ECs enjoy pricing edge over condos

ECs enjoy pricing edge over condos

Lower construction costs have given executive condominiums (ECs) a pricing edge as developers chase buyers in a competitive market.

Cheaper building expenses mean firms can pitch the units at levels below that of private apartments, but that initial price gap narrows as an EC gets closer to completing its minimum occupancy period and resale restrictions ease.

ECs - an upmarket hybrid of public and private housing - can be built for about 22 per cent cheaper than their private counterparts. This lower cost is partly why EC projects are typically priced about 25 per cent below comparable private mass market homes, experts say.

Experts pointed out various other possible differences between ECs and private residential projects but these are usually small and not of huge significance.

For instance, the fittings and furnishings - floor tiles, kitchen appliances and sanitary ware - are typically of a lower grade in ECs.

EL Development managing director Lim Yew Soon said private condos might opt for branded European appliances while ECs could use lower-grade appliances although they might not necessarily be of poorer quality.

"But when contractors tender for an EC project, they might factor in a discount and a lower bud-get because the perception is for ECs to be more basic."

The aesthetics of the project might also differ, with private projects having "more flair" - for instance, more curvature in its external design or a swanky clubhouse - that would cost more to build.

Source: The Straits Times – 4 August 2012