Luxury condo prices surpass previous peaks

/ EdgeProp Singapore |
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The 100-unit Nassim Park Residences was developed jointly by UOL Group, Kheng Leong Co. and Orix Capital (Photos by Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore).
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SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - A penthouse at Nassim Park Residences has recently been put up for sale. The 6,879 sq ft, five-bedroom penthouse has a price tag of $35 million ($5,088 psf) and is situated in the premium block of the development, with sweeping views of Nassim Road, Orange Grove Road, and Shangri-La Hotel, Ardmore Park and Orchard Road. The living area comes with a 7.4m double-volume ceiling.
Nassim Park Residences has four 5-storey blocks comprising 100 units. The luxury condo was developed jointly by UOL Group, Kheng Leong Co and Orix Capital, and completed in 2011. The project was designed by Chan Soo Khian of SCDA Architects, together with Japanese monk and landscape architect Shunmyo Masuno and renowned French interior designer Christian Liaigre.
Panoramic view from the penthouse - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
Panoramic view from the penthouse that is currently on the market at $35 million ($5,088 psf) [Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore]
The luxury condo contains predominantly four-bedroom units, with sizes starting from 3,175 sq ft, with ground-floor units of up to 6,315 sq ft as these come with private pool, patio and garden.
There are only 11 penthouses in the development, and these are five-bedroom duplexes, with sizes from 6,867 sq ft to 8,073 sq ft. “Most of the penthouses are owner-occupied, with less than a handful put on the market for lease,” says Nancy Tey, senior associate vice president at List Sotheby’s International Realty, who is the exclusive marketing agent for the penthouse. “Many of these owners are foreigners, and since they can’t buy landed property, a sizeable luxury penthouse is the next best thing.”
Consequently, they are reluctant to sell their units unless they can find a replacement unit of a similar size or larger, she adds. Hence, the unit she is marketing is one of rare few currently available for sale.
Nassim Park Residences - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
Nassim Park Residences has mainly four-bedroom units from 3,175 sq ft, with ground floor units of up to 6,315 sq ft; while penthouses are from 6,867 to 8,073 sq ft (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
The biggest penthouse was sold for $26 million ($3,221 psf) in 2008. The highest psf price achieved was in July 2010, when a 3,466 sq ft, four-bedroom apartment changed hands for $14.28 million ($4,120 psf).
While there are local buyers who want to invest in such trophy assets, interest has mainly come from a more international crowd, including foreign nationals from the US, China, Hong Kong and India.
Those who want a luxury condominium with spacious units in the Nassim area are limited to Nassim Park Residences, the 55-unit The Nassim at Nassim Hill and the upcoming Les Maisons Nassim by Shun Tak Holdings, notes Tey. However, unlike Nassim Park Residences, which turned 10 this year, and The Nassim, which was completed in 2015, Les Maisons Nassim is only scheduled for completion in 1H2023.
A 6,049 sq ft, four-bedder at Les Maisons Nassim was sold for $35 million ($5,786 psf) in August, while a four-bedroom unit of 6,577 sq ft on the third level fetched $39 million ($5,930 psf) in May (Picture: Les Maisons Nassim website)

Demand outstrips supply for sizeable apartments in prime districts

Les Maisons Nassim has just 14 units in three 5-storey blocks. Four-bedroom apartments at Les Maisons Nassim start from 6,092 sq ft, while five-bedroom apartments are from 8,633 sq ft. There are just two penthouses with five bedrooms, entertainment room, private pool and dedicated lift. The penthouses are over 12,000 sq ft. Based on caveats lodged, a 6,049 sq ft, four-bedder at Les Maisons Nassim was sold for $35 million ($5,786 psf) in August, while a four-bedroom unit of 6,577 sq ft on the third level fetched $39 million ($5,930 psf) in May. The buyers are both believed to be Chinese nationals.
At Park Nova, located at the corner of Tomlinson Road and Orchard Boulevard, all three penthouses were sold when the project was launched in May, at prices from $17.17 million ($5,320 psf) to $34.44 million ($5,838 psf). Units were sized from 3,229 to 5,899 sq ft.
“Demand for such sizeable apartments above 3,000 sq ft far outstrips supply,” says Jacqueline Wong, Savills executive director, residential services/private office Singapore. “These buyers want usable space. That’s why the likes of Ardmore Park, The Marq on Paterson Hill and Le Nouvel Ardmore have stood the test of time.”
The latest transaction at The Marq was for a 6,308 sq ft, four-bedroom unit that fetched $25.5 million ($4,043 psf) in August (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
In fact, it was The Marq on Paterson Hill that first crossed the $6,000 psf threshold back in 2011. Based on caveats lodged, a 3,089 sq ft unit on the 22nd floor was sold for $19.2 million ($6,215 psf) in August 2021, followed by another similar-sized unit on the 20th floor that went for $20.54 million ($6,650 psf). The buyers were also said to be Chinese nationals. “Because of the minimum sizes of the units, which start from 3,000 sq ft, The Marq still holds a premium,” notes Savills’ Wong.
The latest transaction at The Marq, which was completed in 2011, was for a 6,308 sq ft, four-bedroom unit that comes with a home entertainment room, private lap pool and double-volume ceiling. It fetched $25.5 million ($4,043 psf) in August.

