Interview with Stirling Residences Project IC Mr Alex Goh from OrangeTee & Tie.
Jim: Hey, what’s up guys? I’m Jim and today I’m going to be doing something different with my video. I’m going to be talking about Stirling Residence. This is the project that I have with the brochure in my hand right now. It’s been two years since the launch of Stirling Residences. I have invited online with me a very special guest. He is none other than Senior Associate District Director, Mr. Alex Goh from OrangeTee and he is also the Project IC of this very beautiful development in district three. Let’s jump into the conversation with Alex Goh right now. Hi Alex.
Alex: Hi Jim. Thanks for taking the time.
Jim: Would you like to give a quick introduction of yourself so that our viewers can understand more about you?
Alex: All right. Hi, good day everyone. My name is Alex Goh. I’m a Senior Associate District Director in OrangeTee and Tie. I’m also the project IC for several key sites. Mmm. 11 years, have been matching properties and the right people. I just hope I can add some value to today’s conversation. Right back to you, Jim.
Jim: Great. Thanks for that very interesting and sharp introduction. So I have on my hands here a number of questions that I have gathered from my viewers who have come to my website or my YouTube channels. They have asked me questions about Stirling Residences… As it is, I believe, one of the more popular projects in Singapore. I have compiled some of the best questions here. If you don’t mind, I want to put you to the test.
Before I jump into that though, I just wanted to understand a bit about your role as Project IC because I recall Stirling Residences, was one of the famous three projects that launched on 5th July 2018 when the government announced the cooling measures. It was such a rush that day. I recall very vividly myself and my buyers, we went all the way down to the showflat and we actually queued up throughout the night to be able to buy a unit at Stirling Residences. Yourself, as a Project IC, could you just maybe share a bit about, about your experience that day?
Alex: That’s a very interesting memory actually. In fact, it’s a true representation of what happens during a sudden measure or sudden situation like a pandemic currently. It presents an opportunity for some, it presents a lot of confusion to many. In fact that night I was on reservist, so I came into the show flat in my army uniform. All right. And we were activated at somewhat 6:30 PM and we only knew what’s happening and we came down to show flat from 7:00 PM, but that night we worked till, to the last minute issuing OTPs explaining to buyers to seize the opportunities. And I’m very happy to say that that night many buyers took the opportunities. And after when everything was settled down, I left the show flat only at 3:00 PM the next day. So it was good, almost a 12 hour since activation until I left the show flat.
Jim: Wow. Wow. Wow. That is really quite a long time you spent in the show flat. Since you mentioned you were in the line for 11 years, is it the first time you encountered such a scenario?
Alex: Well 11 years I’ve seen several crises’, several corrections. All right. I will say that it’s a lot of semblance between each one of them. First is confusion. Then after that you have a lot of people that takes opportunity and on hindsight, they never regret that decision. Just like in Stirling. Those people who took the decision that night have already benefited.
Jim: Right, right. I understand. Thanks. Thanks for sharing your, your side of the story from a Project IC’s perspective. Well, let’s jump into the questions I have right now. It might be a bit difficult, but we would be very curious to hear your answers. The first question I have is that…
Looking at the balance unit chart of the available remaining units at Stirling Residences, it seems like there are still quite a number of one bedroom and two bedroom units still available. However, if I do think about other projects, these are the units that usually fly off the market the fastest due to its lower quantum. However, based on the balance units chart, it does not seem so for Stirling Residences. Is there any reason why you think this is so?
Alex: I think that’s a very sharp observation. In fact, there’s about 200 units of such layouts left. But I think there’s a misconception that having a balance of 200 units equates to it’s not popular. In actual fact, there are about nine hundred of such units in the development. In fact, we have sold about 700. So the take-up rate is in fact very healthy. One and two bedrooms are very popular with both investors and upgraders because the quantum in Stirling Residences is one of the lowest in district 3.
And if you look carefully in the details, there are very limited supply left for new launches for this layout. Discerning buyers today are very price sensitive and coupled with the good project fundamentals for Stirling Residences, I think this makes a very good investment or own stay. Finally, I think if you look at the transacted rental data in the cluster, you will notice that the per square feet is very high and the occupancy rate is also equally high due to its proximity to city center and the proximity to the MRT, another key factor that buyers and investors should look out for. I hope that answered your questions.
