The strong sales at new launches in the prime districts, namely Martin Modern and the second phase of Gramercy Park, have had a positive effect on transactions and prices in the resale market. And it is not just the traditional prime Districts of 9 and 10 that are benefiting, but Marina Bay in District 1 as well.
Eric Tay, district director at PropNex, who has focused on the resale market in the prime districts for the past three years, has noticed a surge in enquiries for units at The Sail @ Marina Bay. The 1,111-unit The Sail was the first residential project to be launched at Marina Bay and was completed in 2008.
Recent resale prices at The Sail reflect the more positive market sentiment, with three out of the four units that changed hands in August sold at prices above $2,000 psf. The most recent transaction was for the sale of a 1,259 sq ft, three-bedroom unit on the sixth floor of one of the towers. It fetched $2.8 million ($2,223 psf), according to a caveat lodged on Aug 27. The unit last changed hands for $2.33 million ($1,849 psf) in 2010.
The most recent transaction at The Sail @ Marina Bay was that of a 1,259 sq ft, three-bedroom unit on the sixth floor that fetched $2.8 million ($2,223 psf)
On Aug 21, a 936 sq ft, two-bedroom unit on the 17th floor of The Sail changed hands for $2.13 million ($2,277 psf), 16% higher than the $1.84 million ($1,964 psf) that the seller paid a decade ago, according to caveats lodged with URA Realis.
Meanwhile, on Aug 1, a 689 sq ft, one-bedroom unit on the 13th floor went for $1.52 million ($2,206 psf). The unit was purchased for $676,000 ($982 psf) when the project was first launched in 2004.
“Unlike in the past, when the transactions in Marina Bay and other parts of the prime districts were driven by foreign demand, this time around, it’s local buyers who are fuelling demand,” says PropNex’s Tay. He believes this turnaround in the market is therefore likely to be “more sustainable”. He reckons the pickup in resales is also the result of the spate of successful collective sales in recent months. With additional buyer’s stamp duty still in place, many local buyers are end-users, with some wanting to upgrade to a bigger unit or a better address.
At the 428-unit Marina Bay Residences, there was also a spike in transactions and enquiries in the last two months. The latest transaction was that of a 1,076 sq ft, two-bedroom unit on the 38th floor. It was sold for $2.18 million ($2,025 psf), according to a caveat lodged on Aug 23. When the unit was first purchased in December 2006, it went for just under $2.1 million ($1,947 psf).
Last month, a 2,379 sq ft, four-bedroom unit at Marina Bay Residences was sold for $7.7 million ($3,237 psf). It pays to be patient, it seems. The seller of the four-bedroom unit had been holding it for over a decade, having purchased the unit when the project was first launched in December 2006. The price at the time was $4.84 million ($2,034 psf).
The last time a unit at Marina Bay Residences crossed the $3,000 psf threshold was in October 2015 when a 1,055 sq ft, two-bedroom unit on the 50th floor fetched $3.55 million ($3,365 psf), according to a caveat lodged then. The 55-storey project was completed in 2010.
With the improved market sentiment, PropNex’s Tay says sellers are now looking to adjust their selling prices upwards.
At One Shenton, an 818 sq ft, one-bedroom unit on the 12th floor changed hands for $1.27 million ($1,550 psf), according to a caveat lodged on Aug 24. The unit was purchased for $1.41 million ($1,723 psf) in February 2007, when the project was launched. The 341-unit One Shenton was completed in 2011.
“The property market is at a turning point right now,” notes PropNex’s Tay. “While transactions have recovered and prices have bottomed, rents are still lagging.”
This article appeared in The Edge Property Pullout, Issue 796 (Sept 11, 2017) of The Edge Singapore.
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