Prices of Nuovo cross $600psf on ‘Centro-effect’

There’s been a spurt in sales at Nuovo in Ang Mo Kio recently, after the executive condominium (EC) crossed the five-year minimum-occupation period. Seven units changed hands from Sept 4 to 11, according to caveats lodged with URA Realis. In 2006 and 2008, there was only one transaction each, and two deals in 2007. Owners who sold recently are taking advantage of the “Centro-effect”, caused by the launch of giant property developer Far East Organization’s 329-unit Centro Residences in Ang Mo Kio Avenue 8. Units there have been sold at an average of $1,179 psf from its launch in August to Sept 11, according to figures from URA Realis. Between Sept 4 and 11, an 893 sq ft unit sold for $1.07 million, or $1,199 psf.

Given that it’s a private condominium, Centro Residences doesn’t have the same restrictions that Nuovo, an EC, has. Under HDB rules, owners of ECs are only allowed to sell their units to Singapore citizens or permanent residents five years after the project receives Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP), which, for the 297-unit Nuovo, was in 2004. It’s only 10 years after TOP that units in ECs can be traded like any other private condominium in the resale market, with sales to foreigners allowed as well.

However, the owners of Nuovo should be delighted at transaction prices in the range of $477 to $637 psf, as they are the highest achieved since the property was launched at end-2001. Prices at that time were hovering at $400 psf.

For instance, a 1,119 sq ft unit on the ninth floor went for $710,000, or $634 psf. This is a gain of 52% for the original owner, who had purchased it from developer City Developments Ltd (CDL) for $467,276 in 2002. A larger unit on the 17th floor went for $1.2 million, or $477 psf. The 2,594 sq ft condominium was purchased for $812,746 in 2001.

Other condominiums along Ang Mo Kio Avenue 9 have also benefited from the Centro effect, with a unit at Far Horizon Gardens, a condominium completed in the 1980s, changing hands in the resale market at $508 psf last month, the highest price psf achieved in the project this year.

Sellers are also benefiting from the recovery in the residential sector, which saw a marked 15.9% jump in the 3Q residential price index — the largest q-o-q increase seen in the index since 1981, according to URA’s 3Q flash estimate last week. As a result of this big increase, the 3Q price index is now 5.1% below that in 4Q2008 even though it registered a total decline of 18.1% in the first two quarters of 2009. The residential price index is more or less at the levels seen in 2Q2007.

Source : The Edge – 5 Oct 2009

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