Unit at Icon sells for $1,828 psf on revived interest

Since October last year, transaction prices of apartments at the 646-unit Icon near the Tanjong Pagar MRT station have increasingly crossed the $1,700 psf level. Most recently, one unit went for $1,828 psf.

Last October, a unit breached the $2,000 psf level for the first time since June 2008 — in that transaction, a 1,001 sq ft unit on the 44th floor changed hands for $2.2 million, or $2,206 psf. The highest psf price achieved at Icon was $2,457 psf, in November 2007, when a 1,119 sq ft unit on the 46th floor was sold for $2.75 million.

Located in the heart of the CBD, Icon was considered the first inner-city private-apartment project to be launched in mid-2003, right after the SARS outbreak. It is once again enjoying renewed interest, thanks to its proximity to new developments — Altez, by Far East Organization, also the developer for Icon, and 76 Shenton Way by Hong Leong Group.

Just two streets away from Icon, 76 Shenton Way sold all 202 units on the first day of its preview on March 25. Prices of the one- and two-bedroom apartments started from $1,600 psf and hit a high of $2,600 psf for the one-bedroom units. The 39-storey condominium is expected to be completed by 2014.

The 62-storey, 280-unit Altez was launched early this year and, to date, more than 160 of the 203 units launched have been sold. The median price achieved last month was $2,185 psf, and the highest price was $2,393 psf, according to URA. The Altez is expected to be completed in 2015.

The Tanjong Pagar area is undergoing a renaissance of sorts, with new office buildings like 20 Anson and Mapletree Anson coming up and the redevelopment of old office buildings into residential towers. One example is The Lumiere condo that is likely to be completed in the next few months on a former office site, while Marina House at 70 Shenton Way, across the street from 76 Shenton Way, was last month purchased by a consortium of boutique developers for redevelopment into a residential tower.

The newly opened Marina Bay Sands integrated resort has also attracted new investors to the area, as some of the new residential towers boast unblocked views of the development from the higher floors.

James Gan, a property agent at PropNex, says Icon is a popular choice for property investors. The 99-year leasehold condo, which was completed in early 2007, comprises mostly one- and two-bedroom units, although it has three-bedroom loft apartments as well. He says investors have been able to secure tenants very easily, given its location within the CBD, with two-bedroom apartments fetching $5,600 to $6,800 a month in rental. In terms of facilities, there’s a swimming pool, gym and tennis court. Convenient for tenants is also the fact that the ground floor contains shops, cafés and restaurants, and its proximity to the Tanjong Pagar MRT station.

For the period April 6 to 13, there were four transactions at Icon ranging from $1,727 to $1,828 psf, according to caveats lodged with URA Realis. The highest psf price was for a 1,248 sq ft unit on the 40th floor that commanded $2.28 million.

On the 28th floor, a 570 sq ft unit changed hands for $1.01 million, or $1,770 psf. The previous owner had purchased the unit for $1 million ($1,753 psf) in 2007. The unit was initially sold at launch in 2003 for just $438,180 ($768psf), and gave the first seller a 128% gain.

On the 26th floor, another studio apartment went for $995,000, or $1,744 psf. This represents a 24% gain for the seller, who purchased the unit for $800,000 ($1,402) in 2008. Before this, the unit changed hands for $490,000 ($859 psf) in 2006, providing a gain of 63% for the seller. The unit was sold at launch in 2003 for $437,120 ($766psf).

Source : The Edge – 3 May 2010

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