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Overseas buyers snapping up units at new luxury condos

December is seasonally a quiet month for the property market, as many local buyers hold off on purchases because of holiday travels or to wait for fresh pickings in the coming year, say property agents. This year, however, buying momentum among foreign buyers, particularly the Chinese, has seen a “strong pickup” in the past few weeks, says Bruce Lye, managing partner of SRI.

This level of interest among Chinese and other overseas buyers is likely to continue through the rest of December, and many seem to be focusing their attention on two recently launched luxury projects, says Dominic Lee, head of the luxury team at PropNex Realty. “Overall this month, interest has been particularly keen in South Beach Residences and New Futura,” he says.

Two units at South Beach Residences were sold during the week of Nov 27 to Dec 4. The larger, 2,616 sq ft, four-bedroom unit on the 38th floor fetched $9.66 million ($3,694 psf). The other, a two-bedroom unit of 1,496 sq ft on the 36th floor, was sold for $4.99 million ($3,335 psf). Launched in September, the 190-unit South Beach Residences is the residential component of the integrated South Beach development on Beach Road.

Meanwhile, a three-bedroom unit at New Futura on Leonie Hill Road was sold for $7 million ($3,829 psf) on Nov 30. The 1,830 sq ft unit is on the 31st floor in the second of the two towers at New Futura. The 124-unit development is the first luxury condominium to be launched this year, and had its preview in January. According to caveats, 36 units (58%) in the second tower have already been sold and 62 units (97%) in the first tower were sold by the end of May. At least five more units at New Futura have been sold in the past two weeks, says Lee. So far, prices at the freehold condo have ranged from $3.86 million ($3,519 psf) for a 1,098 sq ft, two-bedroom unit, to $36.28 million ($4,630 psf) for a 7,836 sq ft penthouse unit.

Also in the new luxury condo segment, three units at 3 Cuscaden on Cuscaden Walk, off Orchard Boulevard, were sold during the week in review. The luxury condo was launched for sale on Nov 3. One of the units sold was a three-bedroom unit on the 22nd floor, which fetched $4.63 million ($3,648 psf). The others were a 764 sq ft, two-bedroom unit and a 452 sq ft, one-bedroom unit, sold for $2.59 million ($3,385 psf) and $1.55 million ($3,417 psf) respectively.

But buyers have also turned their gaze towards older developments in the prime areas. A unit at the branded residence on Cuscaden Road, St Regis Residences Singapore, changed hands during the week. The 2,153 sq ft, four-bedroom unit on the 17th floor was sold for $5.68 million ($2,636 psf) on Nov 29. One reason branded residences are still drawing in buyers is that their current psf price could be relatively more attractive, especially compared with the prices of some recently launched developments in the prime central areas, says SRI’s Lye. “Generally, about $2,500 psf for a freehold home in the Orchard Road area is attractive,” he adds.

The most expensive condo unit sold during the week was at Bishopsgate Residences, located near Grange Road, which also saw two other units sold in the same period. A 6,641 sq ft four-bedroom unit on the ground floor fetched the highest price, $24 million ($3,614 psf), on Nov 30. A four-bedroom unit of 3,907 sq ft changed hands for $13.19 million ($3,375 psf), while a 2,583 sq ft three-bedroom unit was sold for $8.2 million ($3,174 psf). According to Lye, some of the transactions this year at Bishopsgate Residences have been “family- and friend-related purchases”, where family members, friends or business partners decide to buy units in the same project.

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