Prices of Goodwood Gardens cross $1,600 psf

The encouraging response to the launch of City Developments’ 85-unit high-end Volari (the former Garden Hotel) at an average price exceeding $2,000 psf and improved sentiment in the property market have lifted prices of condominiums in the Balmoral neighbourhood.

Adjacent to Volari is the 40-unit Sui Generis, jointly developed by Kajima Overseas Asia and United Engineers, and which set a benchmark for the Balmoral area when it was soft-launched in November 2007 at prices averaging $2,500 psf. Early this year, Sui Generis was reportedly fully sold when a property fund purchased the remaining 21 units for $65 million, or an average of $1,260 psf, when the market was still bleak. As recently as August last year, prior to the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September, a 2,121 sq ft unit changed hands for $5.73 million, or a high of $2,704 psf.

At the nearby Goodwood Gardens, a 29-unit boutique condominium located on the quiet, exclusive neighbourhood of Balmoral Crescent just off the busy Balmoral Road, there’s been a spike in transactions in the secondary market since July. It is believed that the units sold are by the same owner — the Asia No 1 Property Fund, jointly set up by Henderson Global Investors and Keppel Land, which made a bulk purchase of 15 units at Goodwood Gardens in August 2004 for a total of $23.7 million, or an average of $1,066 psf, according to caveats lodged with URA Realis. The purchase was made on a deferred payment scheme and with an attractive rental scheme offered by the developer, TID Pte Ltd, a partnership between Singapore property tycoon Kwek Leng Beng’s Hong Leong Holdings and Japan’s Mitsui Fudosan. Thus, the project was fully sold without a launch.

Very few units had changed hands in the secondary market in the five-year-old condominium, with a sole transaction in 2006 at $1,097 psf. According to caveats lodged with URA Realis from July 28 to Aug 11, six units changed hands and the seller appears to be the Asia No 1 Property Fund. Two units were sold at $2.92 million ($1,605 psf) and $3.36 million ($1,585 psf) in July.

From Aug 4 to 11, four other units changed hands for $2.92 million ($1,644 psf) to $3.5 million ($1,565 psf). A 1,776 sq ft apartment that was sold for $2.92 million was purchased for $1.87 million ($1,054 psf) five years ago. Meanwhile, a 2,239 sq ft unit that was sold for $3.5 million was originally purchased by the fund at $2.04 million ($911 psf). The capital gain ranges from 56% to 71.5% for the seller.

Source : The Edge – 7 Sep 2009

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