Completed early last year, the RiverGate development in the Robertson Quay area, where some units enjoy spectacular views of the Singapore River, has seen transaction prices scale $2,000 psf since July. However, they are nowhere near the record high of $2,701 psf achieved in May 2007, when a 3,143 sq ft unit was sold for $8.49 million. When the project was launched in early 2005, average prices were only $1,080 psf.
Designed by award-winning architect Philip Cox — also the creator of the Helix Bridge linking the Bayfront to Marina Centre — the condominium has been conferred landmark status by the URA. It is also the only project with towers soaring up to 43 storeys, as most other condos fronting the Singapore River are restricted to around 10 storeys in height.
Located on Martin Road on the site of the former Trademart warehouse, the freehold, 545-unit River- Gate was developed jointly by CapitaLand and Hwa Hong Corp. It is located near the Mohamad Sultan and River Valley area, where restaurants and clubs — for instance, the famous Zouk discotheque — abound. It is also in the vicinity of Clarke Quay and Boat Quay, other hotspots for eateries and pubs, and a short drive to the CBD and Orchard Road shopping belt.
Given the location and quality of the project, it’s no surprise that it is sought-after by expatriates, say property agents. For the period of Sept 21 to 28, there were three transactions with prices ranging from $2,001 to $2,170 psf at RiverGate.
The first, a 1,496 sq ft, three-bedroom unit on the 41st floor, was sold for $3.2 million, or $2,170 psf. This represents a 25% gain for the previous owner, who bought it for $2.6 million ($1,737 psf) during the launch in 2006.
Keith Tan, director of Apro Realtors, says he brokered the sale of the unit to a buyer from China. Tan adds that the unit offers a spectacular view of the Marina Bay Sands integrated resort.
Tan, who has sold a number of units in the resale market, notes that most of the buyers are from China, with some buying for their own occupation. He reckons that at least 15 units in RiverGate are owned by mainland Chinese. For families, one of the attractions is the availability of sizeable three- and four-bedroom units and facilities in the condo, which is one of the biggest in the River Valley area.
In the second transaction, a 1,797 sq ft, four bedroom unit on the 36th floor was sold for $3.68 million ($2,047 psf). The unit changed hands for $3.05 million ($1,700 psf) in 2006, representing a 20% gain for the seller.
The final transaction involved a 1,022 sq ft, two bedroom unit on the fifth floor of another block that was sold for $2.05 million ($2,001 psf). This was a 21% gain for the seller, who purchased it for $1.69 million ($1,651 psf) in 2007.
Along Kim Seng Road and across the river from RiverGate is City Developments Ltd’s 175-unit Tribeca, which was completed this year. The most recent transaction there involved a 516 sq ft, one-bedroom unit that fetched $985,000 ($1,906 psf), according to a Sept 27 caveat. This compares with the peak of $1,974 psf achieved in 2007 and on Sept 3, this year. Most of the units at Tribeca that changed hands from July to September commanded prices in the range of $1,614 to $1,974 psf.
And, adjacent to Tribeca is the fully sold Centennia Suites, which is under construction. The most recent transactions at the Lippo Group development were in August, when units were sold at $1,935 to $1,943 psf.
Lippo’s other project next door, the 231 unit The Trillium, is expected to obtain its temporary occupation permit within a month or two. As completion nears, units in the three 29-storey towers have been changing hands at $2,005 to $2,150 psf since August.
It is clear that prices of new condos on either side of the Singapore River are continuing to hold up, and perhaps gradually move towards the highs seen in 2007.
Source : The Edge – 18 Oct 2010