Buyers going for bigger resale units in Thomson area

By Bong Xin Ying
/ EdgeProp |
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From 2H2017 to 1H2018, as the en bloc sales momentum picked up, so did transactions in the resale market. “The pickup in the property market extended across the whole of Singapore,” says Nicholas Mak, executive director of ZACD Group.
The Thomson-Sin Ming-Bright Hill area likewise benefited from the pickup. In mid-April, owners of Faber Garden Condo on Upper Thomson Road launched their site for collective sale at a reserve price of $1.18 billion. The freehold 5.1ha site has a maximum gross floor area of 871,581 sq ft, which translates into a land rate of $1,414 psf per plot ratio (ppr), including development charge. With additional 10% GFA for balcony space, the land rate is lowered to $1,342 psf ppr. However, the tender closed without a bid.
All eyes are now on the upcoming launch of Jade Scape, Qingjian Realty’s much anticipated condominium project on the site of the former Shunfu Ville. Qingjian purchased the privatised HUDC estate en bloc for $638 million ($747 psf ppr) in May 2016. The new 1,206-unit, 99-year leasehold development is expected to be launched next month. “Given Qingjian’s pricing track record, the launch price will be reasonable,” according to Jimmie Long, division director at PropNex Realty. “I expect demand to be healthy.”
Jade Scape is located on Marymount Road, with the Marymount MRT station a short seven-minute walk away.
The upcoming launch is having a positive impact on condos in the rest of the Thomson area. At the soon-to-be-completed 288-unit Thomson Impressions by Nanshan Group, a 2,034 sq ft, strata, semi-detached house was sold for $2.5 million ($1,229 psf), according to a caveat lodged on July 4.
The 339-unit Thomson Grand by CK Asset Holdings (former Cheung Kong Property Holdings) saw two resale transactions in July. The most recent one was a 1,367 sq ft, three-bedroom unit on the seventh floor that changed hands for $1.74 million ($1,273 psf), according to a caveat lodged on July 23. The previous owner paid $1.68 million ($1,229 psf) for the unit in December 2011, thus pocketing a profit of $0.06 million from the sale.
Launched in July 2011, the 99-year leasehold Thomson Grand was fully sold before its completion in 2015.
Another unit at the condo that changed hands recently was a 1,711 sq ft, four-bedroom unit on the 14th floor that fetched $2.26 million ($1,319 psf), according to a July 20 caveat. The seller bought the unit at $2.32 million ($1,357 psf) in November 2011, thus incurring a $60,000 loss from the resale.
Adjacent to Thomson Grand is Gardens at Bishan, a 756-unit, 99-year leasehold condo developed by the company then named First Capital Corp (now GuocoLand) and completed in 2004. The latest transaction there was an 883 sq ft, two-bedroom unit on the 16th floor that changed hands at $930,000 ($1,054 psf), according to a caveat lodged on July 20. The unit was first sold for $471,320 ($534 psf) in July 2003.
The other recent transaction at Gardens at Bishan was of a 2,379 sq ft, four-bedroom penthouse on the 19th floor. It changed hands for $2.3 million ($967 psf), according to a caveat lodged on July 18. The unit was last sold for $1.65 million ($694 psf) in September 2009. Twelve years ago, in August 2006, that same penthouse was sold for $1.04 million ($437 psf).
“Some buyers may find resale properties cheaper than new properties being sold by developers, on a psf price basis,” says ZACD’s Mak. “The older properties tend to have bigger units than the newer projects. This could be an attractive trade-up for some buyers, for example, HDB upgraders who are attracted to the bigger sizes. Some of these HDB upgraders are used to living in five-room flats and prefer these older resale units.”
Mak sees the increase in resale transactions in the Thomson area as “healthy and in line with recovery in the overall residential market”.

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