Richmond Park prices return to pre-2013 levels of above $2,600 psf

By Angela Teo / EdgeProp Singapore | February 26, 2018 7:00 AM SGT
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Two units at the freehold Richmond Park on Bideford Road in prime District 9 were sold on Feb 1 and 12 at $2,668 psf and $2,903 psf, respectively, marking the second and third time prices at the development have risen past the $2,600 psf mark since the government introduced property cooling measures in 2013.
Since the sale of a 3,380 sq ft penthouse at Richmond Park for $2,959 psf in August 2012 — the highest psf price achieved at the development, according to caveats lodged with URA Realis as at Feb 21 — prices at Richmond Park have fallen below $2,600 psf up until end-2017. In December 2017, a 1,733 sq ft, three-bedroom unit on the fifth floor went for $2,712 psf. The absolute price was $4.7 million.
The most recent transactions at the development involved a 1,012 sq ft, two-bedroom unit on the 13th floor, which fetched $2.7 million ($2,668 psf), and a 1,550 sq ft, three-bedroom unit on the 22nd floor, sold for $4.5 million ($2,903 psf), the second-highest unit price at the development, based on URA caveat data. One unit was snapped up by a Singaporean, while the other by an Indonesian buyer.
Richmond Park at Bideford Road in prime district 9
Two units at the freehold
Richmond Park
on Bideford Road in prime District 9 were sold on Feb 1 and 12 at $2,668 psf and $2,903 psf, respectively (Credit: Samuel Isaac Chua/The Edge Singapore)
Completed in 1996 by DBS Land, now part of Singapore property giant CapitaLand, the 159-unit Richmond Park is about 22 years old. The age of the development, its freehold status and prime location behind The Paragon shopping centre suggest that the property has collective sale potential.
However, with the competitive resale prices fetched by units at the development, it is unlikely that the premium in a collective sale will be attractive for owners, says an industry player.
At the height of the last property cycle in 2007, when anticipation of the Integrated Resorts (IRs) drew foreign buyers to residential properties in Singapore, prices at condominiums within and near the Orchard area rose above $5,000 psf.
In July 2007, three of the four available penthouses at the 99-year leasehold The Orchard Residences fetched between $5,400 and $5,600 psf, making it the second condo after the freehold The Marq on Paterson Hill to achieve prices above $5,000 psf. At The Orchard Residences, penthouses were between 4,200 and 5,000 sq ft.
Foreigners have been returning to the market, having factored in the additional buyer’s stamp duty rate increases of 2013, according to Leong Boon Hoe, chief operating officer at List Sotheby’s International Realty, Singapore. Last year, 1,542 foreign buyers (non-permanent residents) bought residential properties here, a 44% increase compared with 1,071 in 2016. However, this still has some way to go if it were to match or surpass the 3,086 foreign buyers who purchased residential properties in 2007.
The latest transaction at The Orchard Residences achieved $3,371 psf. According to a URA caveat lodged on Feb 5, it involved a 2,174 sq ft, three-bedroom unit that was snapped up by a Taiwanese buyer for $8.1 million.
Developed by a 50:50 joint-venture company between CapitaLand and Hong Kong real estate developer Sun Hung Kai Properties, The Orchard Residences has 175 units. Completed in 2011, a year after ION Orchard opened, The Orchard Residences sits above the mall, which was built by the same JV company.
Another luxury development launched during the property boom of 2007 was the freehold Scotts Square, which sits between Grand Hyatt Singapore and Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel on Scotts Road. The project’s two residential towers, which have 338 units in total, sit on top of a four-floor retail podium.
In August 2007, a caveat was lodged for a 1,249 sq ft, three-bedroom unit on the 20th floor of Scotts Square. The buyer bought the unit from Singapore property developer Wheelock Properties for $4.9 million ($3,911 psf). Another caveat was then lodged for a sub-sale of the unit on the same day for $5.1 million ($4,071 psf), nearly $200,000 above its purchase price.
On Feb 1 this year, the unit was sold for $3.8 million ($3,003 psf) in a resale transaction, according to URA caveat data. This is still short of the prices achieved when the project was first launched a decade ago, when units fetched between $4,006 and $4,451 psf.
List Sotheby’s International Realty’s Leong reckons that the current price recovery in the private residential market still has legs. “Barring any unforeseen circumstances, we may see new pricing benchmarks being set at choice locations when collective sale redevelopment projects are launched for sale,” he says.
“The cooling measures and the latest change in buyer’s stamp duty rates should continue to guide prices towards a sustainable uptrend,” adds Leong.
This article appeared in EdgeProp Pullout, Issue 819 (Feb 26, 2018).

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