City Square Residences resale prices above $1,000 psf

Since June this year, transaction prices of apartments at the 910-unit City Square Residences in the secondary market have increasingly crossed $1,000 psf, hitting a high of $1,271 psf in August, when a 570 sq ft studio apartment on the 26th floor of one of the two 30-storey towers was sold for $725,000. Since October, however, more units have been changing hands in the resale market at prices above the $1,000 to $1,100 psf range.

There has also been an increase in transactions last month. In November, up to the latest caveat lodged on Nov 18 — for a three bedroom 1,518 sq ft unit that changed hands for $1.49 million — there were already eight transactions at City Square Residences, compared with seven recorded in October, according to the URA Realis database of caveats. The buoyant prices at City Square Residences can be attributed to the launch of the 40-unit boutique-apartment project City Loft on Race Course Road by Oxley (Ascend Capital Pte Ltd) in late October, where units were sold at $999 to $1,154 psf, according to caveats lodged. The development is made up of 34 units of studio apartments ranging from 322 to 419 sq ft and six two-bedroom “penthouses” of 742 to 904 sq ft.

In contrast, the massive City Square Residences, easily one of the largest condominiums in the vicinity (if not the largest), has a wide mix of larger units catering to families, with two-bedroom apartments of 840 to 1,302 sq ft, three-bedroom apartments of 1,195 to 1,830 sq ft and four-bedroom apartments starting from about 1,500 sq ft. Even the studio apartments are around 570 sq ft.

Another reason for City Square Residences being on the radar of homebuyers of late could also be the opening of City Square Mall, with over 700,000 sq ft of retail space and 300 shops, in November. Among the many shops and F&B outlets in the building are an NTUC Fairprice supermarket, a Metro department store and a KopiTiam food court. Developed by City Developments Ltd (CDL), the developer for City Square Residences, the mall is conveniently located right next to the condominium project and linked underground to the nearby Farrer Park MRT station.

The freehold condo project was launched in April 2005 at an initial average selling price of $560 psf, and given its location on the fringe of the city and next to the MRT station as well as a shopping mall, the project had attracted the interest of both owner-occupiers and investors. The project was sold out within months of its launch. Prices have certainly appreciated in the last four years, and transaction prices in recent months have even exceeded the levels seen from 3Q2007 to 1Q2008, at the peak of the property boom. From Nov 13 to 20, three units changed hands in the resale market at $982 to $1,121 psf.

For instance, a three-bedroom, 1,216 sq ft fifth-storey unit in one of the two towers changed hands in a resale at $1.23 million, or $1,011 psf, according to a caveat lodged on Nov 17. This was the second time the unit has changed hands in the secondary market. The first time was just a year ago, when the previous owner paid $899,800, or $740 psf, for it. Thus, he enjoyed a capital upside of 36.7% in just a year. The original owner purchased it from the developer in August 2005 for $782,100, or $643 psf, a 15% appreciation.

Meanwhile, a two-bedroom, 861 sq ft unit on the 23rd floor of one of the twin towers was sold for $965,000, or $1,121 psf. The previous owner had purchased it for $720,000, or $836 psf, in January when the project was close to completion, enjoying a 34% gain in less than 12 months. The first owner bought the unit when it was launched, for $576,000, or $669 psf, enjoying a 25% capital gain. With amenities like shopping mall and MRT in place, and just a short walk from vibrant Little India, it’s no wonder that prices at City Square Residences have been on the rise.

Source : The Edge – 14 Dec 2009

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