Martin Place Residences hits $2,150 psf

The fully sold, 302-unit freehold Martin Place Residences obtained its temporary occupation permit (TOP) just last month. Enterprising property agents are already milling about in the area, showing units for lease and sale on the secondary market.

There were two transactions at Martin Place Residences over the week of Sept 13 to 20, based on the latest caveats lodged and downloaded from URA Realis as at Oct 6. One was the sale of a one-bedroom, 592 sq ft unit on the 25th level, which changed hands for $1.25 million ($2,111 psf). The seller had purchased it for $1.022 million ($1,726 psf) in June 2009, when the project was relaunched. The seller saw a price appreciation of 22.3%.

Meanwhile, at the neighbouring block of the twin tower development, a 1,722 sq ft, three-bedroom apartment on the 31st floor changed hands for $3.7 million ($2,150 psf). The seller had paid $2.87 million ($1,664 psf) when it was purchased in August 2009, hence, recognising a 29.2% price gain in two years. According to Benson Koh, senior group district partner of SLP Real Estate Empire, the 1,722 sq ft, three-bedroom units have seen prices escalating on the secondary market, with owners asking prices in the range of $1,900 to $2,200 psf, despite the uncertainty hanging over the global economy in recent months.

The riverfront neighbourhood of River Valley- Mohamad Sultan- Robertson Quay has become a sought-after residential district, given the short driving distance to both the CBD and Orchard Road, say property agents. There’s also the waterfront lifestyle, with the waterfront promenade so that people can enjoy a pleasant walk along the Singapore River, and the numerous retail and F&B enclaves at Boat Quay, and Clarke Quay.

Projects such as Martin Place Residences therefore appeal to local and foreign investors, especially those from China and Indonesia. “Three-bedroom apartments in the area tend to fetch good rentals, ranging from $7,500 to $9,500 per month,” says Koh.

Just down the road from Martin Place Residences is SC Global’s 88-unit Martin No 38. The three commercial units in the project have already opened, and tenants are a boutique gym, The Mill, and two restaurants, Graze and Kha. The residential portion will only be completed by year-end. However, all the 65 residential units launched to date have been sold, according to URA new home sales at end-August. The most recent transaction at the condominium was for a 969 sq ft unit on the sixth floor that was sold in August for $2.274 million ($2,347 psf). Prior to that, a high of $2,962 psf was achieved in May, when a 1,485 sq ft unit on the 14th level was sold for $4.4 million.

Meanwhile, across the street on Martin Road is the 545-unit RiverGate, which has restaurants overlooking the Singapore River, as well as a grocery store. The 99-year leasehold condo was developed jointly by CapitaLand and Hwa Hong Corp and completed in 2009. The most recent transaction at the condo was for a three-bedroom, 1,539 sq ft apartment that was sold for $3.15 million ($2,046 psf) last month. Rental rates for three-bedroom apartments at Martin Place Residences are likely to be comparable with those at RiverGate, says a property agent who declined to be named. The latter is sought after by families owing to the facilities, landscaping and direct access to the promenade as well as the restaurants along the Singapore River.

The Robertson Quay neighbourhood has seen an increase in interest this year, not just in the new developments, but existing condos as well. An example is the 206-unit Watermark Robertson Quay by Hong Leong, which was completed in 2008. The latest deal there was for a 1,324 sq ft unit on the fifth level that was sold for $2.1 million ($1,586 psf) last month. The seller had purchased the unit when it was launched in 2005 for just over $1.22 million ($923 psf), hence realising a capital appreciation of 71.8% over the last six years.

At the 186-unit freehold Robertson 100 by MCL Land, which was completed in 2004, an 872 sq ft unit was sold last month for $1.46 million ($1,675 psf). This was the third time that the unit has changed hands on the resale market. The original owner, who bought it from the developer, paid $797,400 ($915 psf) for the unit in 2004. He then sold it in 2007 for $1.1 million ($1,262 psf), realising a gain of 37.9% in three years. The buyer then sold it two years later for a slightly higher price of $1.2 million ($1,376 psf) in 2009. The recent seller who purchased the unit for $1.2 million in 2009 and sold it for $1.46 million ($1,675 psf) enjoyed a 21.7% appreciation over the last two years.

Source : The Edge – 10 Oct 2011

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