Ardmore Park sales cross $3,000 psf

The luxury residential segment is starting to see prices inch back to peak levels recorded in late 2007 and 1Q2008. The bellwether of luxury condos, Wheelock Properties’ Ardmore Park recently saw two units change hands in the resale market at above $3,000 psf, according to caveats lodged with URA Realis from Oct 9 to 16. Some property consultants attribute it to owners re-setting their prices to more lofty levels after SC Global’s announcement early last month that six units at its luxury Seven Palms in Sentosa Cove were sold at record prices of $11 million each, or $3,100 to $3,400 psf.

The 330-unit freehold Ardmore Park, located along Ardmore Park Drive and completed in 2001, features only four-bedroom apartments of 2,885 sq ft each and penthouses of 8,740 sq ft each.

Recently, a 27th floor apartment in one of the three towers changed hands for the third time at $9.2 million, or $3,189 psf.

The vendor had purchased the apartment for $5.25 million, or $1,820 psf, in October 1999, reaping a 75% capital gain after holding the property for a decade. The first owner had purchased the property at launch in July 1996 for $5.87 million, or $2,037 psf, which was the peak of the property boom a decade ago before the Asian financial crisis.

Another apartment on the 23rd floor of the same tower was sold for $8.8 million, or $3,051 psf. The seller had purchased the apartment just six months earlier in May for $6.45 million, or $2,236 psf, flipping it for a 36% capital gain.

This is the first time this year that apartments at Ardmore Park have crossed the $3,000 psf level. The last time was in April 2008, when an apartment on the 15th floor of another tower was sold for $8.68 million, or $3,009 psf. The record price psf achieved at Ardmore Park was for a 28th floor apartment sold in October 2007 for $10.05 million, or $3,484 psf.

Jacqueline Wong, head of residential at Jones Lang LaSalle, says the recent transactions at Ardmore Park of more than $3,000 psf is an indication that prices of luxury condos at selected projects are gradually returning to the levels seen during the peak of late 2007 and early 2008. “Apartments like Ardmore Park are the crème de la crème of the top-end market because of their quality, spaciousness and location,” she adds. “There’s not much new supply of such luxury condos right now, so buyers are looking at existing properties.”

In the landed-housing market, two Good Class Bungalows (GCBs) changed hands at $37.5 million and $27.35 million in the week of Oct 9 to 16. The $37.5 million, or $862 psf, achieved was for a conservation GCB on Chatsworth Park situated on a 43,497 sq ft freehold land area. “This GCB is sitting on a large plot of land, which is a rare find nowadays,” says JLL’s Wong. In the past, there were more GCBs with land areas of 25,000 to 45,000 sq ft but, over the years, many have been sub-divided into smaller entry-level GCB plots of 15,000 to 16,000 sq ft. Thus, investors are willing to pay a premium for such large GCB plots because of their scarcity, especially if there is potential for sub-division, Wong points out.

The site at Chatsworth Park has the potential for sub-division into two smaller GCB plots, even though the existing main house is a conservation building that has to be restored, notes Wong. While buyers of GCBs are mainly Singaporeans, increasingly, they comprise foreigners-turned-citizens or permanent residents.

The other GCB, on Belmont Road and with a sizeable land area of 29,310 sq ft, was sold for $27.35 million, or $933 psf. This is the third time the property has changed hands in as many years. The vendor in the most recent transaction had purchased the property in August 2007 for $23.3 million, or $795 psf, according to a caveat lodged with URA Realis. The previous seller had flipped the GCB after barely two months, having purchased it for $21.5 million, or $734 psf, in June 2007.

Source : The Edge – 9 Nov 2009

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