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Ong Beng Seng and family buy condo block August 20, 2007

Posted by Admin in East Coast Property News.
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 They pay over $200m for 180 units at Costa del Sol in Bayshore area

HOTEL Properties managing director Ong Beng Seng and his family members have bought an entire block of 180 apartments at Costa del Sol on Bayshore Road, for about $200.77 million or $820 per square foot, BT understands.

The units were sold by the 99-year leasehold project’s developer, Japura Development Pte Ltd, a unit of Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing’s Cheung Kong Holdings. The 906-unit condo is now fully sold, concluding a 10-year episode for Japura. It bought the site for the condo in early 1997.

The shareholders in the entities that bought Costa del Sol’s final block are said to include Mr Ong, his wife Christina, her brother David Fu and his wife. Mr Ong’s brother, Beng Huat, also has a small stake.

The deal is said to have been driven by Mr Fu. All the 180 units in Block 70 boast unobstructed views of East Coast Park and the sea. They were sold for between $700 psf and $950 psf. The 180 apartments have a combined floor area of nearly 245,000 sq ft.

‘The apartments are leased, which means the Ongs and Fus can enjoy immediate rental return on their investment; plus they can look forward to reaping capital appreciation in the not-too-distant future as this segment of the market has not gone up much,’ said a seasoned market watcher.

Going by two recent deals in two other blocks in the development – $844 psf for a low-floor apartment and $1,108 psf for a higher-floor unit – the Ong/Fu consortium seems to be already in the money on its investment. The sale of the 180 apartments means that Japura has now fully sold the 906-unit condo, seven long years after it began marketing the project in May 2000. Japura’s initial average price was $765 psf but by February 2005, it had trimmed this to $650 psf for a relaunch of about 600 available units then. The project, comprising seven 30-storey blocks, received Temporary Occupation Permit between 2003 and 2004.

Japura paid $683 million or $456 psf of potential gross floor area for the 427,300 sq ft site in January 1997, before the Asian financial crisis hit. Its bid was considered aggressive then, at least 30 per cent above market expectations.

The second highest bid in that tender was $351 psf per plot ratio, made by a joint venture between Pidemco Land (now part of CapitaLand) and Malayan Credit (now known as MCL Land).


Source: Business Times 11 Aug 07


Hong Leong sells about 60 units of Aalto August 20, 2007

Posted by Admin in Along Meyer Road.
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HONG Leong Group is said to have sold close to 60 units at its freehold Aalto condo on the former Eastern Mansion site on Meyer Road.

The project is priced at around $1,950 per square foot (psf) on average, and so far the development has been marketed mostly overseas – in Indonesia and Hong Kong. Former apartment owners of Eastern Mansion have also bought some units in Aalto, which will have 196 apartments in two 27-storey blocks.

So far, slightly more than 100 units have been released, according to industry sources. The 60 or so units sold vary widely in pricing, from around $1,400 psf to $2,200 psf. Market watchers note the pricing is broadly in line with that of CapitaLand’s The Seafront On Meyer launched earlier this year.

Caveats have ben lodged for CapitaLand’s condo at prices ranging from $1,190-1,950 psf, although industry sources say some units have lately been transacted at above $2,000 psf. Aalto has three and four bedroom apartments.

Hong Leong is also expected to develop another condo along Meyer Road, on a site it bought earlier this year from Della Suantio Lee, wife of Lee Seng Gee of the Lee Foundation. The group bought Eastern Mansion in a collective sale and an adjoining site at a combined unit land price of about $410 psf per plot ratio in 2005.


Source: Business Times 11 Aug 07

East Coast En Bloc Sale Fetches 25% Price Premium August 20, 2007

Posted by Admin in East Coast Property News.
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St Patrick’s View sold to TG Development for $79 million

ST PATRICK’S View, off Telok Kurau Road, has been sold en bloc to TG Development Pte Ltd (TGD) for $79 million, 25 per cent higher than the indicated price when the collective sale was launched three months ago.

On its bullish bid, TGD managing director Ong Boon Chuan said: ‘The prices for Districts 9, 10 and 11 are quite high but there is room for more upside in the outskirts.’

Giving a contrarian view, Mr Ong also said that while higher asking prices for en bloc sites may lead to resistance from developers, it also means there will be ‘less supply in the market’.

Marketed by Colliers International, executive director (Investment Sales) Ho Eng Joo added: ‘The benchmark price of St Patrick’s View reflects developers’ continued confidence and optimism in the East Coast area, as demand for new residential projects still remains strong.’

At $79 million, the price works out to $682 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf ppr), including an estimated development charge of $302,318 for the 83,013 sq ft site.

Mr Ong said that TGD plans to build a five-storey development of about 100 units with unit sizes of between 1,000 sq ft and 1,400 sq ft. The launch is targeted for mid-2008.

