New high of $2,515 psf at Icon

Prices at the 646-unit Icon on Gopeng Street reached a new high of $2,515 psf on Oct 15, when a 1,119 sq ft penthouse on the 46th floor was sold for $2.8 million. This breaks the previous record of $2,457 psf in November 2007, when another similar-sized unit on the same floor went for $2.75 million.

The new high set at the four-year-old, 46-storey condominium was for a prime unit sold by developer Far East Organization (FEO).

According to a spokeswoman, FEO sold two other 1,119 sq ft units last month, on the 45th floor, for $2.49 million ($2,224 psf) and $2.42 million ($2,168 psf). With the sale of the three units, the spokeswoman confirms that the project is fully sold.

Kelvin Lau, an agent with PropNex, says, “Developers usually hold on to a few good units and release them into the market when they think prices have reached a peak.”

Meanwhile, lower-floor units are also seeing a surge in prices, increasingly crossing $1,700 psf. Lau says he sold a few one- and two-bedroom units last month at $1,600 to $1,800 psf, adding that most sellers are now asking for $1,800 psf and above.

Still, he points out that prices at Icon are attractive, compared with new developments in the area. For instance, at the 62-storey, 280-unit Altez, also by FEO and located on Enggor Street adjacent to Icon, an 861 sq ft unit on the 38th floor most recently went for $2.2 million ($2,605 psf) in August. Altez is expected to be completed in 2015.

Meanwhile, at the newly completed 168-unit Lumiere by BS Capital along Mistri Road, adjacent to Anson Centre, a 505 sq ft unit on the 20th floor sold for $930,000 ($1,838 psf) on Oct 25. Lau adds that Icon is popular with local and overseas investors, as the project comprises mostly small units and enjoys a high rental yield. According to him, owners are asking for $4,000 a month and above for a one-bedroom unit.

The 99-year leasehold condo was, in fact, the first inner-city residential project to be launched in the heart of the CBD six years ago, and units are highly sought after owing to its proximity to offices in the Tanjong Pagar district and the short walking distance to the Tanjong Pagar MRT station. Restaurants, pubs and supermarkets are also within walking distance, while there are cafés, restaurants and shops at Icon Village.

Interest could also grow thanks to the redevelopment of plots in the Malaysian railway station and the port area into a new waterfront district and a desirable work-live-play neighbourhood. An upcoming residential project is Allgreen Properties’ SkySuites @ Anson next to Altez and Icon.

From Oct 15 to 26, there were five transactions at Icon at $1,698 to $2,515 psf, according to caveats lodged with URA Realis.

On the seventh floor, a 699 sq ft studio apartment fetched $1.188 million ($1,698 psf), representing a 191% gain for the seller, who purchased the unit for $408,004 ($583 psf) during the launch in 2003.

On the 13th floor, a 559.7 sq ft studio apartment unit was sold for $995,000 ($1,778 psf), translating into a 130% gain for the seller, who paid $432,800 ($773 psf) for it in 2006. Before this, the unit sold for $372,760 ($666 psf) in 2003.

It is evident that owners at the Icon enjoy good rental demand and capital gains as the neighbourhood is revitalised.

Source : The Edge – 15 Nov 2010

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