Jim: Right. Great. Great. So just to clarify a bit maybe on behalf of the viewers, I take it that your answer… You mean that there are actually a large number of units that are one or two bedders, about 900 over units and Stirling Residences have actually sold about 700 over units? Which is actually a very high number. Ah, I see. I see. I get, I get a better idea of that now. A second question that I have from another of my viewers is some concerns about the future resale potential of Stirling Residences.
He’s buying for own stay but is concerned that in future it might be difficult to sell. His question is that in the Redhill and Queenstown areas, there are so many new completions recently. He named me a few as well, like Commonwealth Towers, Queens Peak, Echelon, Artra, that’s completing quite soon. He has been monitoring Stirling Residences for a while and he asks whether there is an oversupply of condo units in the area that would affect his ability to resale in the future.
Alex: You have very good audience over there. All right, so let me address. Redhill, Queenstown, they fall under the category of District 3. And District 3 has always enjoyed a very high takeup rate as a city fringe, matured estate and proximate to the city center. In fact, this area, there was a supply crunch between 2000 to 2010 creating a latent pent up demand. Okay. And this recent launches from 2001 until today is essentially digested by this pent up demand.
If you look carefully at the details, the timings of all these completions are also very well spaced up averaging about 1000 to 1200 units per year. And this is well within the takeup rate of district 3. Let me set things in context. Example, Commonwealth Towers rental, in the first quarter of 2020, there are 400 transactions, and we put this overlay with 1,200 units coming online. Yup. I think that’s more than enough. Assuming a 50% rental, 50% own stay. In fact, this high sampling size creates a vibrancy in the resale market and the rental market. And this is actually a plus point if you look at it from this angle.
Jim: May I just clarify. What do you mean by a high sampling size?
Alex: Okay, so, for example, a district with very low transaction volume. This means that buyers are not looking there, tenants are not looking there, agents are not working in the district. However, if you have a certain critical mass you will have a higher probability of exiting or entering the market.
Jim: I see, I see. So there is latent demand in the area of district three, which explains the amount of supply that’s coming in and you think that there is a good match based on the transactions in the area.
Jim: Right. Right. I see. Okay. I hope that answers your question. Let’s move on to the third question. This one is really, really recent because I myself also saw the news that there are some special price promotions for units in Stirling Residences and given that right now the entire economic situation doesn’t look so good due to Covid-19. Can we expect more discounts from the developer? I think everybody watching this wants to know the answer to this question.
Alex: I think anyone who read the business times article is asking that question. In fact, that’s the most highly asked question by all my customers. Okay. So we look at the details. Okay. We must understand that developers just like properties, each one of them has their own characteristic. Between a newly launched project, a midstream project, and a tail end project. Okay. For Stirling Residences, fact is the take-up rate is more than 75%. So the fear of a balance inventory is relatively low. We do not see there’s a immediate need to drop prices. And as buyers and investors are taking a watch and monitor approach, same for the developers. So I guess there’ll be a standstill over there.
However, as part of the promotion Stirling Residences are offering promotion for star buy units up to 50,000. So with that actually I think it provides a very good incentive for buyers to look at it closer because city fringe today, city fringe homes are going at $2,000 per square feet and above. And with this promotion it comes down to about 1800-1900 per square feet for a prime location. And I think that is a pretty good deal.
Jim: Sounds like you think Stirling Residences is a good buy right now?
Alex: (Laughs) I’m the Project IC.
Jim: Okay. I guess we are going to end off the call, but before we end the line, just wanted to ask you Alex, Can you tell us how many units you have sold in the development?
Alex: I guess we don’t talk about myself. Let’s talk about my own team. We have transacted about 20 units in the development and I think we pride ourselves by matching the needs. It’s not about the good or the bestest unit. It’s about matching the most suitable units and we look forward to help more buyers and investors to get one home here.
Jim: Great. Great. Great. Sounds good. Thank you so much for your time. Alex, we hope that everyone watching this has managed to get answers to your burning questions for Stirling Residences.
Alex: Thank you so much. In doubt, they can always give you a call. Thanks for your time, Jim.
Jim: Thanks Alex. Catch you around.
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