Penthouse with MacRitchie Reservoir Park view on the market for $20.5 mil

/ EdgeProp Singapore |
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SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - A 7,050 sq ft, triplex penthouse at Wing On Life Garden is on the market for $20.5 million ($2,908 psf). The owners purchased the property in late 2018, and spent $2.5 million in renovating the entire five-bedroom penthouse that spans the 28th to 30th floors at the apex of the tower.
When they were looking to buy a property four years ago, the owners wanted a penthouse in the prestigious Bukit Timah area. They were familiar with the neighbourhood, having moved to Singapore from London about a decade ago. They like the convenience of the location, given the amenities in the area and the proximity to top schools in the Bukit Timah area.
Initially enticed by the shiny new glass condominium towers, they soon found that "the glassy apartments retained a lot of heat and the units were smaller compared to older buildings”. Hence, in searching for a home to buy, “we were very conscious about choosing something that didn’t have too much glass”, says the owner, who requested anonymity. They decided to focus on older apartments and condominiums that had larger units.
Wing On Life Garden has just 81 units in a 30-storey apartment tower that was completed in 1982 (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
What drew them to Wing On Life Garden was the exclusivity of the development, with just 81 apartments in the entire 30-storey tower. The typical apartments are four-bedroom units of 3,240 to 3,298 sq ft. There are just three penthouses in the development, and these are five-bedroom triplexes with sizes from 7,050 to 7,610 sq ft.
Located along Bukit Timah Road in prime District 10, Wing On Life Garden sits on a 125,002 sq ft, 999-year leasehold site. Developed by Wing On Investment Co, the apartment block was completed in 1982. As the tower’s footprint is in the shape of a three-bladed fan, with just three apartments per floor, every unit is assured of privacy and unblocked views. The apartment block comes with full condominium facilities, including a sizeable swimming pool, fully-equipped gym, tennis court and landscaped gardens.
Apart from the location and exclusivity, it was the views that clinched the sale. The penthouse has a view of MacRitchie Reservoir Park from the living room. The roof terrace on the 29th level has a view towards Orchard Road from the front, and of the city area towards Marina Bay Sands from the side.
View of MacRitchie Reservoir Park - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
View of MacRitchie Reservoir Park from the living room balcony of the penthouse (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
This apartment is north-south facing, with balconies at both the living and dining areas. This ensures that the unit has plenty of natural light and cross-ventilation. “At that time, there were two penthouses for sale, but we chose this one because it fitted all of our requirements,” she says.

The makeover

One of the requirements was to have a big kitchen, as the family enjoys cooking together. Part of the renovation involved extending the wet kitchen, and installing a new sizeable pantry, new kitchen appliances and cabinetry. “All the major cooking is done in the wet kitchen,” she says.
Attention was also paid to the dry kitchen, where the kitchen cabinetry has been customised to fit the plate warmer, one of the refrigerators and wine chiller. “Most of the designer kitchens we saw were designed for Western cooking,” says the owner. “We had ours customised to suit Asian cooking.”
The dining area and the dry kitchen (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
Besides a generous-sized kitchen and pantry, it was important to have good kitchen appliances too. Hence, the refrigerators are from Liebherr, a German-Swiss multinational equipment brand, and the stovetop and oven are from Miele, with a Billi hot-and-cold water filtration system. The countertop is quartz.
Other improvements made to the home included converting the former helper’s room into a storage space. All the en suite bathrooms were also renovated and a new powder room installed. Every bathroom has a different design and colour theme, and the bathroom fittings and accessories are from Gessi.
A new prayer room and linen cupboard were also created, while a new glass lift has been installed to provide access to all three floors.
The dry and wet kitchen (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

Creating new spaces

On the second level is a study for the husband and wife, a home cinema that can be closed off to cut off the noise, and a roof terrace. To create an indoor-outdoor living space, a covered patio was added. New invisible blinds to screen off the sun and the rain was installed. “This is where we spent most of our time during the lockdown period,” says the owner. The roof terrace has a yoga deck, an area for the children’s target practice, as well as views of Marina Bay Sands, Orchard Road and the city skyline.
The third floor, which was previously just a vacant space when the owners bought it, is now a spacious master suite with a nice generous-sized bedroom, walk-in wardrobe with built-in dehumidifier and master bathroom.
A lot of attention had been paid to materials and fittings used. For instance, the tiles and flooring were from Rice, while the bathroom accessories were from GF+A Global. The dining and living rooms have stucco walls. The owner, who incidentally owns an online art gallery, has ensured that there is ample storage space for her art collection.
The patio at the roof terrace on the 29th floor (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
Having moved into the penthouse in September 2019, “we definitely enjoyed the home during the lockdown in 2020”, relates the owner. “We count our blessings for that.”
Other home buyers who had purchased a new home during the pandemic period in 2020- 2021 and are renovating their homes, have had to deal with higher construction costs, shortage of skilled labour and delays in completion. According to Han Huan Mei, director of research at List Sotheby’s International Realty, construction costs have risen 20%-30% since pre-pandemic, and by another 5%-10% over the past six months, mainly due to inflationary pressures and China’s pursuit of a Zero-Covid strategy.

