is the seven-storey Central Mall along Havelock Road. CDL plans to redevelop it into a mixed-use development comprising office, retail, serviced apartments and hotel, under the Strategic Development Incentive Scheme. “We will get a substantial uplift in GFA and we are thinking of doing commercial-use and hotel and serviced apartments,” said Mr Chia.
The strategy is not new, but one that CDL has been implementing, he added. For example, CDL had redeveloped the former Boulevard Hotel at Orchard Boulevard into a mixed-use development comprising Boulevard 88, a freehold 154-unit luxury condominium, and The Singapore EDITION Hotel. The former Robina House office building along Shenton Way was redeveloped into One Shenton, a 352-unit mixed development.
CDL contributes about 8% to 12% of new home sales sold each year, or 1,000 units, according to Mr Chia. In 2020, CDL sold 1,318 units across its portfolio of executive condominiums to high-end luxury projects.