Penthouse at The Trillium sold for $12.4 million

Views of the Singapore River are commanding a premium today. On June 3, a penthouse unit of 5,511 sq ft at The Trillium on Kim Seng Road was sold for $12.4 million, or $2,250 psf. Within a week, a second unit, slightly smaller at 1,798 sq ft, was sold for $3.4 million, or $1,908 psf.

The Trillium penthouse transaction is the highest so far for the development in terms of price psf. The development has 236 units in three 29-storey towers. It was developed by the Lippo Group and its riverside location has proven very popular with both Indonesian and local investors. Andy Fu, an agent with Dennis Wee Group, says The Trillium has one of the better views along that stretch of the Singapore River. “I have [sold units to] a lot of premium owners here and they love the units,” he says. “The view is really breathtaking.”

Fu has several other units at The Trillium listed for sale on propertyguru. com, including two which are listed at $2,500 psf. One is a three bedroom unit on the 26th floor with a total asking price of $4.5 million. While that price, if transacted, would mark a new high, Fu explains that the seller actually purchased the unit at close to $3.9 million and hopes at least to make a profit on the sale. He adds that the unit is already tenanted at $8,500 a month. According to the listings on propertyguru. com, rents range from $8,500 to as high as $30,000 a month for a penthouse unit.

Although The Trillium doesn’t currently have easy access to an MRT station, Fu says buyers are also anticipating the opening of stations along the Thomson Line in the future, which is expected to travel northwards from Marina Bay through the CBD, connecting estates such as those around Thomson Road and Kim Seng Road that do not currently have an MRT link. He says units at the Centennia Suites, another property by the Lippo Group that is also coming up on Kim Seng Road, sold well for similar reasons. The 90-unit Centennia Suites is fully sold, with three units picked up by Hong Kong star Jackie Chan.

Besides The Trillium, Fu is also marketing some other riverside apartments at Tribeca, which is two doors away from The Trillium. A unit there was sold on June 2 at $1,900 psf for a total of $3.4 million. However, Fu says most buyers gravitate towards The Trillium because of the better layout of the units.

A little farther along the river is RiverGate, on Robertson Quay. Developed by CapitaLand and Hwa Hong Corp, it was awarded landmark status by the URA. It was actually the first residential project in Singapore to be accorded landmark status. While most of the property developments along the Singapore River have a height restriction of 10 storeys, RiverGate has 545 units in three 43- storey towers. Besides excellent views, residents also enjoy direct access to the riverfront promenade.

Between May 31 and June 7, there were three transactions at RiverGate in the $2,000 psf range. The selling prices of these three units were close to their 2007 highs. The highest price was for a unit on the 41st floor at $2,262 psf for a total transaction cost of $4.7 million. Another unit on the 40th floor was sold at $2,179 psf, which is slightly less than the $2,250 psf that the owner paid in October 2007. At $2,150 psf, the most recent transaction, on June 6, was very lucrative for the owner, who paid $1,091psf in 2005.

Benny Lim, a sales director at DTZ Debenham Tie Leung, says there is a lot of investor interest for units at RiverGate, mostly from Indonesians and mainland Chinese. A principal attraction is the scale of the development, as RiverGate has one of the biggest plots of land around the Robertson Quay area, and therefore has full condominium facilities. “The landscaping is also very beautiful and the facilities are unique,” he says. There is, for instance, a golf simulator on the second floor. Also, there are many fine-dining establishments in the area, which makes it attractive to tenants.

Lim says most of the tenants at RiverGate are Europeans and that rental rates there have been rising rapidly. A three-bedroom unit now fetches in the range of $8,000 a month, up from $5,000 or $6,000 some two years ago. A two bedroom unit can fetch $6,500 a month, from about $4,500 previously.

Lim says there is generally healthy interest for developments fronting the Singapore River. Another project that he has also been involved in, the boutique style development Watermark Robertson Quay, has been quite a hit with buyers looking for something a little cheaper and with a little more privacy. The two bedroom units there have been going for between $1,500 and $1,890 psf and his company has closed deals on five or six units there this year.

Source : The Edge – 27 Jun 2011

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