Casa Merah apartments breach $800 psf mark

Apartments at Casa Merah changed hands at above $800 psf in the secondary market between Sept 11 and 18. The surge in price was probably because of the successful launch of neighbouring Optima @ Tanah Merah in August. The new development, which will sit next to Casa Merah along Tanah Merah Kechil Avenue, saw apartments sold at above the $800 psf level.

As at end-August, all the units at The Optima were sold except for three penthouses. The apartments fetched between $603 and $1,071 psf, according to caveats lodged with URA Realis. The 99-year leasehold Optima, which has a total of 297 units, is a joint-venture development by Hong Leong Group and Japan’s Mitsui Fudosan.

The most recent sale completed on Aug 31 was for a unit measuring 969 sq ft, with two bedrooms and a study. The apartment on the 11th floor was sold for $851,100, or $879 psf. The highest transacted psf price for the Optima was for a one-bedroom apartment measuring 484 sq ft, also on the 11th floor — it sold for $1,061 psf.

Casa Merah is a newly completed 556-unit condominium developed jointly by NTUC Choice Homes and Wing Tai Holdings. Transactions over the past two months at the 99-year leasehold project have breached $800 psf. When it was first launched in April 2007, the apartments were sold for between $600 and $770 psf.

The $800 level has been breached four times. The first was on Aug 13, for a sixth-floor apartment with a 958 sq ft area, at $820,000, or $856 psf. This is the highest transacted price for Casa Merah since its launch.

Recently, an apartment on the ninth floor with a 990 sq ft area was sold for $815,000, or $823 psf. The original owner had bought the two-bedroom unit in May 2007 for $669,280, or $676 psf, representing a 22% gain. In addition, an apartment on the 11th floor was sold for $840,000, or $848 psf.

A ninth-floor apartment on another block, measuring 1,249 sq ft, fetched $1 million, or $801 psf. The three-bedroom unit was purchased in May 2007 for $853,200, or $683 psf, representing a 17% gain for the owner.

Meanwhile, another 99-year leasehold condominium, East Meadows, completed in 2001 by Far East Organization and located along Tanah Merah Kechil Road, has seen its apartments change hands at an average of $691 psf since August this year. Its most recent transaction was for a 1,378 sq ft apartment on the eighth floor — at $988,000, or $717 psf. The owner bought the apartment in May 2004 at $710,000, or $515 psf, a 39% gain.

Another beneficiary of the recent surge in psf price owing to the new launches is Cote d’Azur, located next to Parkway Parade shopping centre along Marine Parade Road. It is a 99-year leasehold condominium with 612 units and was developed by Fraser Centrepoint.

Next to Cote d’Azur is Silversea, a new condominium project by Far East Organization launched in July. In August, the transaction prices for the 99- year leasehold Silversea ranged between $1,188 and $1,351 psf. During the same period, prices transacted for Cote d’Azur apartments were between $825 and $1,202 psf.

In the most recent transaction on Sept 11, a four-bedroom apartment in Cote d’Azur was sold for $1.87 million, or $1,215 psf. The 1,539 sq ft apartment on the 20th floor was bought for $1.08 million, or $704 psf, in July 2002. in 2001.

Other condominiums along Ang Mo Kio Avenue 9 have also benefited from the Centro effect, with a unit at Far Horizon Gardens, a condominium completed in the 1980s, changing hands in the resale market at $508 psf last month, the highest price psf achieved in the project this year.

Sellers are also benefiting from the recovery in the residential sector, which saw a marked 15.9% jump in the 3Q residential price index — the largest q-o-q increase seen in the index since 1981, according to URA’s 3Q flash estimate last week. As a result of this big increase, the 3Q price index is now 5.1% below that in 4Q2008 even though it registered a total decline of 18.1% in the first two quarters of 2009. The residential price index is more or less at the levels seen in 2Q2007.

Source : The Edge – 12 Oct 2009

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