Saturday, June 12, 2010

Price of Sentosa Cove home defies gravity

Top-end bungalow sells for $36m at $2,403 psf despite cautious mood in property market

AMID the caution that has crept into the market for mainstream condos since last month, a record price has been set for a top-end bungalow on Sentosa Cove. The property at Paradise Island changed hands in the resale market for $36 million or $2,403 per square foot on land area last month. In terms of both, the absolute amount and unit land price, this is believed to be the priciest bungalow deal in the upscale waterfront housing district, based on caveat records captured by the URA Realis system.

The $2,403 psf unit land price is also probably the highest for a bungalow transaction anywhere in Singapore, property agents say. The deal is understood to have been brokered by DTZ. The two-and-a-half storey bungalow fronting the waterway has a private pool and a berth for a yacht. Homes on Sentosa Cove are sold on 99-year leasehold tenure sites.

The new owner of the Paradise Island bungalow is believed to be a Chinese national who is a Singapore permanent resident. The sellers, who are understood to be Singaporeans, have reaped a handsome profit. According to caveats data, the house was last transacted in September last year at $20.18 million or $1,347 psf. The property was first sold in April 2007 by Ho Bee, the developer of Paradise Island, for $18.1 million or $1,208 psf. The bungalow has a land area of 14,983 sq ft and a built up area of about 17,000 sq ft.

A nearby property on Paradise Island also changed hands in March at $2,390 psf in the resale market but as its land area was smaller at about 8,105 sq ft, the lumpsum price was lower at $19.38 million. Ho Bee's Pardise Island project received Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP) in May last year.

A new record bungalow price could be set for the location if Satinder Garcha's Elevation Developments gets the $3,000 psf it is looking at for its three-storey bungalow at 81 Ocean Drive, which has been completed. With a land area of 9,436 sq ft, the total price would work out to $28.3 million sq ft. The unit's built-up area is 11,500 sq ft. According to KH Tan, managing director of Newsman Realty, which is marketing the property, an offer for $2,700 psf from an American has been received, but Elevation is waiting for its target price.

The unit comes with a glass lift, two master suites, three smaller en-suite bedrooms, an infinity pool, a home theatre room and a spacious lawn. Elevation is offering the property furnished and fitted.

Foreign buyers, including mainland Chinese, have been active buying landed homes in Sentosa Cove, say property agents.

In March, four members of a Liu family from Liaoning are said to have acquired a bungalow each at Kasara - The Lake collection at Sentosa Cove from YTL Corporation. Their purchase prices range from about $15.9 million to nearly $26 million per bungalow or $1,731-1,780 psf on land area. The villas are slated to receive TOP in June 2012.

DTZ executive director (consulting) Ong Choon Fah is not expecting bungalow prices on Sentosa Cove to keep climbing at the same pace, given the more cautious global economic climate which could dent foreign interest. 'However, there is limited supply of just 400 landed homes on Sentosa Cove. And long-term investors may draw the conclusion that putting their money in the Singapore property market is a good investment when you consider the alternatives,' she added. Some market watchers say that the opening of Resorts World Sentosa has also boosted the appeal of owning a home on Sentosa Cove to some foreigners.

Sentosa Cove is the the only place where foreigners who are not Singapore permanent residents are allowed to buy landed homes, although this is still subject to approval from the Land Dealings (Approval) Unit. Also, foreigners buying a landed home on Sentosa Cove do not have to hold the property for at least three years before they can resell it, unlike the case when they buy a landed property on the mainland.

Whether on the mainland or on Sentosa Cove, foreigners may at any one time own just one landed home in Singapore and that too for owner occupation only.

Source: Business Times, 12 Jun 2010

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