Discount at One Balmoral spurs interest in older condos in the vicinity

By Tan Chee Yuen / The Edge Property | December 10, 2016 8:00 AM SGT
In just a fortnight since developer Hong Leong Holdings offered a 13% discount for units at One Balmoral from Nov 12, nine have been sold. The number of units sold in the two-week period is equivalent to when the project was launched off-plan in 2013. This brings the total sales tally to 18 so far, according to caveats lodged with URA Realis.
Recent sale of units at One Balmoral ranged from $1.49 million ($2,522 psf) for a 592 sq ft, one-bedroom unit on the 12th floor to $3.19 million ($2,261 psf) for a 1,410 sq ft, three-bedroom unit. The most popular units were the two-bedders of 969 sq ft that were sold at $2.03 million ($2,094 psf) to $2.11 million ($2,175 psf).
One Balmoral is a freehold condominium with a total of 91 units, and is a redevelopment of a condo bearing the same name. Hong Leong had paid $125 million for the 43-unit apartment block in March 2007, which translated to a record price of $1,188 psf per plot ratio for the Balmoral area.
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One Balmoral is a freehold condominium with a total of 91 units
The recent strong sales at One Balmoral have stirred interest in older condos in the Balmoral Park neighbourhood, according to property agents. For instance, at Pinewood Gardens, a 2,056 sq ft, four-bedroom unit on the third floor was sold for $2.98 million ($1,449 psf), according to a caveat lodged on Nov 24.
“Pinewood Gardens appeals to homebuyers as it is a low-rise development on a sprawling freehold site,” says Alan Yap, an associate director at ERA Realty Network. Besides the bigger units at these older condos, another draw is the collective sale potential, he adds.
Pinewood Gardens is a freehold 149-unit condo completed in 1990. It was developed by listed property giant City Developments, whose parent company is Hong Leong. The 26-year-old condo contains a mix of two- to four-bedroom units ranging from 1,259 to 2,120 sq ft.
As most of the buyers of older condos such as Pinewood Gardens are owner-occupiers, there have not been many transactions in the project. Prior to the recent transaction in November, there was a resale in July, when a 1,249 sq ft unit fetched $1.95 million ($1,562 psf).
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Located across the road from Pinewood Gardens is The Balmoral, a freehold residential project by Comtech Development completed in 1986. The 30-year-old project contains 81 units, which are a mix of four-bedroom apartments of 2,745 to 3,208 sq ft, maisonettes of 2,659 to 2,734 sq ft, and penthouses of over 5,700 sq ft. Typical prime condo developments built in the 1980s have large units and are favoured by owner-occupiers.
The Balmoral also has en bloc potential, according to agents. The most recent transaction at the project was for a 3,132 sq ft unit on the first level that fetched $3.33 million ($1,063 psf), according to a caveat lodged on Nov 25. Prior to that, the last transaction was for a 2,745 sq ft unit on the third level that changed hands for $3.75 million ($1,366 psf), based on a caveat lodged in June.
Back to back with Pinewood Gardens is Three Three Robin fronting Robin Road. Completed in 2005, the freehold project by luxury developer SC Global Developments contains just 36 units.
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This year, Three Three Robin has seen five resales — the highest number since 2011. Most of the units that changed hands this year were three-bedroom ones of 1,582 to 1,636 sq ft, and they were sold at between $2.55 million ($1,559 psf) and $2.8 million ($1,770 psf), according to caveats lodged from March to August.
The most recent transaction at Three Three Robin, however, was for a 1,367 sq ft, two-bedroom unit on the 10th floor. The unit was sold for $2.35 million ($1,719 psf), according to a caveat lodged on Nov 29. It changed hands five years ago for $2.65 million ($1,939 psf), according to a caveat lodged in June 2011. Prior to that, the unit fetched $2.15 million ($1,573 psf) in March 2007. When it was first sold by the developer in 2005, it went for $1.61 million ($1,178 psf).
This article appeared in The Edge Property Pullout, Issue 758 (Dec 12, 2016) of The Edge Singapore.