Return of big-ticket deals in prime districts

By Tan Chee Yuen
/ The Edge Property |
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The biggest transaction of a private condominium unit in the last week of February was the sale of a 7,868 sq ft, five-bedroom penthouse at Corals at Keppel Bay for $18.88 million ($2,400 psf), according to a caveat lodged on Feb 22. The penthouse is the largest of eight in the 366-unit luxury condo by Keppel Land.
Corals at Keppel Bay obtained its Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP) last October. It comprises 11 blocks of five to 10 storeys each, with units ranging from one- to four-bedders of 570 sq ft to 3,660 sq ft.
A 7,868 sq ft, five-bedroom penthouse at Corals at Keppel Bay was recently sold for $18.88 million
At the neighbouring 969-unit Caribbean at Keppel Bay, also by Keppel Land, a 4,650 sq ft penthouse changed hands for $3.80 million ($817 psf) on Feb 27. The seller bought the unit for $2.86 million ($615 psf) in January 2006, thus the sale translated into a capital gain of $940,880, or 33%.
It is not just the 99-year leasehold condo units in Keppel Bay that are seeing renewed interest. The Core Central Region, especially the traditional prime districts of 9, 10 and 11, is experiencing the same. “There has been a pickup in transactions of big-ticket condo deals above $3 million in the prime districts recently,” notes Samuel Eyo, managing director of Singapore Christie’s International Real Estate. “This bodes well for the high-end market, especially with the return of interest in larger units of at least 2,000 sq ft.”
This is evident in recent deals done towards end-February. In prime District 10, freehold 381-unit Leedon Residence by GuocoLand has also seen a spike in transactions of bigger units. Notably, a 4,704 sq ft, five-bedroom unit was sold for $10.15 million ($2,158 psf). Meanwhile, two four-bedroom units were also sold recently: A 2,508 sq ft unit fetched $5.17 million ($2,061 psf) and a 3,681 sq ft unit, $6.1 million ($1,657 psf). Leedon Residence obtained TOP in 2015.
Christie’s Eyo also notes that it is not just new luxury condos but also some older developments that are seeing a pickup in transactions of big units. For instance, a 3,477 sq ft, four-bedroom unit at Nassim Mansion changed hands recently for $8.18 million ($2,353 psf). The unit is one of just 72 in a freehold development with twin 10-storey blocks completed in 1977. The project is located right at the edge of the exclusive Nassim Hill neighbourhood in prime District 10, and in the prestigious Nassim Good Class Bungalow (GCB) area.
A 3,477 sq ft, four-bedroom unit at Nassim Mansion changed hands recently for $8.18 million ($2,353 psf)
Another boutique development in a prestigious GCB neighbourhood in District 10 is One Chatsworth, located at the entrance to the Chatsworth- Bishopsgate GCB area. The freehold development was built in 1976 and comprises just 45 units in a 24-storey tower. A 3,305 sq ft, five-bedroom unit on the second floor of the tower changed hands recently for $6.3 million ($1,906 psf), according to a caveat lodged on Feb 27.
Units at Nassim Mansion and One Chatsworth are rarely traded, owing to their unit sizes and prestigious addresses, notes Eyo. “Most of the buyers tend to hold their units for the long term.” For instance, at Nassim Mansion, prior to the recent deal, the last transaction was in December 2014, when a 2,852 sq ft, three-bedroom unit on the second floor changed hands for $8.36 million ($2,932 psf). Likewise, at One Chatsworth, the last transaction was the sale of a 3,305 sq ft, five-bedroom unit on the 16th floor that fetched $6 million ($1,816 psf) in April 2015.
In prime District 9, a large four-bedroom unit at the 31-year-old Yong An Park on River Valley Road was recently sold. The 3,229 sq ft unit on the 18th floor of one of the five blocks changed hands for $5.6 million ($1,734 psf). The freehold 288- unit private condo was completed in 1986 and will benefit from the upcoming Great World MRT station on the Thomson-East Coast Line.
Bruce Lye, managing partner at real estate agency SRI, has observed an increase in the number of potential buyers looking for units priced above $5 million. “These buyers are a mix of Singaporeans and new permanent residents who are predominantly Chinese or Malaysian nationals,” he says.
In District 11, two high-end private condos that have seen a pickup in transactions of their larger three- and four-bedroom units since the middle of last year. They are Newton One on Newton Road and Sky@ Eleven on Thomson Lane.
At the 28-storey Newton One, a 1,916 sq ft, four-bedroom unit on the 25th floor fetched $3.05 million ($1,592 psf). The 91-unit freehold apartment block at the corner of Newton Road and Dunearn Road was completed in 2009.
Meanwhile, at Sky@Eleven, a 2,713 sq ft, four-bedroom unit on the 27th floor of one of the 43-storey towers was sold for $4 million ($1,475 psf). Completed in 2010, the 273-unit freehold condo is spread across four towers and offers unobstructed views of the city skyline.
This article appeared in The Edge Property Pullout, Issue 770 (Mar 13, 2017) of The Edge Singapore.

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