The 124-unit luxury condominium Marina Collection by developer Lippo Group was completed just last year, and is located next door to ONE°15 Marina Club. The project has seen a spate of buying interest despite the imposition of the additional buyer’s stamp duty (ABSD) on Dec 8. Based on the latest caveats lodged and downloaded from URA Realis as at Jan 18, there were three transactions at the project, with caveats lodged in late December.
The most recent transaction involved the sale of a three-bedroom, 1,873 sq ft unit on the second floor, which was sold for $5.34 million ($2,850 psf) in December. Meanwhile, on the first floor of the same block, two units, both three-bedroom apartments of 2,099 sq ft, changed hands at $5.88 million ($2,800 psf). All three units were said to have been purchased by foreign investors directly from the developer, and they are purchasing with the intention of renting them out, says Phylicia Ang, executive director of Savills Residential. “Foreigners, especially from Thailand and India have shown interest in Marina Collection, and are looking to buy mainly for long-term investment,” she adds.
Interest in Marina Collection had picked up towards the end of last year. Despite the ABSD of 10% levied on residential property purchases by foreigners, 3% for permanent residents buying their second and subsequent property, and Singaporeans buying their third and more, interest in Sentosa Cove condos has not dropped significantly, says Nancy Hawkes, senior group division head at Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) Residential. “It has certainly slowed down,” she concedes, “but buyers who’re really interested will still buy.” Interest from China buyers at Sentosa Cove, which had slowed in the weeks following the imposition of the ABSD, has also picked up over the last few weeks, and they are zooming in on the bungalows rather than the condos, notes Savills’ Ang.
While most bungalow buyers at Sentosa Cove tend to be owner-occupiers, those who purchase condos tend to be investors, observes JLL’s Hawkes. At Marina Collection, a three-bedroom apartment can fetch a rental rate of $9,000 a month, she adds.
Launched in December 2007, the 99-year leasehold Marina Collection saw units sold at prices ranging from $2,636 to $2,917 psf. Recent transaction prices of $2,800 to $2,850 psf are close to the record highs achieved in late 2007/early 2008, according to caveats lodged with URA Realis.
Most of the units at Marina Collection overlook the berth, and developer Lippo Group offers homebuyers a complimentary membership at ONE°15 Marina Club. “It stands out from the other condos in Sentosa Cove in that it offers a yachting lifestyle,” says Savills’ Ang.
It is also the only condo on Sentosa Island that boasts an Olympic-sized pool, adds JLL’s Hawkes. “The layout of the units makes good use of space. For example, the bomb shelter is under the stairs instead of a room in a corner,” she notes. Residents can also look forward to a variety of entertainment and retail options nearby once the 240-room resort hotel, The W Singapore Sentosa Cove, opens its doors later this year. Next to the W hotel is the 228-unit The Residences at W.
According to Ang, buyers looking for unblocked sea views may be lured to the 151-unit Seascape instead. The 99-year leasehold condo development by Ho Bee Group and IOI Properties was also completed last year. Ho Bee Group is the first mover at Sentosa Cove and easily the largest stakeholder there in terms of the number of projects developed. The luxury project features spacious apartments with direct sea views. Last month, two units of four-bedroom apartments were sold for $11 million each. One was a 4,241 sq ft unit that went for $2,594 psf, while the other was 4,133 sq ft, and was sold for $2,661 psf. The condos at Sentosa Cove each have their own unique offering, says Hawkes. “It really depends on the buyer’s lifestyle and demands but for those who like boating, Marina Collection offers the best location and facilities,” she adds. Generally investors who buy condo units at Sentosa Cove can expect to achieve rental rates of $4.50 to $4.70 psf per month, says Ang.
However, in this luxury waterfront residential enclave, most buyers have adopted a wait-and-see approach. “Buyers are a little bit uncertain about committing, given the current economic situation, so there have been many viewings but few offers,” says Ang. Hawkes, who is a resident at Sentosa Cove and owns two other condo units as investments, is waiting for The Pinnacle Collection to be launched sometime this year before deciding on her next Sentosa Cove purchase. The Pinnacle Collection, a joint venture between Ho Bee and IOI Properties, is located at the entrance of the marina leading into Sentosa Cove and is slated to be 20 storeys, the tallest building in Sentosa Cove.
Source : The Edge – 23 Jan 2012