Monday, July 27, 2009

Costa Del Sol apartments breach $1,000 psf mark

There was a flurry of transactions for condominiums in the neighbourhood of Bayshore Road and Upper East Coast Road, with at least half a dozen apartments changing hands in the week of June 26 to July 3, according to the URA Realis database of caveats lodged.

Property agents say the heightened activity is partly due to the euphoria surrounding URA’s new home sales figures for June, which, at 1,825 units, beats even the record achieved during the peak in August 2007. Another reason cited by property agents is the recent new launches and re-launches along Upper East Coast Road, which include Tong Eng Brothers’ Balcon East, UOL Group’s Breeze by the East, and Crescendas Group’s East Coast Residences.

As at end-March, around half the units at the 88-unit freehold boutique development Breeze by the East were sold at the average selling price of $940 psf. The project was launched in May 2008. Since May this year, units have been sold at prices ranging from $695 to $862 psf, according to caveats lodged. Most recently, a 2,077 sq ft fourth-level apartment was sold for $1.74 million or $837 psf. The project is scheduled for completion in mid-2011.

Expected to be completed soon and just a few doors away is the 59-unit East Coast Residences. Units were sold in the first five months of 2008 at prices ranging from $1,185 to $1,370 psf. Subsequently since April this year, units were sold at prices ranging from $692 to $864 psf.

Meanwhile, the 37-unit Balcon East was fully sold within two weekends at prices averaging $780 psf for three-bedroom apartments and $850 psf for one- and two-bedroom units.

The most active condominium in the resale market in the Bayshore area is Costa Del Sol, with three of the four transactions done in early July — all in the $1,000 psf range. That’s the kind of price level seen at the development a year ago. One of the transactions that crossed the $1,000 psf mark was a 13th-storey apartment that was sold for $1.32 million or $1,005 psf, according to URA Realis. The last time the same property changed hands was in October — just nine months ago — when it sold for $1.18 million or $899 psf.

Another unit that changed hands on the secondary market was one on the 29th storey — the 1,475 sq ft apartment was sold for $1.48 million or $1,000 psf. The owner bought the property when it was launched nine years ago and paid $1.5 million or $1,019 psf for the apartment.

The 906-unit, 99-year leasehold Costa Del Sol was completed in 2003, and is one of the most significant developments in the neighbourhood, comprising seven 30-storey towers. The developer is Hong Kong billionaire Li Kashing’s Cheung Kong Holdings.

Units at Costa del Sol are able to fetch higher prices because they are newer than those in other developments in the Bayshore area. As an added bonus, units from the 12th floor and above enjoy unblocked sea views.

Directly behind Costa del Sol is the massive The Bayshore, developed by Far East Organization and completed 10 years ago. The 99-year leasehold project has 1,038 units, and the most recent transaction was for a 16th-storey apartment with a 1,238 sq ft area. It changed hands on the resale market for $740,000 or $598 psf.

Bayshore Park located next door to The Bayshore is an even older 99-year leasehold 1,093-unit project completed in 1986. The most recent transaction there was for an eighth level 936 sq ft apartment that changed hands for $670,000 or $715 psf in a resale last month.

Around the corner from Bayshore Road along Upper East Coast Road is the freehold 242- unit The Summit. Perched on a hilly slope, the project was built 15 years ago by Ban Hin Leong, a niche developer of quality homes that ran into financial difficulties in the late 1990s. A third level, 1,249 sq ft apartment here was recently sold for $918,000 or $735 psf.

Given the level of activity, it sure looks like the Bayshore and Upper East Coast areas continue to be a popular residential neighbourhood for people who want the East Coast lifestyle — proximity to the beach, smell of sea breeze and great food.

Source: The Edge, 27 July 2009

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