The breakeven cost is estimated at around $1,000 psf, which means new units have to be sold in excess of this.

Over in Kembangan, Savills Singapore is marketing the launch of the 32-unit D’Oasia by Monfort Land at about $910 psf.

To date, more than 50 per cent of the apartments have been sold during a recent private preview. The development is expected to be completed by Dec 30, 2010.

Savills is also marketing the collective sale of Trendale Tower on Cairnhill Road.

The indicative price of $180 million is 12.5 per cent higher than it was three months ago when it was put up for sale through an expression-of-interest exercise.

The latest price works out to about $2,477 psf ppr with the breakeven estimated at between $3,100 and $3,200 psf.

Savills director of investment sales Steven Ming said: ‘It is reasonable to project a selling price of a new project on this site at between $3,500 and $3,600 psf.’

The 21,709 sq ft site has a plot ratio of 2.8 and can yield about 36 units of 2,000 sq ft condominium apartments.

In the Clementi area, GRE Realty is marketing the sale of Park West Condominium through the expression-ofinterest mode. So far, 75 per cent of owners have agreed to the sale.

The indicative price for the 633,638 sq ft site is $620 million to $660 million, inclusive of development charge of about $115 million. GRE Realty estimated that the breakeven price would be around $750-$780 psf.

Source: Business Times 26 Jul 07

Hot Spot – Kallang Basin June 14, 2007

Posted by Admin in East Coast Property News.
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New condos coupled with the Government’s plans to revitalise the greater Marina Bay area will inject a lot more buzz into the Kallang Basin district. Already, the values of some residential projects in this area have risen. Check them out. Kallang Basin 



Residential oasis near the city

TANJONG Rhu is a large upmarket condo belt with views of the Kallang Basin – and even the sea for some units.

The lungs of the area are the many large plots of greenery interspersed between the condos, which are fairly new, big and well-designed. Most sit on 99-year leasehold land rather than freehold.

They are valued for their proximity to the city and the sea. Residents also have easy access to the National Stadium – or the future Kallang sports hub – and several restaurants.

There are no new launches here, though prices have risen in line with the market and new projects in nearby areas, such as Meyer Road and Marina Bay.

In the past year, prices have risen 50 to 60 per cent, to an average of $800 to $1,000 per sq ft (psf) in the first quarter, said CB Richard Ellis (CBRE).

Buyers have shown keen interest in the past year. Last month, at least eight deals were done at Costa Rhu for about $877 psf on average. The 737-unit condo was launched in 1995 at $750 psf on average.

Agents said buyers prefer projects with views of the Kallang Basin, like Pebble Bay.

Rents in the area have also risen. For instance, monthly rents at Pebble Bay are up by nearly 27 per cent, going from $2.29 psf to $2.90 psf in the first quarter, CBRE said, citing data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority.

That means a three-bedroom unit at Pebble Bay will cost about $5,500 a month to lease. Asking rents are even higher, at $6,000 to $8,000 a month, said Savills Research. In general, asking rents for a two- to threebedroom unit in the area come to $4,000 to $6,000 a month, it said.


Cosy community on the urban fringe

THE tranquil Meyer area, tucked away just north of the East Coast Parkway, offers a fairly wide mix of housing choices.

There is a clear delineation between the condominiums and the semi-detached houses on opposite sides of Meyer Road.

But both ends share the purely residential area’s relative peace and quiet.

The area is popular with Indian expatriates, who like it for its proximity to both East Coast Park and the city.

Lifted by new launches, prices in the area hit about $950 to $1,200 per sq ft (psf) on average in the first quarter of the year, up 35 to 50 per cent from a year earlier, said CB Richard Ellis.

The newest project launched for sale this year is CapitaLand’s The Seafront @ Meyer, following the launch of GuocoLand’s The View @ Meyer. Sing Holdings’ Meyer Residence was first marketed more than a year ago.

Some of the older projects – particularly those where owners are keen to attempt collective sales, such as Hawaii Tower – have attracted higher offers.

Deals done this year have averaged about $957 psf at Hawaii Tower and $1,075 psf at The Sovereign, said Savills Research, citing data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority.

Asking rents for a two- to three-bedroom unit in the area average $3,500 to $5,000 a month, Savills said.

But rents can be much higher. At The Sovereign, which has relatively large units, landlords are asking $9,500 to $11,000 a month for the larger 3,300 sq ft units, it said.


More boutique apartments on the way

GEYLANG needs no introduction to most Singaporeans.

As one of Singapore’s best-known red-light districts, Geylang boasts a vibrant nightlife and a wide array of good food.

In fact, the area is buzzing with activity during the day too. It is dominated by many small budget hotels and is widely known for its casual eateries serving good local fare often well into the night.

Boutique apartments are also popular in the area.

