Monday, June 28, 2010

In love with Sentosa Cove

A house in his neighbourhood was sold for $36 million and sales in the quiet and exclusive Sentosa Cove continue unabated, but shipping magnate Mahesh Iyer has no intentions of selling the bungalow he bought for just $6.8 million three years ago.

“Even if I sold it, where will I find another place like this?” he said.

Indeed, how many homes in Singapore have a yacht docked along a watercourse running in their backyard?

Coral Island, an enclave of 21 homes inside Sentosa Cove, looks like any other upper-middle class Sydney or Melbourne suburb. The absence of front gates – together with the low perimeter walls that separate the closely-built houses – lend the neighbourhood a cosy and relaxed air.

The Maheshes, who hail from Mumbai but have lived in Singapore for 11 years, will become Singapore citizens today.

When Today interviewed Mr Mahesh and his wife, Mala, three years ago, they were just about to move into their 10,000 sq ft bungalow with their two teenage children and one of the few families to move into Sentosa Cove.

“When we first moved in, we tried to order McDonald’s and Pizza Hut, but they told us they don’t deliver to our area. But now they do,” said Mr Mahesh’s daughter, Mithila, 18.

In spite of the property fever that is abuzz, most of their neighbours – including Singaporeans and those who are in banking, shipping and retail – are still living in their homes, Mr Mahesh told MediaCorp.

“We have no intention of selling. This is our home,” said the 42-year-old managing director of Orient Express Lines.

The red-hot prices of Sentosa Cove’s property prices do not surprise him as “supply is so little”. All things considered, Singapore is still “positively cheaper” than other locations like New York and Tokyo, he added.

“We enjoy open spaces and like to walk, so Singapore offers lots of greenery and clean, unpolluted air. Also, it’s safer here,” said Mrs Mahesh, 42.

Waterfront living presents the family with many recreational perks – the Maheshes unwind by taking their yacht out to the Southern Islands.

With more young people in the neighbourhood, Mr Mahesh’s 15-year-old son Murli and his friends relish biking over the island, and heading to Wave House, a surf and party hangout, to chill.

Since the integrated resort opened on the island, more people have moved into Sentosa Cove.

“It is a lot busier, but not in a bad way,” said Murli.

Source: Today, 28 Jun 2010

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