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CDL, JBE in battle for EC buyers in Yishun (Amended)

CDL to start accepting e-applications for The Criterion, and JBE Holdings is to unveil prices for Signature

THE CRITERION IN YISHUN ST 51: City Developments' project is to be kitted out with 58 facilities, including a solar charging station. Its units overlook Lower Seletar Reservoir.


THE long-awaited contest for buyers between two adjacent executive condominium projects in Yishun St 51 is set to take place.

Listed property heavyweight City Developments starts accepting e-applications for The Criterion from Thursday, the same day JBE Holdings unveils prices for Signature at Yishun.

JBE will begin booking sales on Saturday.

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The developers bought their respective sites at state tenders that closed on the same day - May 22, 2014. CDL paid S$330 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr) for its site, slightly below the S$335 psf ppr paid by JBE for its land parcel.

JBE is widely expected to price its project at S$750 psf on average or slightly lower. It has yet to officially give its pricing, but has been using the pitch that the development will have "the most affordable average launch price for ECs in 2015".

CDL is not expected to engage in a direct price competition; it has positioned its project as a "luxury EC with first-of-its-kind features and premier quality - at attractive pricing".

A veteran property consultant said: "CDL may price its project at a slight premium to JBE's development to reflect a higher quality of finishes and amenities."

That said, the EC segment is still quite price-sensitive.

ECs are a public-private housing hybrid, with initial buyer eligibility and resale restrictions that are completely lifted 10 years after the EC project has been completed.

Said the property consultant: "The recent increase in the monthly household income ceiling for buyers of new EC units to S$14,000 from S$12,000 will not lead to people turning up in droves to buy ECs.

"Buyers in the upper end of this income bracket have the option of picking up a mass-market condo unit, which is not subjected to the conditions and restrictions that ECs are subjected to."

Another consultant, R'ST Research director Ong Kah Seng, also expects CDL's pricing to either match or slightly exceed that of JBE's Signature at Yishun.

If JBE launches its project at S$750 psf on average, it will be the lowest among EC projects now on sale in the market; those now in the market are hovering around S$770 to S$800 psf on average, Mr Ong noted.

CDL did not give any pricing information for The Criterion. "Homebuyers can look forward to an attractively-priced project by a trusted developer with a strong track record," said its group general manager, Chia Ngiang Hong.

The Criterion EC, overlooking the Lower Seletar Reservoir and Orchid Country Club, comprises 505 units in 10 13-storey blocks. CDL is developing the 99-year leasehold project jointly with TID.

A good mix of apartment types is available for selection with sizes ranging from 700 sq ft for a two-bedroom apartment to 1,636 sq ft for a penthouse.

E-applications will be accepted between Sept 24 and Oct 4; sales bookings will start on Oct 10.

Some units in the development will have options for customisation, with flexible layout and configuration. The four-bedroom premium units will come with a luxurious wardrobe and ensuite bathrooms.

All units will have an air-conditioning system that purifies air through nano technology. The project will boast 58 facilities, including a solar charging station for electric bicycles and a microbubble spa.


Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that CDL did give any price information for The Criterion when in fact it did not give any price indication for the project.

The article above has been revised to reflect this.