Renewed interest in older, freehold condos on Scotts Road

By Michael Lim / The Edge Property | April 21, 2016 10:00 AM SGT
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A unit on the 18th floor of Scotts 28 was sold for $3.13 million ($1,888 psf), according to a caveat lodged with URA Realis on April 1. The seller of the 1,658 sq ft, three-bedroom unit bought it for $3.65 million ($2,202 psf) in May 2007. This means the seller registered a loss of $520,000 after holding on to it for nine years.
A unit on the 18th floor of Scotts 28 was sold for $3.13 million;
the seller registered a loss of $520,000.
Further up on Scotts Road, a unit on the 16th floor of Scotts Highpark was sold for $3.35 million ($1,921 psf), based on a caveat lodged on April 4. The seller of the 1,744 sq ft, three-bedroom unit, who is believed to be a foreigner, had paid $3.74 million ($2,145 psf) for it in May 2007. This means he/she made a $390,000 loss in the space of nine years.
“These are likely to be investors who have decided to cut their losses and reinvest elsewhere,” says Samuel Eyo, managing director of Singapore Christie’s International Real Estate. “Concerns over possible rising interest rates and falling rental returns are key catalysts that may have prompted these investors to relook and divest non-performing properties from their investment portfolio.”
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Scotts Highpark, a 73-unit luxury freehold condominium developed by CapitaLand, was completed in 2009. The 136-unit freehold Scotts 28 was developed by MCL Land and completed in 1999. According to Donald Han, managing director of Chestertons Singapore, with both Scotts 28 and Scotts Highpark being freehold projects just off Orchard Road in prime District 9, prices below $2,000 psf represent “good buys”. This is especially so compared with Cairnhill Nine, a 99-year leasehold project that was launched recently and priced at an average of $2,500 psf.
In District 10, a 1,130 sq ft unit on the fifth floor of The Arc at Draycott was sold for $2.15 million. This translates to $1,902 psf — the lowest price psf in seven years. The seller of the two-bedroom apartment purchased it from the developer in August 2006 for $2.18 million, which translates to a slight loss of $30,000 after 10 years.
The last time a unit at The Arc at Draycott was sold below $1,900 psf was in June 2009 when a similar sized unit on the 8th floor fetched $2.1 million ($1,850 psf), according to a caveat lodged then. The 58-unit freehold The Arc at Draycott was developed by BS Capital and completed in 2010.
Nearby at the prestigious Ardmore Park, a four-bedroom, 3,520 sq ft unit on the eighth floor of Juniper at Ardmore was sold for $7.28 million. The sale price translates to an average of $2,068 psf, the lowest per sq ft price since July 2009, when a 3,197 sq ft, four-bedroom unit on the 19th floor fetched $6.26 million or $1,958 psf. However, the seller of the 3,520 sq ft unit made a profit of $2 million as the purchase price a decade ago was $5.28 million, according to a caveat lodged in August 2006. Juniper at Ardmore was developed 25 years ago by MCL Land and contains just 20 units.
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“I think the strong performance at Cairnhill Nine has revived the attention of investors looking for good-value freehold condos in the prime districts, particularly Districts 9 and 10,” says Han. “They feel prices are bottoming after declining for nine quarters and that it’s a good time to cherry-pick.”
This article appeared in the City & Country, Issue 724 (April18, 2016) of The Edge Singapore.

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