CBRE is launching the sale of the penthouse office floor in Chinatown Point at a guide price of S$2,080 per square foot via an Expression of Interest (EOI) exercise. The sale offering consists of four strata-titled units on the top level with areas ranging from 2,346 square feet to 2,486 square feet. The combined strata floor area is approximately 9,719 square feet.
Image credit: CBRE
Completed in 1990, Chinatown Point is one of the largest office and retail developments strategically located within the heart of Chinatown, Singapore’s most renowned historical district. The mixed-use development comprises an office block from the 8th to 25th storey and a retail podium from basement 2 to the 5th storey.
Refurbished in 2012, Chinatown Point offers an exciting tenant mix, including banks, restaurants, cafes, a library, a supermarket and lifestyle concept stores. Generous car parking provision of 361 lots are provided across four levels of parking.
Given its strategic corner location along New Bridge Road and Upper Cross Street, the development enjoys high visibility with wide dual frontages. Conveniently situated close to an array of amenities including Park Royal Pickering and Hong Lim Food Centre, Chinatown Point is directly linked to Chinatown MRT Interchange Station which offers connectivity to the North-East and Downtown Lines. Two stations to Marina Bay Financial Centre and a short drive into the CBD, the development is also easily accessible via various expressways such as Central Expressway and Ayer Rajah Expressway.
Ms Sammi Lim, Director, Capital Markets, CBRE said, “One of the many key selling points include the spectacular view that the penthouse office units command – overlooking the Singapore River, shophouses and the CBD skyline. We have observed that this development has been extremely popular with law firms who want to be near to the State Courts, and the Family and Juvenile Court. Many occupiers here are attracted by the development’s prime location, the myriad amenities within and near the development and especially, the direct linkage to Chinatown MRT Interchange Station.”
Ms Lim added, “Investors have the option to divest the units on an individual basis in future. As the units are zoned under “Commercial”, both local and foreigners are eligible to purchase them without additional buyers’ stamp duty or sellers’ stamp duty imposed on the units.
“Against the backdrop of tight CBD office supply, we believe that this offering will appeal to investors – including private equity firms, family offices, corporate organizations and high net worth individuals – looking to capitalize on the rising market rents. CBD office rents is projected to grow by more than 10% over the next two years. We also expect interest from end-users seeking to invest in premises for their own operations as a strategy to lock in long-term operational costs and hedge against volatility in the office rental cycles.”
CBRE is the sole marketing agent for this EOI Exercise, which closes on 22 February 2019, Friday, at 3 pm.
The biggest gainers following the new property cooling measures is likely be owners of strata portfolio of offices and shophouses approved for commercial use. The property cooling measures affected almost all categories of buyers and is predicted to achieve its intended objectives of cooling demand and moderating price growth.
One report said investors looking for alternatives to park their money in the wake of property cooling measures, would divert their attention to the strata office and shophouse markets as they are not subjected to this round of purchase or sales restrictions/encumbrances.
Commercial properties such as the rare penthouse office floor at Chinatown Point may be bought under personal name, but total debt servicing Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR) will apply on the individual’s income on such purchases.
To buy a commercial or industrial property under company name, total debt servicing ratio TDSR also applies on the individual director’s income if the company is an investment holding company or an operating company that is loss-making or does not have sufficient cash flow to servicing the repayment.
To buy a commercial or Industrial property under company name where the company is well established with an existing operating business with strong financials, TDSR may be waived on the individual. However director is usually required to become personal guarantors of the loan the company undertakes. Hence this may affect the director’s other purchases, such as for buying a residential property, due to the loading from the TDSR for guaranteeing a loan.
Some banks even advertise 100 to 120% loan. This is due to a combination of working capital as well as commercial/industrial property loan, but this only applies to company with strong cash flow position. Commercial property is different from residential property and the considerations are more complex and varied, though the payoff may be worthwhile for discerning investors.
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