New record prices set

At the 330-unit Ardmore Park, where typical units are four-bedroom apartments of 2,885 sq ft, a new record has been set recently: a unit on the 25th floor was sold for $10.8 million ($3,744 psf) in August. This was followed closely by the sale of a 23rd floor unit in a neighbouring block that went for $10.75 million ($3,726 psf) in early October.
A new record has been set at Ardmore Park condo recently when a 2,885 sq ft four-bedroom unit on the 25th floor was sold for $10.8 million ($3,744 psf) in August (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
“I won’t be surprised if Ardmore Park crosses $4,000 psf one day,” says Savills’ Wong. “There are hardly any units available for sale, and the asking price for a low-floor unit is now $10.8 million, and $12 million for a mid-floor unit.” Developed by Wheelock Properties, Ardmore Park was completed in 2001 and is now 20 years old.
The luxury 43-unit Le Nouvel Ardmore saw new highs in terms of psf prices too. Two adjacent units on the ninth floor of the 33-storey tower were sold last month: a 5,360 sq ft, four-bedroom fetched $26.3 million ($4,906 psf), while the neighbouring 3,843 sq ft, four-bedder went for $18.46 million ($4,804 psf), according to the caveats lodged. The $4,906 psf price was a new high for Le Nouvel Ardmore, which was developed by Singapore-listed Wing Tai Holdings and completed in 2014.
Meanwhile, Four Seasons Park at Cuscaden Walk, located across the road from Four Seasons Hotel, achieved a new record psf price. It was for a 2,874 sq ft, four-bedroom unit on the 10th floor that was sold for $9.5 million ($3,306 psf). The deal was brokered by Andy Goh, associate senior district director at SRI. “There are only 202 units in the development, and there are a variety of unit types — from 2,260 sq ft to over 6,000 sq ft,” he says.
A 5,360 sq ft, four-bedroom at Le Nouvel Ardmore (white tower, centre) fetched $26.3 million or a new high of $4,906 psf last month (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
“The grounds are close to 300,000 sq ft, freehold, and right on prime Orchard Road belt,” adds Goh. “It’s a new record, and the first time that a unit at Four Seasons Park has been sold above $3,000 psf.” The buyer is believed to be a Singapore permanent resident (PR) buying for his own use.
Despite the prevailing travel restrictions, the first nine months of 2021 saw 83 luxury apartment purchases of above $10 million made by foreigners, according to Han Huan Mei, director of research at List Sotheby’s International Realty. This is 62.7% higher than the 51 units transacted for the whole of 2020, although 11.7% lower than the 94 units transacted in 2019. Average psf price for such units is $3,760 psf for the first nine months of 2021, compared to $3,312 psf in 2020 and $3,631 psf in 2019.
“The rise in foreign buyers could be attributed to those who might have already been in Singapore throughout the pandemic outbreak,” says Han. “New foreign UHNW [ultra-high net worth] investors could have also come from newly formed family offices.” According to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), there were a total of 400 single family offices in Singapore as at end-2020, with banks testifying that the rate of growth last year was at least three times the rate in 2019.
Four Seasons Park achieved a new record psf price: It was for a 2,874 sq ft, four-bedroom unit on the 10th floor that was sold for $9.5 million ($3,306 psf) [Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore]

Top five foreign buyers

The top five foreign investors (including PRs) of Singapore luxury property in 1H2021 were, by nationality, Chinese, Indonesians, Americans, Canadians and Malaysians respectively.
Source: URA Realis, List Sotheby's International Realty
“Covid-19 has brought an awareness to UHNWs of the fragility of life and the importance of family, so [they have adopted] a more balanced approach to creating wealth,” notes List Sotheby’s Han. “For the UHNWs who can choose where they want to live, resilience and quality of the healthcare system are now part of the equation too.”
According to Huttons Prestige in its report on Oct 11, about 110 luxury non-landed homes worth close to $1 billion were transacted in 3Q2021 alone. The transactions included the sale of the last seven units at South Beach Residences by foreign buyers, as well as five units at Wallich Residence that were sold in a bulk purchase. Martin Modern, which recently obtained its temporary occupation permit (TOP), also sold its last nine units to a fund. Hence, both South Beach Residences and Martin Modern are fully sold as of end-September, according to the Huttons Prestige report.
Even if the overall sales volume for 2021 is lower than the peak in 2010 and 2011, there is a strong possibility that the investment value of Good Class Bungalows and luxury apartments transacted will surpass those years “as prices have risen by some 20% over the decade”, notes List Sotheby’s Han.
Indeed, Savills’ Wong says: “The amount that people are prepared to pay in terms of capital values for luxury homes has already surpassed the previous peaks.”
luxury apartment market sales activity - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
Source: URA Realis, List Sotheby's International Realty (data updated as of Oct 12, 2021)

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