DUO Residences offers last 10 choice units amid property buzz

By Bong Xin Ying
/ EdgeProp |
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Integrated development DUO has been abuzz in recent months with the opening of the restaurants and cafés at DUO Galleria, the 56,000 sq ft retail space. The eateries include So France, which combines a French bistro, wine bar and gourmet supermarket; Peruvian restaurant Tono Cevicheria; La Cala Spanish restaurant; A Poke Theory health food restaurant; and Joe & Dough café.
The retail gallery was the last component to open at DUO on Beach Road, which is linked directly to the Bugis MRT interchange station for the Downtown and East-West Lines.
DUO is designed by German architect Ole Scheeren and developed by M+S (Credit: Samuel Isaac Chua/The Edge Singapore)
At the 660-unit DUO Residences, more than half the residents have already moved in. The office space at DUO Tower is almost fully taken up; and the 340-room Andaz Hotel opened last December.
Designed by celebrated architect Ole Scheeren, the $4 billion DUO is developed by M+S, a joint venture between Malaysia’s Khazanah Nasional and Singapore’s Temasek Holdings.
DUO Residences previewed just a few months after the total debt servicing ratio loan framework was implemented. Despite that, 468 units, or 71%, were taken up within the first three days of launch. The average transacted price was $1,987 psf, based on caveats lodged with URA Realis in November and December 2013.

Wave of positive sentiment

Riding on the wave of positive sentiment towards the second half of last year, transactions at DUO Residences have also picked up. Today, only 10 units are available for sale. They are predominantly premium units, ranging from the larger three-bedroom apartments of 1,528 to 1,772 sq ft and four-bedroom units of 1,841 to 1,927 sq ft to duplex penthouses from 2,497 sq ft. The prices of the remaining units start from about $2,100 psf.
All the smaller units in DUO Residences — studios and one- to three-bedroom units of 420 to 1,184 sq ft — have already been sold. The average price of units sold in the first five months was $2,249 psf, which reflects a price appreciation of 13.2% over the last five years. “Buyers of the remaining units can expect future capital appreciation as the residential property market continues to pick up,” says Dominic Lee, PropNex Realty head of Luxury Team, who is marketing the remaining 10 units.
More than half the residents have already moved into the 660-unit DUO Residences
Singaporeans make up 70% of the buyers, according to Kemmy Tan, CEO of M+S. The remaining 30% of buyers are foreigners, predominantly from China, Hong Kong, Indonesia and Malaysia, she adds.
A key attraction of the project is that it is a rare residential offering in the Bras Basah-Beach Road-Ophir Road neighbourhood. Before DUO Residences, the last residential project to be launched on Beach Road was the 360-unit Concourse Skyline, adjacent to The Concourse commercial building. The 99-year leasehold residential tower previewed in September 2008.

Rising market

Developers have been replenishing their landbank at higher prices. Last October, the 99-year leasehold government land sales (GLS) site located opposite DUO was sold to a joint venture between GuocoLand and Guoco Group for $1.622 billion, or a land rate of $1,706 psf per plot ratio (ppr).The joint venture partners are expected to develop a mixed-use project on the site.
Prices achieved in collective sales this year hit $2,311 psf ppr with the sale of the freehold Cairnhill Mansions to Low Keng Huat in February.
In addition, GLS prices hit $2,377 psf ppr when the 99-year leasehold GLS site on Cuscaden Road was sold at end-April to a consortium led by SC Global Developments.
On May 16, the Far East Organization-led consortium was awarded the commercial and residential site on Holland Road after submitting the highest bid of $1.213 billion, or $1,888 psf ppr.

‘Attractively priced’

Even the recent launch of Amber 45 over the weekend of May 12 and 13 saw 80 of 100 units released sold at an average price of $2,200 psf.
As a result, PropNex’s Lee deems the remaining 10 units at DUO Residences to be “very attractively priced”.
View of the swimming pools at DUO Residences
Tan of M+S says, “We have elevated the quality of premium residences within an integrated development in the Bugis area.”
This article appeared in the EdgeProp Pullout, Issue 831 (May 21, 2018)

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