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SG French property in the spotlight

Property Here - Friday, June 07, 2013

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By Andrew Batt:

Villages Nature, a large-scale project located close to Disney in Paris – will see its much anticipated Southeast Asia launch in Singapore this weekend and, in doing so, becomes the first French property investment opportunity to exhibit in the city-state for more than at least two years.

Developed as a joint venture between two key players in the French tourism market – Pierre & Vacances Center Parcs Group and Euro Disney S.C.A. Group – a ‘sneak peak’ property exhibition will take place here ahead of the launch of general sales in September.

The first phase of the project, which will break ground shortly with an estimated completion in 2016 – will feature 1,730 units. The entire development is expected to be completed by 2020.

Speaking exclusively to PropertyGuru, Jean-Dominique Hilderbrand, the International Sales Director for Pierre & Vacances, said: “These are our first steps in Southeast Asia. We’ve chosen Singapore because it’s a very strong base and a gateway to the rest of the region.”

Asked why France has, until now, been very much off-the-radar for property buyers and investors throughout Southeast Asia, he said: “The main reason is most French developers tend to be very French in nature, meaning they feel there have no need to go outside France.”

The freehold project is located close to Disney and a little over 30-minutes from the French capital, Paris. Investors will benefit from a leaseback scheme with promises four percent net returns for 10 years. Owners are also able to use their investment themselves as a holiday retreat.

With 180 hectares being developed during the first phase, Villages Nature will have 16 hectares dedicated to recreational facilities, 1,730 cottages and apartments designed to be one with nature, as well as suspended gardens and a lakefront promenade with shops and themed restaurants.

As a mixed-use resort, it will be developed around an iconic 2,500 sq m outdoor geothermal lagoon, and an adjacent water park. Some 90 percent of the resort will be retained as green space. Its vision is to become an unprecedented reference in family eco-tourism, both in its resort concept and its operations.

Prices for units at Villages Nature will start from approximately S$440,000 for a one-bedroom unit of 380 sq ft. The developers expect to achieve 20 percent of total sales from buyers and investors outside France, with 10 percent predicted to come from Asia.

Hilderbrand added that around 100 units have already been sold to the company’s existing customers. Negotiations are continuing with banks and funds in Europe who are keen to invest in the project.

He said: “Disney is huge and this development will be equally huge.”

The exhibition, organised by Singapore real estate agency Premiere Realty, takes place on Saturday, June 8, and Sunday, June 9, at Colonial at Scotts between 10am and 6pm.

Image: Artist's impression of Villages Nature 



Andrew Batt, International Group Editor of PropertyGuru, wrote this story. To contact him about this or other stories email andrew@allproperty.com.sg