Reflections hits $2,300 psf

Keppel Land’s Reflections at Keppel Bay, the developer’s iconic waterfront property, is likely to receive its temporary occupation permit (TOP) at year-end. And that may have stoked sales of late, say property experts. The 1,129-unit Reflections, designed by renowned architect Daniel Libeskind (most famous as the master planner for the rebuilding of the World Trade Center Site in New York), sits prominently at Keppel Bay and overlooks Marina @ Keppel as well as Sentosa Island. Units on high floors offer encompassing views of the sea and the city.

From Aug 23 to 30, two units at Reflections were transacted, according to data downloaded from URA Realis as at Sept 14. A 1,270 sq ft three-bedroom apartment on the 15th floor of one of the six high-rise glass towers at Reflections was recently sold for $2.92 million ($2,300 psf). In the same tower, two floors down, a 786 sq ft studio unit changed hands in a sub-sale for $1.8 million ($2,301 psf).

To date, developer Keppel Land has sold 821 out of the 830 units launched to date. Transaction prices at these levels are “reasonable”, given the development’s location next to the giant VivoCity mall, and Sentosa Island, where the Resorts World Sentosa integrated resort is located, says Margaret Thean, DTZ’s executive dirctor of residential. DTZ is a joint-marketing agent of Reflections with CB Richard Ellis (CBRE). “It’s for the super rich who want a different lifestyle. With its location right at the waterfront, residents can easily enjoy activities at the sea. Some of the buyers also own yachts, which they can berth at the marina.”

Interestingly, the highest price achieved for the project to date was $3,025 psf and it was for a 2,949 sq ft, four-bedroom apartment that was sold for over $8.9 million at end-July. It is also the sole transaction to date to have crossed the $3,000 psf threshold. Another similar-sized unit on the third level of the same tower was sold for close to $8.75 million, or $2,966 psf, in July. This was the next highest price psf achieved.

Libeskind, the star architect who designed Reflections Reflections has attracted local high-networth individuals and those from China, Hong Kong, and Malaysia, says Joseph Tan, executive director of residential services at CBRE. Tan adds that the project was recently showcased in an exhibition in Malaysia, and saw good response.

“An increase in transactions is expected when a property nears its TOP date,” says Tan. He says buyers who do not want to wait for construction to be completed, and who prefer to move in immediately, will likely buy a property closer to its TOP date. “Some buyers are more comfortable purchasing a property when it’s almost completed, so they know exactly what they are buying into,” he adds.

Institutional funds had also purchased block units in the development in 2007. For instance, Keppel Land sold two low-rise waterfront apartment blocks at Reflections, or 56 units, to Kuwaiti fund the Al-Nibras Islamic Real Estate Fund, for $286 million. The fund is holding the units as long-term investments.

Reflections is gaining international recognition because of Libeskind, who, besides the World Trade Center Site, is also famous for his iconic buildings such as the Jewish Museum in Berlin. “Its architecture adds to its uniqueness and that may matter to some buyers looking for a trophy asset,” says CBRE’s Tan.

However, Tan reckons Reflections’ location, amenities and spectacular views also play a key part in driving demand. It is located next to Keppel Land’s other condominium development, the 99-year leasehold 969-unit Caribbean at Keppel Bay, which was completed in 2004, and launched that same year. In August, there had been several transactions there with prices above $1,500 psf. Next to Caribbean is the HarbourFront precinct, with a mix of office towers and shopping malls including VivoCity, still the largest shopping mall in Singapore.

The mall is linked to the HarbourFront MRT Interchange and station, and is also just one train stop away from the Resorts World Sentosa integrated resort on Sentosa Island.

Positioned as an upscale condo project, Reflections has penthouses ranging from 7,000 to 13,300 sq ft. The development also contains a mix of units from studio apartments of 732 sq ft to four-bedroom units of up to 3,993 sq ft. Its six towers vary in height from 24- to 41-storeys, with each tower crowned by a sky garden. Sky bridges also connect the towers and act as communal spaces for residents. There are also another 11 low-rise apartment blocks directly fronting the bay with amazing sea views.

In neighbouring Telok Blangah, developer Bukit Sembawang Estates launched the freehold 283-unit Skyline Residences, which will sit on the site of the former Fairways Condo. The launch has also drawn homebuyers and investor interest to the Telok Blangah neighbourhood. To date, about 175 units have been sold at an average price of $1,900 psf.

No doubt transactions have slowed as sentiment has been affected by the US and European debt crisis, and fears of a global recession. However, there is still homebuyer interest in locations where buyers see value, and potential for future growth.

Source : The Edge – 19 Sep 2011

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