The Bayshore area sees renewed interest

Outside the prime districts of 9, 10 and 11, the East Coast area (Districts 15 and 16) has traditionally been a draw for expatriates. In the last two years, the area has proven to be especially popular with mainland Chinese and Indian nationals, says Wendy Tang, director of residential services at Knight Frank. “Those who are permanent residents tend to buy for their own occupation, while non-PRs are generally investors,” she adds.

Tang attributes the popularity of the East Coast neighbourhoods to “the more palatable pricing” compared with condominiums in Districts 9 and 10. The waterfront-resort lifestyle and the East Coast Park are also another attraction. “For those living in the Meyer Road and Amber Road/Marine Parade neighbourhoods, the CBD is actually just a short drive away,” she says.

Over the week of July 5 to 12, there was a blip of activity in the Bayshore Road neighbourhood. According to caveats lodged and downloaded from URA Realis, there were two transactions at Costa del Sol and two more at the neighbouring The Bayshore.

Of the three significant 99-year leasehold condos located in the Bayshore Road area, Costa del Sol, developed by giant Hong Kong developer, Cheung Kong (Holdings), is considered the newest. Completed in 2003, the 906-unit condo has seven 30-storey blocks, four swimming pools, a clubhouse, a gym, a minimart and a café. The other two condos are the 1,038-unit The Bayshore, built in 1996, and the 1,093-unit Bayshore Park, completed in 1986.

At least 70 apartments within Costa del Sol have changed hands since the start of the year, which works out to an average of 10 sales a month, estimates Jackie Mang, a unit head at Savills Singapore and a property specialist in the East Coast area. So, it is fairly actively traded, he reckons. Since June, transactions for upper-floor apartments starting from the 20th level have been sold in the range of $1,300 psf.

About 70% of the buyers are said to be foreigners, with a good mix of potential owner-occupiers and investors, notes Mang. This is because highfloor units priced about $1,300 psf appear to be “value- for-money” buys compared with new launches where the premium for unobstructed sea views are already priced in.

High-floor units at new launches priced above $2,000 psf

In the East Coast area, for instance, at recently launched projects that also boast unobstructed sea views, mid- to high-floor units are already priced from at least $1,900 to $2,000 psf.

In the prestigious Meyer Road district, Hong Leong’s 196-unit freehold condo, Aalto, was completed last year. There are two 27-storey towers, and the high-floor apartments boast spectacular sea views. Such units have been sold for more than $2,100 psf.

The 383-unit Silversea in Marine Parade — a 99- year leasehold private condo launched in 2008 that is the redevelopment of the former Amberville HUDC estate — also boasts clear sea views from the midlevel and higher-floor apartments. As at end-June, 319 units had been sold in the project, with prices of mid-floor units in the range of $1,860 to $2,389 psf, depending on the views. In June, a 2,465 sq ft unit on the 14th level of Silversea was sold for $5.13 million ($2,079 psf), and a unit on the 17th level fetched more than $5.66 million ($2,230 psf).

Costa del Sol surpasses $1,300 psf

At Costa del Sol, a 1,313 sq ft three-bedroom apartment on the 17th floor was sold in July for $1.67 million ($1,270 psf). The last recorded transaction for the unit was in 2007, when it changed hands for close to $1.08 million ($820 psf). As such, the seller saw a capital gain of about 55% in just the last four years.

The other transaction was for another 1,313 sq ft three-bedroom unit, this time on the 24th level, that was sold for $1.72 million ($1,310 psf). The last time the unit changed hands was in October 2006, when it was sold for $991,580 ($755 psf). The seller saw a hefty capital gain of 73.5% in the last five years.

Owners of three-bedroom apartments on the high floors (from 25th level up) with unrestricted sea views are already asking for $1,375 psf, notes Savills’ Mang. Those from the 14th to 18th levels with such views are asking for $1,270 to $1,340 psf. In terms of asking rents at Costa del Sol, a midfloor three-bedroom apartment of 1,346 sq ft was recently listed with an asking rent of $5,000 a month.

Meanwhile, a 1,475 sq ft four-bedroom apartment located above the 20th level boasts full sea views and is listed with an asking rent of $5,800 a month. As for The Bayshore, a 1,227 sq ft three-bedroom highfloor unit has an asking rent of $4,000 a month.

At The Bayshore, one of the two recent transactions was for a third-floor, 926 sq ft unit that changed hands for $850,000 ($918 psf). The unit last changed hands in 1996 — for $680,000 ($735 psf). The other unit that changed hands measured 1,432 sq ft, and was on the 23rd level and sold for $1.285 million ($898 psf).

Meanwhile, at Bayshore Park, the two most recent transactions were in late June. One involved a thirdlevel, 624 sq ft one-bedroom apartment that was sold for $620,000 ($993 psf). The other was for a 1,292 sq ft three-bedroom unit on the 12th level that changed hands for more than $1.2 million ($943 psf).

“The difference in the resale prices achieved at Costa del Sol compared with the other Bayshore condos is because the others are older, and therefore the layouts of the units are also rather dated,” says Savills’ Mang.

Another difference is the unobstructd sea view from the high-floor units at Costa del Sol. “As the living room of all the units have full-height glass windows, the sea views are truly spectacular,” says Knight Frank’s Tang. “People… are willing to pay a premium for them.”

Source : The Edge – 1 Aug 2011

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