Published 18 May 2011
The Business Times
By Kalpana Rashiwala
A new record has been set for the price of a private residential property in Singapore. Sources say that a four-bedroom apartment at SC Global Developments’ The Marq on Paterson Hill recently fetched $5,842 per square foot, surpassing the previous high of $5,600 psf set in October 2007 at The Orchard Residences.
The latest transaction at The Marq also sets a new benchmark for the project, surpassing the $5,262 psf that was achieved in 2007 for a 16th floor unit which was sold for $15.8 million, according to caveats data. Both units are of the same size, 3,003 sq ft.
The latest record breaker at The Marq, which involves a lump sum price of $17.5 million, is understood to be on the mid-to upper levels of the 24-storey project but is not a penthouse unit. The freehold development received Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP) earlier this year and with the latest transaction, slightly over 40 per cent or 28 of the development’s 66 units have been sold.
The penthouse unit at The Orchard Residences that held the previous record price of $5,600 psf is on the 53rd level and involved a lump sum price of $28.269 million. However, a caveat for that 5,048 sq ft unit does not appear to have been lodged, probably because the high net worth party who bought the apartment did not take any financing for the purchase and wants to preserve anonymity.
The Orchard Residences, which received Temporary Occupation Permit late last year, is on a site with a 99-year leasehold tenure starting around March 2006.
Pointing to a dearth of condo/apartment transactions above $5,000 psf since the previous property boom in 2007, Jones Lang LaSalle’s head of residential and national director Jacqueline Wong attributes this to a lack of new project launches in the ultra-luxury segment, as well as the fact that demand from foreign investors in this segment has yet to recover to the level seen in 2007 because of the current state of the global economy.
‘I don’t recall any launches at $4,500 psf or higher, post 2007. Right now there are five new projects in the prime Ardmore Park area whose developers could launch them if they chose to – but they haven’t,’ she added.
Analysts say that developers’ strong balance sheets and the difficulty they face in finding replacement land banks in the luxury residential sector at viable prices are some reasons for developers to hold back launches in this market segment.
‘If any developer were to launch a new condo at above say $5,000 psf today, demand will likely come from owner occupiers rather than those buying with a view to collecting rental income because the yields won’t be attractive,’ JLL’s Ms Wong said.
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