The Sail hits $3,048 psf

There’s been a return of interest in the landmark condominium The Sail at Marina Bay in the past month, with three transactions from Aug 5 to 12. According to property agents, The Sail is seeing renewed interest from foreign high-net-worth individuals.

A one-bedroom unit on the 56th floor of the 63-storey Tower 2 changed hands recently for $2.1 million, or $3,048 psf. This is the seventh transaction at The Sail YTD to cross the $3,000 psf level, according to caveats lodged and downloaded from URA Realis as at Aug 31.

The 689 sq ft, one-bedroom unit last changed hands at the peak of the market in October 2007 for a whopping $2.27 million, or $3,300 psf, which was considered one of the highest average prices achieved at The Sail. The first owner had purchased the unit in late 2004 for $750,150, or $1,089 psf.

Two other units were also transacted over the week of Aug 5 to 12. One was a 678 sq ft, one-bedroom apartment on the 13th floor that changed hands for $1.37 million, or $2,020 psf. The seller had purchased the unit at the 70-storey Tower 1 for $644,160, or $950 psf, in late 2005, when it was first launched. Hence, the seller saw the price more than double in just the last six years.

Another unit that changed hands recently was a 27th floor, three-bedroom unit at Tower 1 that went for $3.63 million, or $2,204 psf. The 1,647 sq ft unit was first sold in January 2005 for $2.42 million, or $1,469 psf. It subsequently changed hands in a sub-sale in September 2008 for $2.96 million, or $1,800 psf. Based on the latest transaction price, the seller saw a 22% price appreciation in the last three years.

The 1,111-unit The Sail was considered the first residential development in Marina Bay when it was launched in October 2004. The 99- year leasehold condo is popular with investors and is perhaps the most actively traded development within the Marina Bay area. This is because of its prime location — a short walk from the Marina Bay Financial Centre and Raffles Place, as well as the Marina Bay Sands integrated resort (IR) — which makes it very popular with singles and young couples who want to live near their workplace and entertainment spots, according to property agents.

Developed jointly by property giant City Developments Ltd (CDL) and AIG Global Real Estate, the two towers at The Sail were completed in late 2008. More than 75% of the units at the development are one- and two-bedroom apartments, with sizes ranging from 592 to 883 sq ft.

Among the owners of units at The Sail, many of whom are the Who’s Who of not just Singapore but also the world, is Indian billionaire B K Modi of infocomm firm S i2i, who reportedly paid close to $15.5 million for his 5,834 sq ft penthouse on the topmost floor of Tower 2.

About 70% of The Sail’s buyers are foreigners, including those from China, India, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Indonesia, and they are willing to pay a premium for the view and location, says Amanda Yap, senior associate director at PropNex. Tower 1 is considered to be one of the few residential towers in the Marina Bay area that boasts of full bayfront views, and high-floor units are said to have 270º views of the bay and the sea.

“The Sail and Marina Bay Residences are currently the only condos that can truly boast of views of the bay and the Marina Bay Sands IR,” she adds. Yap is said to have brokered the sale of an 883 sq ft, two-bedroom unit on the 62nd floor of Tower 2 for $2.87 million, or $3,251 psf, which is considered the highest psf price achieved at The Sail YTD.

According to Yap, investors at The Sail are able to achieve at least 3% gross rental yields on their apartments, which is typical of most residential properties in the CBD area. One-bedroom apartments at The Sail have recently been listed at monthly rental rates of about $4,000, and two-bedroom units are commanding $6,500 a month. More importantly, they are able to achieve attractive capital gains as well, and owners who have seen the greatest gains are those who bought when the project was first launched in 2004 and 2005.

“Most foreign owners tend to refurbish the apartment once they decide to withdraw the apartment from the rental market and use it as a holiday home,” observes Yap. Given the strong demand from both tenants and investors, she reckons that 60% to 70% of the units at The Sail are available for sale or for lease at any one time, and are taken up very quickly.

Another condo in the CBD that has seen strong interest is Far East Organization’s The Clift, located at the corner of McCallum Street and Telok Ayer Street. The 99-year leasehold, 312-unit condo was completed earlier this year. From Aug 5 to 12, there were four transactions, according to URA Realis, and these were mainly for one-bedroom apartments of 495 to 775 sq ft, with prices ranging from $2,100 to $2,287 psf.

Source : The Edge – 5 Sep 2011

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