Bargain-hunting continues in prime districts

By Tay Hock Meng / The Edge Property | February 12, 2016 10:00 AM SGT
With the stock market plunging, the economic outlook deteriorating and mounting speculation about another global financial crisis, it was no surprise that distressed sales in the prime districts continued to pop up in the first two weeks of January. Those that sustained the greatest losses were units purchased at the height of the last property boom, between the second half of 2007and early 2008, say property consultants.
The most notable was the sale of a mid-level unit at Turquoise in Sentosa Cove. The 2,153 sq ft, three-bedroom unit fetched $3.01 million ($1,400 psf), according to a caveat lodged on Jan 7. The previous owner paid $5.65 million ($2,623 psf) for it when the project was first launched in 2007, hence recognising a capital deterioration of 46.6%. The 91-unit, 99-year leasehold six-storey condominium project with views of the waterway was developed by Ho Bee Land and completed in 2010.
A mid-level unit at Turquoise in Sentosa Cove was sold for $3.01 million ($1,400 psf) in January.
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Jeremy Lee, assistant division director, ERA Realty is marketing a 2,134 sq ft, three-bedroom unit one floor below with an asking price of $5.8 million($2,718 psf). According to Lee, the owner is reluctant to slash the asking price as it is already at the level that he purchased the unit for in 2007, when many of the units were sold at prices ranging from $2,500 to $2,700 psf, he adds.
With transaction prices hovering in the range of $1,400 to $1,693 psf from last September till now, more buyers have been lured back to the market in search of similar bargains. “With the current market weakness and rising interest rates, homeowners and investors who are over-leveraged may find it tough to maintain their mortgage payments,” adds Lee. This could mean more distressed sales are on the horizon.
Over at the 338-unit freehold Scotts Square on Scotts Road, a three-bedroom unit located on the18th floor was transacted for $3.5 million ($2,803 psf) on Jan 4. The seller, believed to be a Singaporean, had purchased...