More developments are on the way. Launches early last year included The Arizon and The Midas, followed by the 142-unit Atrium Residences, which is developed by the Novelty Group. All three are being built on freehold plots.

Existing developments include the 99-year leasehold The Alcove, where average prices are at $375 per sq ft (psf), and the freehold Le Crescendo, which has sold for a higher average of $670 psf this year.

At Central Grove, the average transacted price this year is $566,800 and asking rents are between $2,800 and $3,000 a month, said Savills Research.

In the area generally, asking rents for a two- to three-bedroom unit start a little cheaper at an average of $2,000 a month, rising to $3,000 a month, it said.

Home prices here have not risen much in the past year, said Savills Singapore’s director of marketing and business development, Mr Ku Swee Yong.

He added that the developments in this area attract HDB upgraders, particularly those living nearby, on Sims Avenue and Guillemard Road.


Heartland enclave all set to turn swanky

OLD public housing estates are the mainstay of the Kallang area, with basic amenities such as a train station, a community centre and coffee shops adding a true heartland feel.

But changes are in store that will inject an upmarket tone, as the area is near the Kallang Basin, which is set to be rejuvenated.

And just to the south, an upcoming posh 96-unit condo will also jazz things up.

The Riverine by the Park, which Wing Tai started selling in April, saw strong interest and is now fully sold. Located near Kallang Riverside Park, it is close to the city centre.

Asking prices in the sub-sale market have surged to as much as $2,000 per sq ft (psf) for a penthouse unit. Three-room HDB flats in the area have been sold for $160,000 to $215,000. Five-roomers have gone for $257,000 to $468,000.

In the years ahead, the public housing in the area will become more posh, as it will boast the first public waterfront homes just to the north. Five blocks of three- to five-room flats will be built on Bendemeer Road in about three years’ time.

On Boon Keng Road, a private developer will soon build condo-like HDB flats under HDB’s second design, build and sell scheme.


Evolving estate with a bit of everything

THERE is no escaping the commercial flavour of much of the Lavender area.

Hardware stores, a funeral parlour and industrial sites pepper the area alongside residential estates.

Still, housing is slowly evolving, with older public housing estates near the Lavender MRT Station now mixed with newer condo developments such as Southbank and Citylights.

These two conveniently located condos have seen keen sub-sale interest and rising prices.

Southbank’s 197 residential units were launched nearly a year ago at $600 per sq ft (psf) on average – and prices have since climbed. Asking prices for these condos are near or above $1,000 psf now.

Due to its central location, the HDB flats in the area tend to command a premium. A fairly new five-room HDB flat in Jellicoe Road, near the Lavender MRT Station, for instance, was sold for $470,000 in April.

The area is becoming more attractive and the planned injection of more leisure and sports activities along the river should boost demand for housing, said Savills Singapore director of marketing and business development Ku Swee Yong.

Source: Sunday Times 10 Jun 07

Hot Spot – East Coast Road June 14, 2007

Posted by Admin in East Coast Property News.
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 The Sunday Times takes a look at this coveted residential district in the East. Check them out. east-coast-hot-spot.pdf


Steady stream of small projects

THE sleaze of Joo Chiat is often put in the spotlight but beyond the colourful nightspots, the area is a quiet residential zone dominated by low-rise boutique developments and terrace houses.

A sprinkling of amenities such as schools, a medical centre, a park and good food also make this a conducive residential district.

Home prices rose to $600 to $700 per sq ft (psf) on average in the first quarter of the year, up from $450 to $550 psf a year ago, said CBRE.

There has been a steady stream of small apartments launched, with projects like Le Merritt selling for $650 psf this year. Last month, a 1,626 sq ft terrace house went for $1.2 million while a 2,190 sq ft semi-detached home went for $1.51 million.

Sim Lian Land bought Wen Yuan Court, K Gardens and Leyuke Apartments last year, but will launch its new project for sale only next year.


Cafes give quiet area some buzz

THE hub of activity in the otherwise homogeneous area of bungalows and semi-detached houses is the Siglap Road and East Coast Road junction.

Siglap Shopping Centre and rows of cafes and eateries give the otherwise quiet area some buzz, upping the area’s hip quotient.

With few new projects, Axis @ Siglap, a 40-unit boutique condo marketed earlier this year, sold out in a matter of weeks at an average price of nearly $800 per sq ft (psf). This was above the range of $600 to $700 psf for most properties in the area, Savills had said.

The strong demand is good news to developers who have bought sites in the area. Sing Holdings and a fund will redevelop Finland Gardens while Frasers Centrepoint will redevelop Flamingo Valley.

Prices for landed homes tend to vary widely, though they have moved up moderately. In May, a 4,700 sq ft bungalow on Siglap Road sold for $1.9 million while a 9,586 sq ft bungalow on the same stretch sold for $5 million.


