A matter of price in high-end condo segment

By Tay Hock Meng / The Edge Property | May 28, 2015 9:00 AM SGT
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At Botanic Gardens View on Taman Serasi, just off Cluny Road, a 1,679 sq ft first level unit in one of the blocks was recently sold for $5 million ($2,978 psf), according to a caveat lodged with URA Realis on April 10. It raised eyebrows as it was an all-time-high psf price for the 145-unit freehold apartment development that was completed in 1970 and sits just across the street from the Singapore Botanic Gardens.
Prior to this transaction in April, a 1,755 sq ft apartment on the eighth floor of the same block at Botanic Gardens View had changed hands for $3.1 million ($1,767 psf) in March. The reason for the exceptionally high price of $2,978 psf for the unit on the first level is because it is a commercial unit, and just one of two such units in the entire development, according to Grace Ng, deputy managing director of Colliers International. The commercial unit was formerly tenanted by a hair salon, Salon Le Jardin. It is now occupied by a veterinary clinic.
A 2,583 sq ft unit on the fifth floor of one of the 18-storey blocks at Grange Residences was sold for $5.5 million ($2,129 psf), according to a caveat lodged on April 14
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grange residences
Meanwhile, a condominium development nearby saw a transaction in the $5 million range. Grange Residences is located just a short drive from the Singapore Botanic Gardens, down Napier Road. The 164-unit freehold project is situated at the junction of Tanglin Road and Grange Road, and just across the road from Tanglin Mall. The high-end condo was completed in 2004 and fully sold after completion.
The project by Wheelock contains only four-bedroom apartments, with most of the unit sizes ranging from 2,583 sq ft to 2,852 sq ft. The project contains two 18-storey blocks and a low-rise eight storey block. When the project was initially launched in early 2004, prices ranged from just above $1,000 psf to over $1,200 psf. Those who bought their units 11 years ago have reaped substantial capital gains.
For example, a 2,583 sq ft unit on the fifth floor of one of 18-storey blocks was sold for $5.5 million ($2,129 psf), according to a caveat lodged on April 14. The seller had purchased the unit when the project was first launched in 2004 for just over $3 million ($1,170 psf). Hence, even in today’s subdued market, the seller was able to realize a capital appreciation of 82%.
However, the highest absolute price paid for a condominium unit in the week of April 10 to 17 was for a 2,508 sq ft four-bedroom unit at Goodwood Residence. The unit fetched $6.15 million ($2,452 psf). The previous owner paid $6.25 million ($2,492 psf) for the unit back in May 2010, when it was first launched for sale.
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Meanwhile, from January to March 2015, GuocoLand sold units at prices ranging from $2,321 psf to $2,657 psf. “The developer hasn’t reduced prices,” notes Joseph Tan, executive director of residential services at CBRE. “The prices achieved depend on the availability of the units, their orientation and the view.”
The freehold 210-unit condominium designed by acclaimed Singapore-based architects WOHA, and developed by GuocoLand Singapore, was completed in 2013. As at end February, 37 units remained unsold.
A 1,518 sq ft unit on the fourth level of one of the blocks at the newly completed Hallmark Residences was sold for $2.9 million ($1,911 psf)
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Another high-end condo nearby that was completed earlier this year was MCL Land’s Hallmark Residences on Ewe Boon Road, off Bukit Timah Road. As at end March, only six units in the 75-unit freehold condo remained unsold. Two units were sold that month, with a 1,518 sq ft unit on the fourth level of one of the blocks sold for $2.9 million ($1,911 psf) and another fetching $1,859 psf, according to URA data.
A year ago, Hallmark Residences had offered a discount of more than 10% for selected units. Prices which previously started from above $2,200 psf, were slashed to $1,800 to $1,900 psf. This means that two-bedroom units of 969 sq ft to 990 sq ft that were once priced at over $2 million were reduced to $1.8 million. Three-bedroom units that were previously priced from $3.1 million were offered at $2.7 million, while four-bedroom units which had been priced from $4 million were being sold for $3.4 million. MCL Land is believed to be left with mainly large four-bedroom units in the development.
For most buyers revisiting the high-end condo segment, “it’s a question of price point,” notes CBRE’s Tan. “Most of those on the lookout today are buying for their own use. And they will buy if they can get a decent price.”
done deals may 4
done deals may 4
This article appeared in the City & Country of Issue 675 (May 4) of The Edge Singapore.

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