Latitude sees prices cross $2,200 psf

Latitude, a high-end condominium located on Jalan Mutiara in the prime River Valley area, has seen a spike in transactions since late July. The 127-unit freehold condo by giant listed developer CapitaLand was completed late last year. Caveat data downloaded from URA for the period from July 26 to Aug 2 saw four caveats lodged for the sale of four four-bedroom units sized at 2,766 to 2,928 sq ft. The quantum prices achieved ranged from $5.84 million to $6.15 million, or an average of $1,944 to $2,224 psf.

Latitude comprises three towers, with a 22- storey tower and two 23-storey towers. Units comprise a mix of two- to four-bedroom apartments and four-bedroom penthouses. Two-bedroom units measure 1,324 sq ft, and penthouses measure 5,317 sq ft. The property is in the prestigious District 10, just five minutes’ drive from the Orchard Road shopping belt.

In 4Q2007, CapitaLand sold 10 units at Latitude in its first phase of release. Prices achieved then, which in hindsight was the peak of the property boom, ranged from $2,500 to $2,800 psf. With the spectre of the US subprime crisis and credit crunch affecting stock markets, market sentiment changed by early 2008, and many developers held back the launches of their high-end projects. According to caveats lodged with URA Realis, only one unit at Latitude was sold in 2008 — to a buyer with an HDB address. It was the sale of an eighth floor, two-bedroom unit for $3.29 million ($2,487 psf).

In 2009, in the aftermath of the global financial crisis and as homebuying demand picked up, 48 units at the Latitude were sold, marking the largest number of units sold in a year since its launch. Prices of units sold ranged from $1,640 psf for a two-bedroom unit to $2,035 psf for a four-bedroom apartment. In 2010, there was a mix of new sales and sub-sales, with prices ranging from $1,738 psf for a three-bedroom unit to $2,318 psf for a penthouse unit.

Transaction prices achieved so far this year ranged from $2,054 to $2,239 psf, according to caveats lodged with URA Realis. Marketing agents focusing on high-end condos in the prime districts of 9, 10 and 11 consider Latitude an attractive choice among investors and owner-occupiers. Four-bedroom units at Latitude command rental rates of about $15,000 a month, says Vivienne Koo, associate director of Tristar Properties. Thus, investors can achieve rental yields of 3%, which is higher than the average of 2% to 2.3% for luxury properties in the prime districts, she adds.

“The Grange, for example, commands similar rents of about $15,000 a month for a fourbedroom unit, but its quantum price is also much higher,” says Koo. According to listings on, a four-bedroom unit at The Grange, located off Grange Road, is priced at $6.5 million, or $2,800 psf.

Another attraction for most potential homeowners and investors is the size of the fourbedroom apartments at Latitude. While most new luxury properties have four-bedroom apartments of about 2,300 sq ft, those at Latitude are close to 2,700 sq ft. “You can’t really find such large sizes in the prime districts anymore, as many of the condominiums built in the old days that feature such large sizes have been sold en bloc, torn down and rebuilt into smaller units,” says Koo.

The units have quality finishing, spacious kitchens and good layouts, observes Koo. As such, more than half the buyers at Latitude are owner-occupiers, and investors make up the rest. Most of the buyers are foreigners, with the project being especially popular among Indonesians and mainland Chinese. Some of these buyers, especially Indonesians, have purchased two or three apartments to be amalgamated into one large unit to accommodate their extended families. “This is something that you don’t usually find in condominiums here in Singapore,” she says.

Source : PropertyGuru – 22 Aug 2011

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