The Cuscaden Residences hits $2,262 psf

The neighbourhood of Cuscaden Road and Tomlinson Road, off Tanglin Road, is attracting the interest of high-net-worth individuals again, largely owing to the upcoming 29-unit boutique luxury condominium development, Hana, by Pontiac Land. The units at the 99-year leasehold Kerry Hill-designed project are said to average 3,500 sq ft each.

Nearby, Hotel Properties Ltd (HPL), one of the biggest stakeholders in the prime neighbourhood, launched the 70-unit Tomlinson Heights (on the site where Beverly Mai used to stand) in Cuscaden Road in August last year. Of the 30 units launched, 29 have been sold to date. The most recent recorded transaction according to URA was for a 4,004 sq ft, five-bedroom apartment that was sold for $12.53 million ($3,129 psf).

Existing high-end condos in the vicinity are also seeing renewed interest from buyers.

For instance, at the 150-unit freehold Cuscaden Residences, there were two transactions over the week of Sept 26 to 30, based on the latest caveats lodged and downloaded from URA Realis as at Oct 19. One was the sale of a three-bedroom, 1,485 sq ft unit on the 13th level, which changed hands for $3.33 million ($2,242 psf). The seller had purchased it for $2.28 million ($1,533 psf) in August 1999 when the project was first launched. The seller saw a price appreciation of about 46%.

The other transaction at Cuscaden Residences was for a 4,951 sq ft, four-bedroom penthouse, which was sold for $11.2 million ($2,262 psf). The previous owner paid just $5.6 million ($1,131 psf) for the penthouse in September 2000, seeing prices double in just over a decade. Cuscaden Residences is a twin-tower, 20-storey condo tower developed by HPL and was completed in 2002.

Apartments at Cuscaden Residences have traditionally attracted investors, given the prime Orchard Road location as units there tend to be popular with high-level expatriate executives. The asking prices today are considered “attractive” to buyers, says Ron Phua, a property agent from DWG. However, Phua feels that buying activity is low at the moment “as most investors are putting their property investments on hold owing to uncertainty of the global economy in recent months”. The low transaction level could also have contributed to the “sluggish prices”, he adds.

Adjacent to Cuscaden Residences is the 29-unit and freehold The Tomlinson by Wing Tai Holdings, which was also completed in 2003. A four-bedroom, 2,368 sq ft unit on the seventh level was sold last month for $4.8 million ($2,010 psf). This was the third time the unit has changed hands on the resale market over the last five years. The unit last changed hands in 2007, at $5.2 million ($2,200 psf). Prior to that, it was sold for $4.8 million ($2,027 psf) in December 2006.

Across the road is the newest condo in the neighbourhood, the 173-unit luxury St Regis Residences by Singapore tycoon Kwek Leng Beng’s City Developments Ltd (CDL), Hong Leong Holdings and TID Pte Ltd (a joint venture between Hong Leong and Mitsui Fudosan).

Kwek is one of the biggest stakeholders in the neighbourhood, and also owns the site of the former Boulevard Hotel, which will be redeveloped into another luxury project. St Regis Residences is considered the first branded residence in Singapore when it was launched in mid-2006. It was completed in 2008. It is linked to the 299-room upscale St Regis Singapore hotel.

Two units on the 19th floor of St Regis Residences were recently sold for a total of over $11.86 million ($2,776 psf). The last time the units changed hands was in early 2009, at the start of the global financial crisis, when the units fetched $9.2 million ($2,153 psf). The original owner who bought the units at the launch in 2006 paid $5.5 million ($2,576 psf) for one unit and $6.1 million ($2,845 psf) for the other.

Owners’ asking prices at St Regis Residences these days are said to be in the $2,500 to $2,800 psf range, says Samuel Eyo, associate director of Savills Prestige Homes.

Even though the current economic climate has affected transaction volume in the high-end segment as investors stay on the sidelines, “interest for luxurious and exclusive condos in Singapore remain unaffected”, says David Neubronner, head of residential project sales at Jones Lang LaSalle.

Source : The Edge – 24 Oct 2011

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