With the opening of the $6 billion Resorts World at Sentosa fast approaching, there is a buzz of excitement as investors anticipate the influx of visitors expected in 1Q2010. To cater for a surge in tourists and locals to the island, a 620m $70 million walkway is being constructed and is expected to be completed in November 2010.
As development at the upcoming casino gain traction, interest in properties on the mainland of Singapore and Sentosa Cove have picked up in recent months.
For instance, at the 969-unit Caribbean at Keppel Bay, developed by Keppel Land and completed in 2004, there were three transactions in the week of July 3 to 10, according to caveats lodged with URA Realis. A check against the monthly number of transactions shows there was an average of five units changing hands from April to June this year versus only two from January to March.
According to property agents, buying activity has picked up and there is more interest from foreigners. However, transaction levels remain low, owing to higher quantum prices and the gap in asking prices ranging from $1,300 to $1,400 psf versus buyers’ expectations of $1,000 to $1,100 psf.
On July 9, a 1,636 sq ft unit on the second floor was sold for $1.85 million, or $1,131 psf, translating into a gain of 20% for the seller, who had purchased it at $1.5 million in 2005. On the third floor, a 1,227 sq ft unit went for $1.4 million — almost 60% higher than the purchase price of $911,430 in 2005.
A unit on the fifth floor went for $1.58 million, or $1,184 psf. The seller made a gain of 37% compared with his purchase price of $1.15 million in 2006.
With prices going above $1,100 psf, home-owners who purchased in 2005 have been able to register decent gains. Still, generally, prices in the development are still trading below the peak levels in early 2008, when units changed hands for as high as $1,757 psf.
At the 1,129-unit Reflections at Keppel Bay nearby, a unit on the 24th floor of one of the towers went for $1,516 psf on July 1 on the subsale market. This transaction is the first for the development to be lodged on URA Realis this year. Before that, a unit was sold for $2,081 psf last October.
Reflections at Keppel Bay, which provides luxury yacht charter services to home owners, was designed by Daniel Libeskind, the masterplan architect famous for the reconstruction of Freedom Towers at the site of the former World Trade Center in New York.
Across the waterway, a 1,711 sq ft unit on the seventh floor of The Oceanfront@Sentosa Cove went for $2.7 million, or $1,578 psf, in the sub-sale market. This was the third time the unit changed hands. It went for $2.04 million in February this year and $2.38 million in 2006. The 12- to 15-storey condominium project being developed by City Developments is expected to be completed next June.
Meanwhile, a 1,884 sq ft unit at The Berth By the Cove changed hands for $2.4 million, or $1,280 psf, in a resale. The original owner had purchased the unit from the developer, Ho Bee Investment, for $1.64 million in 2005.
There were two substantial deals for landed homes at Sentosa. A bungalow at Paradise Island with a floor area of 9,138 sq ft was sold for $12.6 million, or $1,379 psf. A bungalow along Ocean Drive, with a floor area of 9,579 sq ft, changed hands at $8.5 million, or $888 psf. Market sources say, just last week, another bungalow at Ocean Drive, which has a land area of 8,000 sq ft and a built-up area of 6,000 sq ft, changed hands for $12.99 million, or $1,624 psf.
Source: The Edge, 3 Aug 2009