Sleepy stretch enjoys new lease of life

IF YOU are looking for some peace and quiet in the East Coast locale, then the St Patrick’s area might be just your cup of tea.

The many boutique apartments, nestled alongside schools including St Patrick’s Secondary School and CHIJ Katong Primary, enjoy a special serenity that even the construction work at Grand Duchess at St Patrick’s and St Patrick’s Loft cannot disrupt.

The sleepy area has seen three launches recently. One was the 37-unit St Patrick’s Loft – marketed late last year at over $600 per sq ft (psf). Then came the fast sell-out of the 121-unit Grand Duchess, which created a stir. This project, which sold at $740 psf on average, further raised the area’s value.

Just a year ago, average levels were at just below $500 psf. Five Grand Duchess sub-sales were done at $700 psf to $900 psf, said CB Richard Ellis (CBRE). MCL Land’s recently sold-out Tierra Vue rode on the success of Grand Duchess and started sales at $800 psf. One 1,270 sq ft unit was said to have been sold at $1,051 psf, a record for the area, said CBRE.

More new projects are expected for the area.


Heart of the district with sea-front housing

MARINE Parade is the heart of the entire East Coast Road district and is a textbook example of how to develop reclaimed land. It brings together a popular shopping mall, schools and sea-front housing all within a linear stretch.

Public housing dominates, though older, large condos such as Mandarin Gardens and Neptune Court also enjoy the sea breeze and East Coast Park is just a stroll away.

It is no wonder the HDB flats here, particularly those with sea views, have always commanded a premium.

And recently, they have benefited further from the robust activity in the private residential market, said CBRE.

Prices of five-room flats hit $358 per sq ft (psf) or some $467,000 on average in the first quarter, up 13.5 per cent from a year ago. This compares with a 7 to 8 per cent rise in prices of three- and four-room flats in the same period.

A four-room flat costs about $334 or some $305,000 on average, up nearly 7 per cent from a year ago.

But when it comes to rental, the four-roomers seem to be the most sought after. Average monthly rents of four-roomers rose by a hefty 47 per cent to $1.47 psf in the first quarter. This compares with a 23 per cent rise to $1.62 psf for three-roomers and a 7 per cent rise to $1.19 psf for five-roomers, said CBRE.

Private home prices in the area have risen by 20 to 40 per cent to $700 to $800 psf over a 12-month period as of the first quarter, said CBRE.

The area’s newest large condo is the 99-year leasehold Cote D’Azur.


Oozing old-world charm

RUSTIC shophouses, good food and a strong Peranakan heritage make Katong a real gem in the East Coast area.

The housing developments are mostly low-rise, with shophouses and boutique condominiums the mainstay, although there are quaint colonial houses for lease along Kuo Chuan Avenue.

Apart from the old-world charm, there is 24/7 shopping at Cold Storage in Katong Mall.

There are few new developments, though more may come as there have been several collective sale targets.

Sea Breeze Apartments was sold en bloc and should become an 88-unit project while a 229-unit condo in Jago Close is also expected, said CBRE. Most of the properties here are small and rather old, so interest has not been very strong, with prices done in the past year or so at between $400 and $787 psf, said CBRE.

Developments such as Ceylon Crest and Katong Gardens transacted recently at about $540 to $550 psf on average.

Others such as East Galleria and Bellezza @ Katong go for about $650 psf on average.


Sweeping away the old

A WAVE of collective sales is gradually sweeping old properties out of the area, to make room for high-style condos that will give the street a brand-new look.

This enclave is becoming the hottest on East Coast Road as buyers snap up units at yet-to-be-completed, relatively large condos, jacking up the area’s value.

Prices averaged $850 to $1,000 per sq ft (psf) in the first quarter, up 40 to 45 per cent from $600 to $700 psf a year ago, said consultancy CB Richard Ellis (CBRE).

Condos under construction include Wheelock Properties’ 546-unit The Sea View; MCL Land’s 400-unit The Esta; the 562-unit One Amber from United Industrial Corp and United Overseas Land; and Ho Bee’s 42-unit Vertis.

The three large freehold condos have seen active sub-sales, said CBRE. They are popular for the location, facilities and well-known developers, said a consultant. Recent deals for The Sea View were done near $1,000 psf on average.

Buyers will soon have more choices.

A new project is earmarked for the sites now housing Amber Lodge and Jin Fu Apartments. Voda Land bought these estates en bloc in a private treaty at an undisclosed price and aims to launch Amber Residences in about three months.

It will be an ‘upper mid-market’ condo with 114 units in one 21-storey block, said Savills Singapore.

More condos will come when Far East Organization redevelops Amberville and Rose Garden, which it bought in collective sales last year.

For now, while construction roars ahead, the existence of older estates like Rose Garden makes for a noisy juxtaposition of past and future.

Source: Sunday Times 3 Jun 07