CDL’s Irwell Hill Residences previews at prices from $2,500 psf

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/ EdgeProp Singapore
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March 26, 2021 6:00 AM SGT
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SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - Singapore-listed property giant City Developments Ltd (CDL) will preview Irwell Hill Residences on March 27, with its launch slated for April 10. It comes hot on the heels of Midtown Modern’s launch the weekend before — March 19 to 21— where 61% of the 558 units were snapped up at an average of $2,800 psf. (See: CDL sells over 50% of units at Irwell Hill Residences on launch weekend​)
The larger of two penthouses at Midtown Modern was sold for $14.83 million ($4,213 psf). The buyer is said to be a Singapore citizen who wanted the penthouse for his own use. The deal was brokered by SRI.
Property consultants and agents that The Edge Singapore spoke to reckon that sales at Irwell Hill Residences are likely to be equally strong. “It’s located in District 9, and with absolute prices starting from $998,000 for a studio unit, we can expect another positive take-up rate two weeks down the road,” says Ismail Gafoor, CEO of PropNex, one of the five joint marketing agencies for the development together with ERA Realty Network, Huttons Asia, OrangeTee & Tie and SRI.
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Showflat of a one-bedroom unit at Irwell Hill Residences (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

80% of units are one- and two-bedders

About 25% of the units at Irwell Hill Residences, located at Irwell Bank Road (off River Valley Road), are studios, one-bedroom and one-bedroom-plus-study units, sized from about 400 to 660 sq ft. Prices of studio apartments start from $998,000 ($2,508 psf), and one-bedroom units are from $1.1 million. Meanwhile, two-bedroom and two-bedroom premium types make up another 55%. With sizes from 600 to 800 sq ft, prices start from $1.4 million.
“One- and two-bedroom apartments make up 80% of the units,” says Ken Low, SRI managing partner. “Priced from $1 million upwards, buyers have a wide selection to choose from.”
Three- and four-bedroom units of 850 to about 1,500 sq ft account for 99 units (18.3%) at Irwell Hill Residences. They are priced from $2.1 million. The largest of the four-bedroom premium units with private lift starts from $4 million ($2,582 psf).
“With prices at Irwell Hill starting from around $2,500 psf, the project’s average could be above $2,800 psf,” estimates Han Huan Mei, director of research at List Sotheby’s International Realty.
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There are only three penthouses in the twin 36-storey tower development: The smallest four-bedroom penthouse of 2,185 sq ft is priced from $9 million ($4,119 psf), while the biggest five-bedroom penthouse of 2,606 sq ft is north of $10 million ($3,839 psf).
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Irwell Hill Residences, with its twin 36-storey towers of pixel-patterned exterior of champagne gold, marks Dutch architectural firm MVRDV's maiden project in Singapore (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

‘Bold design’

CDL engaged Rotterdam-based architecture, urban-planning and landscape-design firm, MVRDV, as the design architect for Irwell Hill Residences, which marks the latter’s maiden project in Singapore. Founded in the Netherlands in 1993, MVRDV bears the initials of the three founders — Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs and Nathalie de Vries.
The global firm’s standout works include Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen (the first art storage facility in Rotterdam); The Markthal (an apartment building designed as an arch covering a food market in the historical site of Binnenrotte, in Rotterdam); and RED7, the firm’s first project in Moscow, with luxury apartments, a sports centre, flexible workspace, event space and sky deck.
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“MVRDV’s bold, progressive vision is reflected in the champagne gold pixel-patterned facade of Irwell Hill Residences’ two towers,” says Chia Ngiang Hong, CDL group general manager. “MVRDV envisioned Irwell Hill Residences as a nature-inspired residence, designed for sustainability and wellness, with its architecture carefully configured to optimise the living environment, seamlessly integrating the four heritage raintrees into the landscape.”
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Showflat of a four-bedroom premium unit, where the biggest unit is priced from $4 million or $2,582 psf (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

