Launched in Woodlands on Wednesday, the Twin Fountains project is the first executive condominium (EC) project of the year. According to the developer of the project, they have received 155 online applications for the 418 units on offer. Applications are scheduled to be closed on 21 April.

The Twin Fountains project is being jointly developed by Frasers Centrepoint and Lum Chang. The developers expect applications to gain traction steadily over the 11-day online application period.

Said an applicant, Sidney Tan, “We’re over-qualified for a HDB — so the only option is to go for an EC.”

Jimmy Yap, an applicant who is upgrading from a HDB maisonette said, “If I buy an EC for one million dollars, I can get something like a three-bedroom or even a four-bedroom unit with a floor area of at least 1,200 square feet. Compare this to a private condominium, which based on my budget of one million dollars, I can only get a maximum of a two-bedroom, which is maybe 700 square feet.”

Another applicant, Mohamed Alamgir Siddiqui added, “HDB nowadays are very small and don’t suit me. I have two sons living with me — one is a student, another is working — so it is too tight. This EC is a little bit better.”

The Twin Fountains EC is the first launched in Woodlands since 2005. As government plans to develop the town into a regional centre are underway, some speculate that this may prove to be a major selling point for potential home owners.

The units are being priced between S$660 and S$790 per square foot, depending on the unit type, floor and orientation. That translates to from S$580,000 for a two-bedroom suite to S$1.26 million for a four-bedroom deluxe dual key (TRIO) unit.

According to SLP International Property Consultants Executive Director, Nicholas Mak, the average transacted price of ECs in today’s market ranges from S$700 to S$790 per square foot. However, for some EC projects that are perhaps 10 minutes of walking distance from a MRT station, the developers may decide to price them at close to S$800 per square foot. 

“But there are not many of such projects in the market. So typically, executive condominium projects priced at 700 to 750 dollars per square foot should have quite positive take-up rate from homebuyers,” Nicholas added.

Lim Yong Hock, key executive officer of Propnex, said, “Most of the other ECs that have been launched or are still being launched have prices ranging from S$650 to S$750 per square foot. Hence, I believe the developers did a study and they are pricing it in a very realistic manner because they know ECs are meant for what is known as the ‘sandwiched’ class — people who are ineligible for BTOs and yet cannot afford a private condominium. These are the people who will come over to the EC market.”

The government had earlier imposed new restrictions for ECs. Among them include restrictions to the maximum size of an EC unit, and selling dual-key units to only multi-generation families.

However, this project has been exempted from such restrictions, according to the developer. Its two penthouses in fact exceed the new maximum size of 160 square meters (or about 1,700 square feet), sitting at just over 2,200 square feet.

Nicholas said, “If this development were to be exempted from such regulations because their development plans were approved before the announcement of the measures, then it will be one of the last EC projects with very big penthouse units. Buyers will also have more flexibility in choosing the different types of units, including dual-key units. While I do not think we’re going to see very shocking prices for this EC, I think having the two penthouse units will mean they would probably be sold out quite quickly.”

Successful applicants will be making their bookings on 11 May.