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More developers offering penthouses where you can ‘stay then pay’

Traditionally, developers of high-end private condominiums in the prime districts have been reluctant to offer discounts or deferred payments for penthouses, owing to the rarity of such units, typically described as “bungalows in the sky”. “The belief is that penthouses are designed for the privileged few who do not need a discount or deferred payment scheme,” says Samuel Eyo, managing director of Singapore Christie’s International Real Estate, the appointed marketing agent for penthouses in various projects.

Eyo: The belief is that the penthouses are designed
for the privileged few who do not need a discount
or deferred payment scheme

However, the recent success achieved by developers offering discounts and deferred payments for high-end projects — such as OUE for OUE Twin Peaks and CapitaLand with its stay-then-pay programme for remaining units at The Interlace and d’Leedon — have spurred more developers to contemplate such schemes, especially if they have unsold units that have been lingering on the market for a number of years, says Eyo.

A case in point is Frasers Centrepoint, which recently offered a stay-then-pay plan for the fourth and last penthouse on the 35th floor of one of its twin towers at Soleil @ Sinaran. The 99-year leasehold condo contains 417 units and is located adjacent to the Novena medical cluster and a two-minute walk to the MRT station. The project was completed in 2011 and all the units have been sold except for this penthouse.

The living and dining area of the fully furnished 4,715 sq ft penthouse at Soleil @ Sinaran, priced at $9 million


The two largest five-bedroom penthouses sized at 4,930 sq ft fetched $9.7 million ($1,980 psf) in June 2011, and $10.8 million ($2,191 psf) in February 2014. The third five-bedroom, 4,715 sq ft penthouse was sold for $9.5 million ($2,015 psf) in March 2014.

Two years ago, Frasers Centrepoint appointed acclaimed interior designer Suying Metropolitan Studio to fully furnish the interior of the remaining 4,715 sq ft penthouse with customised European furnishings estimated to cost over $1 million. The unit comes with unobstructed 180° panoramic city views; a private lift lobby; four bedrooms, including the master suite; a private pool; and roof terrace. At that time, the price tag for the fully furnished penthouse was $10.8 million ($2,290 psf).

Frasers Centrepoint is now offering it for $9 million ($1,908 psf). On top of that, the new owner will be able to move in immediately after paying a 10% down payment if he is a Singaporean or permanent resident, with the balance due 12 months later. Meanwhile, foreigners have to put a down payment of 20%, with the remaining 80% payable in 12 months.

Buyers will also have to pay a 3% stamp duty and additional buyer’s stamp duty (ABSD) upfront, if applicable. They also have to stump up the maintenance fee for a 12-month period amounting to $9,516, plus 7% GST.

Frasers Centrepoint is not the only one resorting to all this. Keppel Land has rolled out its own version of a stay-then-pay scheme for 12 of the 13 unsold penthouses at Reflection at Keppel Bay. The 1,129-unit, 99-year leasehold development was designed by world-acclaimed architect Daniel Libeskind. Also completed in 2011, the entire project contains 35 penthouses.

Living and dining area of the fully furnished 4,359 sq ft unit duplex penthouse at Reflections @ Keppel Bay,
priced at $12.9 million

Typical penthouses available for sale under the deferred payment scheme range from a 3,724 sq ft, four-bedroom duplex to a 8,277 sq ft, five-bedroom duplex. They are priced from $8.85 million ($2,376 psf) to $24.6 million ($2,972 psf). A sole triplex super penthouse of 13,293 sq ft comes with six bedrooms and a price tag of $68 million.

Keppel Land’s rent-then-pay scheme for the 12 penthouses works as follows: Buyers need to pay a 5% down payment when they exercise the option to purchase. They then pay another 6% when they opt for the twoyear deferred payment scheme. The additional 6% down payment translates to two years’ rent and a two-month deposit if one were to lease the penthouse. At the end of the two-year period, it can be used to offset the balance payment.

The 13th remaining penthouse at Reflections at Keppel Bay will be sold fully furnished by Italian high-end furniture company Saporiti Italia and is, therefore, not offered under the deferred payment scheme. The 4,359 sq ft, four-bedroom duplex is located on the seventh floor of one of the low-rise villa blocks fronting Marina at Keppel Bay. The asking price is $12.9 million ($2,967 psf) after a 23% discount. Buyers will have to pay 5% down payment, followed by the remaining 95% ten weeks later.

Alan Cheong, head of research at Savills Singapore, reckons developers are adopting such strategies to clear their inventory of big-ticket units, such as penthouses, as the Monetary Authority of Singapore recently announced that it was unlikely to lift the property cooling measures before 2017. “Such schemes will entice people back into the market, and move units that have remained unsold for at least two to three years,” Cheong says. “Buyers will benefit from such schemes, as they get to move into the penthouses immediately and defer the balance of the payment until 12 to 24 months down the road.”

Cheong: Such schemes will entice people back into
the market, and move units that have remained
unsold for at least two to three years


Interestingly, while the CapitaLand-led consortium is offering the stay-then-pay programme for the remaining units at 1,715-unit d’Leedon and 1,040-unit The Interlace, these schemes do not apply to the penthouses in these two projects. Instead, the penthouses will only enjoy up to 15% discount. “The developer believes that buyers of penthouses tend to be owner- occupiers and therefore are unlikely to lease them out,” says Christie’s Eyo.

There are 29 unsold penthouses at d’Leedon, with sizes ranging from 2,949 to 6,265 sq ft. Of the units, only one will be sold fully furnished. It is also the largest available, at 6,265 sq ft. The unit is located on the 33rd floor of one of the seven towers and the interior was designed by Janet McGlennon Interiors. The sprawling unit can be easily divided into three sections — the main living and dining area, the family area with four bedrooms, and a one-bedroom section complete with its own kitchen and living and dining area. All five bedrooms come with en suite bathrooms. The buyer has the option to turn it into a dual key unit with a self-contained one-bedroom apartment and separate four-bedroom unit. The asking price for this unit is $10.9 million ($1,739 psf), after discount.

The main dining and living area of the sprawling fully furnished 6,265 sq ft, five-bedroom penthouse
at d’Leedon, priced at $10.9 million

Unobstructed view from the four-bedroom, 5,726 sq ft duplex penthouse at The Interlace priced at $5.2
million, after discount

Meanwhile, The Interlace has 20 unsold penthouses, which range from 3,488 sq ft for a four-bedroom simplex to 6,308 sq ft for a four-bedroom duplex with a roof terrace. There is also a 5,877 sq ft triplex unit with roof terrace.

A spacious four-bedroom, 5,726 sq ft duplex unit with roof terrace can be had for $5.2 million ($908 psf), after discount. From the dining room, one gets a full view of the Pasir Panjang Port, and the black-and-white bungalows in the Cornwall Road area. The living room offers a clear view of Queensway all the way to River Valley Road.

This article appeared in The Edge Property pullout, Issue 740 (Aug 8, 2016) of The Edge Singapore.

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