Irwell Hill Residences: Potential for capital appreciation

CDL had won the 137,634 sq ft, 99-year leasehold site at Irwell Bank Road in a government land tender in January 2020 with a bid of $538.9 million ($1,515 psf per plot ratio). “The developer secured the site at a good price, and was therefore able to position the project and price it attractively,” adds SRI’s Low. “Buyers will benefit as the Great World MRT Station is just a five-minute walk from Irwell Hill Residences; Shenton Way is just three stops away, while Marina Bay and Orchard Road are four stations away.”
The design and site attributes of Irwell Hill Residences are only comparable to one other 99-year leasehold development in District 9, namely the 450-unit Martin Modern, says SRI’s Low. Launched in July 2017, more than 100 units at Martin Modern were sold at an average price of $2,191 psf. The project will be completed soon, and is already 93.6% sold.
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Since last August, the project has been priced higher at an average of $2,696 psf. The highest psf price achieved was for a 1,098 sq ft, three-bedroom unit on the highest level of the twin 30-storey blocks that fetched $5.85 million ($3,254 psf), based on a caveat lodged in August 2019.
“Based on Martin Modern’s selling prices, which gradually increased along the way, we expect buyers at Irwell Hill Residences to see the same kind of capital appreciation over time,” says SRI’s Low.
Given that the lowest-floor units at Irwell Hill have been raised 10m above ground and the towers are 36 storeys in height, Dominic Lee, head of luxury team at PropNex, says the high-floor units will be sought-after for the views, even though they are likely to command a premium and be priced upwards of $3,000 psf.
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Showflat of a two-bedroom unit at Irwell Hill Residences - where two-bedders make up 55% of the units in the development (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

‘Quantum play’, yield focus

A short distance away from Irwell Hill Residences, units at the freehold, 376-unit The Avenir on River Valley Close are priced around $3,200 psf on average, notes List Sotheby’s Han. Caveat data shows that some 70 units have been sold so far.
Another smaller freehold project along River Valley Road, the 140-unit RV Altitude, was launched in early 2019 at $2,800 psf. Prices of the remaining units have recently been tweaked to dispose of them, observes Han. Based on caveats lodged from January to mid-March of 2021, 70 units were transacted at between $1.3 million and $1.7 million, averaging around $2,650 psf.
Meanwhile, The Iveria, a freehold, boutique development with just 51 units, was also launched in early 2019. A redevelopment of the former Rivieria Point on Kim Yam Road, the units at The Iveria are predominantly three-bedders of 947 sq ft. These are priced from $2.3 million. Since its launch, 18 units have been sold at an average of $2,620 psf.
“Based on buyers’ behaviour in recent years, quantum play seems to be an effective strategy to selling units,” notes Han. “Generally, one- and two-bedroom units have been selling well because of their relatively low quantum, which translates to lower cash outlay and lower risk.”
Han adds: “In prime locations, units that are priced between $1.3 milion and $1.8 million are very palatable to both end-users — singles, couples with no kids — and investors looking for rental income.”
At Midtown Modern, for instance, about 90% of the 340 units sold over the weekend were one- and two-bedroom units. “This same phenomenon could be repeated at Irwell Hill Residences, subject to the price points of the units,” says Han.
PropNex’s Lee agrees. “Those buying the one- and two-bedroom units tend to be price-sensitive and yield-focused,” he notes.
At Midtown Modern last weekend, 85% of the buyers were said to be Singapore citizens. Lee reckons Irwell Hill Residences will see a similar profile of buyers. He expects rental yield for the studios, one- and two-bedroom units to be “very good”, in the range of about 3% to 4%. “The Great World MRT Station is just 300m-400m from Irwell Hill, and being within easy access of Orchard Road and the CBD too, the units should be highly rentable,” he says.
CDL’s Chia agrees as much. The neighbourhood at River Vallery Road, Irwell Bank Road and Kim Seng Road is “a vibrant one”. “The area continues to be rejuvenated with new developments such as the upcoming Great World MRT Station and refreshed Great World retail mall,” he says.
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At Leonie Hill Road is CDL’s luxury freehold developments, the 124-unit New Futura, which is fully sold (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

Strong presence

For the past two decades, CDL has played a key role in shaping the area, adds Chia. “We have a strong presence with hotels, commercial and residential properties.” Developments by CDL in the prime neighbourhood of Tanglin include St Regis Hotel and Residences, while in the vicinity of Robertson Quay are the likes of M Social Singapore hotel and UP@Robertson Quay condominium. (See: Discover insightful data of any Singapore condominium with our condo directory)
At Grange Road, CDL developed the 174-unit luxury freehold development, Gramercy Park, which is fully sold. The biggest penthouse of 7,287 sq ft was sold for $24.5 million ($3,362 psf), according to a caveat lodged in February 2018. The first penthouse that was sold fetched $21.86 million ($3,000 psf) when the project was first launched for sale in 2017. Average price achieved at Gramercy Park is $2,817 psf, based on caveats lodged to date.
Two streets away at Leonie Hill Road is another of CDL’s luxury freehold developments, the 124-unit New Futura, which was very sought after and also fully sold. Average price is $3,470 psf, based on caveats lodged. Both Gramercy Park and New Futura were equally sought-after by both locals and foreigners for their own use as well as investment, according to Chia. “We are privileged to be able to continue to shape the skyline in the area with Irwell Hill Residences’ bold and progressive architecture.”

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