Grange Heights and Elizabeth Towers relaunch en bloc sale bids

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January 24, 2019 1:16 PM SGT
Last week, the collective sale committees (CSCs) of two freehold condominiums in prime District 9 made their second attempt to sell their developments in a collective sale. The first to announce this was Elizabeth Towers along Mount Elizabeth which relaunched its bid on Jan 21, followed by Grange Heights on Saint Thomas Walk on Jan 23. Both developments were launched for sale last year, but closed without any successful bids.
This year, the CSCs of both developments are trying again, and both have maintained their reserve price. The 80-unit Elizabeth Towers has a reserve price of $610 million ($2,416 psf per plot ratio or ppr), while the 114-unit Grange Heights is on the market for $820 million ($1,948 psf ppr).
“The owners are well-aware of the shift in market sentiment since the new cooling measures kicked in last July. Therefore, we have agreed to keep the reserve price unchanged,” says Ho Siew Lan, chairman of the Grange Heights CSC. The committee is “cautiously optimistic” and confident in their “competitive and realistic pricing”, given the development’s site attributes, he says.
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Grange Heights is on the market for $820 million ($1,948 psf ppr) (Picture: Colliers International)
Out of the 64 possible new launches in the pipeline this year from en bloc sites and government land tenders, 26 (40%) are in prime Districts 9, 10, and 11. Most of the new projects in the pipeline today are expected to be completed by 2022, and “annual new supply completion would trend below the 10-year historical average supply of 12,900 units from 2023”, according to Colliers International, the marketing agency for Grange Heights.
Developers should take the opportunity to position themselves for “future market uplift when new supply completion shrinks substantially beyond 2023”, says Tang Wei Leng, managing director at Colliers International.
She adds: “Luxury home prices have made a comeback in recent years, and we expect home values in prime districts to remain relatively firm, supported by healthy buying interest from foreigners.”
Last year, foreign buyers accounted for 15% of overall private property transactions in the city centre, or Core Central Region (CCR). This is more than the 12.8% recorded in 2017.
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Elizabeth Towers relaunched its second collective sale bid on Jan 21 at $610 million ($2,416 psf per plot ratio or ppr) (Picture: Knight Frank)
Even after the latest round of property cooling measures were implemented in July last year, the number of foreign buyers picking up properties in the CCR rose, from 14.6% in the first seven months last year, to 15.9% in August to December, according to Tang.
Industry observers note that prices of high-end properties in the CCR have been resilient and this bodes well for future developments, such as the redevelopment of Grange Heights. Recently launched developments around Grange Heights, such as New Futura and the Martin Modern, have so far recorded steady sales and improved pricing.
The ultra-luxury condo New Futura by City Developments Limited, comprising 124 units and located beside Grange Heights, was launched in January last year. According to caveats lodged, it sold 75 units in its first six months, and an additional 27 units after the new cooling measures. Likewise, the 450-unit Martin Modern by Guocoland, which was launched in July 2017, sold 210 units in 2H2017, 46 units in 1H2018, and 53 units in 2H2018.
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​The latest transaction at Ultra-luxury condo New Futura was the sale of a 1,830 sq ft unit for $6.75 million ($3,689 psf). (Picture: Samuel Isaac Chua)
The most recently launched luxury development is 8 Saint Thomas on Saint Thomas Walk. It was launched for sale in August last year. The development has seen sales “improving into December 2018 at a steady price point of (about) $3,200 psf”, says Tang.
The most recent sale at 8 Saint Thomas was a 549 sq ft unit that fetched $1.81 million ($3,297 psf) on Jan 4. The average psf price at the condo was $3,186 psf in December 2018 across 10 transactions. Meanwhile, the latest transaction at New Futura was the sale of a 1,830 sq ft unit for $6.75 million ($3,689 psf).
The redevelopment of Elizabeth Towers is also likely to see strong demand, especially from owner-occupiers, says Ian Loh, head of investment and capital markets at Knight Frank Singapore, the marketing agency for Elizabeth Towers. The tenders for Elizabeth Towers and Grange Heights close on Feb 26 and March 11 respectively.