Rise in sizeable deals

Anecdotal evidence is that there has been a surge in the number of transactions of both penthouses and sizeable apartments, which have set new highs in their respective condominium projects. For instance, a 2,885 sq ft, four-bedroom unit on the 26th floor of Ardmore Park fetched $12.23 million in May. It set a new record of $4,240 psf for the 330-unit, freehold Ardmore Park that was completed in 2001.
View towards Ardmore Park and the prime Orchard Road districts from the dining room balcony of the penthouse at Wing On Life Garden (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
Another four-bedroom unit of 4,069 sq ft at The Nassim fetched $20 million ($4,915 psf), which is also a new high for the 55-unit luxury condominium at Nassim Hill. Meanwhile, at the upcoming Les Maisons Nassim, with just 14 luxury units, a 6,092 sq ft, four-bedroom unit was purchased for $37 million ($6,092 psf). It is the highest since the biggest penthouse at Les Maisons Nassim was sold for $75 million ($6,210 psf) last October. Both deals at The Nassim and Les Maisons Nassim were done in May.
“Now that Singapore and most of the major economies have chosen to live with Covid as well as adopted a hybrid work arrangement, the need for bigger homes due to the pandemic is becoming less significant,” says Lewis Cha, executive director of List Sotheby’s International Realty. “That said, the need for the ultra-high-net-worth individuals [UHNWIs] to park their funds in [real estate], a more secure asset class, will continue to drive the demand for sizeable homes.”
Many of these UHNWIs who come to Singapore are exploring purchasing a home, “typically in the $20 million-$30 million range”, according to a lawyer, who declined to be named. “We are seeing an increase in both family office formation and real estate acquisitions,” he adds. This is despite some tightening in requirements for family offices with effect from April 18.
Based on caveats lodged with URA Realis, transaction activity by foreign buyers has increased slightly in April and May to date, compared to the first three months of 2022, notes List Sotheby’s Han (see table, “Sales volume of luxury apartments”). The top three foreign buyers by nationality are from China, the US and Indonesia respectively, which is consistent with figures in 1Q2022, she adds.

Price spike

The average price of luxury homes in the Core Central Region (CCR) has also risen 14% over the past five years — from $2,709 psf in 2018 to $3,095 psf in 2022 to-date, according to List Sotheby’s International Research. These are based on high-end homes in the CCR priced upwards of $5 million.
When it comes to sizeable penthouses in the Bukit Timah area, there are not many on the market currently, notes List Sotheby’s Han. For instance, a 6,600 sq ft, five-bedroom penthouse at Goodwood Residence is on the market for $28.6 million ($4,333 psf). It is marketed by PropNex. The 210-unit, freehold condominium by GuocoLand and designed by award-winning architectural firm WOHA, was completed in 2013.
Goodwood Residence - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
A 6,600 sq ft penthouse at Goodwood Residence was recently listed for sale at $28.6 million ($4,333 psf) [Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore]
Another penthouse that is on the market is a 1,690 sq ft, four-bedroom unit at Cluny Park Residence, a 52-unit, freehold boutique development by Tuan Sing Holdings, and de- signed by acclaimed architectural firm SCDA.
The four-storey, low-rise condominium block is located near Singapore Botanic Gardens and was completed in 2016. It is on the market for $6 million ($3,550 psf), with Veniz Kwong, general manager of List Sotheby’s International Realty, as the marketing agent.
Next door to Wing On Life Garden is Honolulu Tower — a freehold, 16-storey apartment block with just 30 units — which was completed in 1985. All the four-bedroom apartments at Honolulu Tower are 5,823 sq ft, with 2 five-bedroom penthouses of 10,312 sq ft. A 5,823 sq ft, four-bedroom unit was put on the market by Knight Frank two months ago. It has a price tag of $18 million ($3,092 psf), and is available for sale by private treaty.
A 5,823 sq ft, four-bedroom unit was put on the market for $18 million ($3,092 psf) for sale by private treaty two months ago (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
The latest transaction at Honolulu Tower was for a 5,823 sq ft, four-bedroom unit on the seventh floor that changed hands for $10.8 million ($1,855 psf) in June last year, according to a caveat lodged.
For the owner of the penthouse at Wing On Life Garden, having to part with the property after pouring her “heart and soul” into renovating it, has not been easy. The only reason they are selling their Singapore home is that the family will be relocating to Sydney by the end of the year. List Sotheby’s Kwong has been appointed the exclusive marketing agent for the pent- house at Wing On Life Garden that is for sale by private treaty.
“New supply of sizeable penthouses is very limited,” says List Sotheby’s Cha. “Well-renovated penthouses with good layout and a coveted address can command a premium of 30%- 40%,” he adds.

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