Sunday, June 13, 2010

$36m home could be S'pore's most expensive

Chinese national buys 99-year Sentosa Cove bungalow, complete with berth for yacht

A Chinese national is believed to have set the record price for a bungalow here, forking out a handsome $36 million for a luxury home in Sentosa Cove.

The property in Paradise Island was sold last month in the resale market at $2,403 per sq ft (psf), based on latest Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) caveat records.

The house has a land area of 14,983 sq ft and a built-up area of about 17,000 sq ft.

It is probably the most expensive bungalow in Sentosa Cove in terms of the total amount paid and its per sq ft price, going by URA's caveat records.

At $2,403 per sq ft, it is also possibly the most expensive bungalow in Singapore, property agents say.

Mr Steven Tan, OrangeTee executive director (residential), pointed out that it is also on a 99-year leasehold tenure, unlike many bungalows in prime areas in mainland Singapore like Nassim Hill and the Holland area, which are freehold.

In May last year, China-born action star Jet Li paid $19.8 million for a 22,723 sq ft good class bungalow in Bukit Timah.

Sentosa Cove is a gated community comprising more than 2,000 homes, of which 400 are landed. The rest are condominium units.

Paradise Island is located in the northern part of the cove. The other developments in Sentosa Cove include Sandy Island, Coral Island and Quayside Isle.

The Business Times reported yesterday that the sellers of the $36 million bungalow are understood to be Singaporeans, with the deal brokered by DTZ. The Chinese buyer is a Singapore permanent resident.

The house was first sold by its developer Ho Bee in April 2007 for $18.1 million ($1,208 psf). It was resold for $20.18 million ($1,347 psf) in September last year.

This makes the Chinese national the third owner of the property, which received its temporary occupation permit (TOP) in May last year.

The two-and-a-half storey bungalow faces a waterway, with a berth for a yacht. It also has a private pool.

The high price can be explained by its features, said property agents.

'This is truly resort-style living,' said Mr Tan.

Ms Margaret Thean, executive director of DTZ, said: 'Many high net worth individuals appreciate the privacy of a gated community, waterfront facing and having a berth for a yacht. This could be their second, third or fourth home around the world.'

Landed home prices on Sentosa could have also been driven up by the fact that foreigners are allowed to buy them, said property agents.

This opens the market to the entire world, although such sales are still subject to approval from the Singapore Land Dealings (Approval) Unit.

Landed homes on the mainland can be bought only by citizens and permanent residents.

Also, foreigners buying a landed home in Sentosa Cove do not have to hold the property for three years before they can sell it - which they have to do when buying a landed property on the mainland.

But whether on the mainland or in Sentosa Cove, foreigners may own only one landed property in Singapore at any time. Also, they cannot rent out the home.

The Sunday Times understands that properties on Sentosa attract mostly foreigners, with Chinese nationals growing in numbers.

Take Kasara - The Lake collection at Sentosa Cove from YTL Corporation.

The Sunday Times understands that of the 13 units launched in December last year, more than half were bought by Chinese nationals.

The Business Times reported yesterday that four members of a Liu family from Liaoning bought a bungalow each at Kasara in March.

The prices range from $15.9 million to almost $26 million a bungalow. This translates to $1,731 to 1,780 psf (on land area). The bungalows are expected to receive their TOPs in June 2012.

'Buyers from China have in the past year been more prominent in snapping up homes in Sentosa Cove,' said DTZ executive director (consulting) Ong Choon Fah.

'This is a result of China's exuberant economic growth,' Mrs Ong said.

Traditionally, the foreigners who buy landed homes here are Indonesians and Malaysians.

Source: Sunday Times, 13 Jun 2010

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