Prices of units at the newly built, 336-unit condominium The Arte by City Developments Ltd (CDL) have been on an uptrend this year, hitting a high of $1,250 psf last month versus an average of only $880 psf during its launch last year. This comes as it attains its temporary occupation permit (TOP) and rides the ongoing transformation of the Thomson- Balestier area.
At the moment, Balestier Road still retains an old-world charm, for instance, at the cluster of old shophouses near the Thomson Road end, where famous eateries like the original “Tau Sar Piah” shop, the Boon Tong Kee chicken rice restaurant and the reputedly best “Bak Chor Mee” stall in town continue to draw crowds. The neighbourhood is also near good schools like SJI International and CHIJ Secondary Toa Payoh and is just a short drive to Toa Payoh Central and Novena MRT station as well as to both Orchard Road and the CBD.
But, signs are emerging that the sleepy area is being rejuvenated. Balestier is benefiting from the cluster of hospitals and medical centres at the Novena end, with the latest player being Parkway Holdings, which is building a new medical centre along Irrawaddy Road. It is also near the existing Tan Tock Seng Hospital and Far East Organization’s Novena Medical Centre.
The upcoming Zhongshan Park by Hiap Hoe Ltd and sister company Superbowl Holdings, comprising an office block, a retail podium and two hotels to be managed by Wyndham Hotel Management — the 405-room Days Hotel Singapore and 390-room Ramada Singapore Hotel — will also tap both the offices and medical cluster at Novena. The project is scheduled to be completed in 2014.
CDL is also instrumental in the transformation of the cluster at the junction of Thomson Road and Balestier, having snapped up several collective sale sites adjacent to each other in 2006 to 2007. They include The Albany, Thomson Mansions, Lock Cho Apartments, Comfort Mansion and a four-storey walk-up apartment block, followed by three more en bloc sites — Concorde Residences, Balestier Court and Bright Building.
Located along a quiet winding slip road off Balestier Road, The Arte (former Lok Cho Apartments), is the first of CDL’s project launches in that Thomson- Balestier Road cluster. In January, CDL launched the 177-unit Cube 8 (former Albany and Thomson Mansions), followed by the 157-unit 368 Thomson (former Concorde Residences), at an average selling price of $1,250 and $1,350 psf, respectively. The units in all three freehold condo projects are substantially sold. According to a CDL spokesperson, only one unit at The Arte is available for sale, while there are only two units left at 368 Thomson and three units at Cube 8, as at July 21. The encouraging response to 368 Thomson and Cube 8 has also lifted prices at The Arte. Cube 8 and 368 Thomson are scheduled for completion in 2014 and 2015, respectively.
The Arte, which comprises two 36-storey towers, is located on Jalan Raja Udang just off Balestier Road, with direct access to the Pan Island expressway via Thomson Road.
From June 29 to July 6, there were three transactions at The Arte, ranging from $1,014 to $1,250 psf, which is an all-time high, according to caveats lodged with URA Realis. One unit, a 1,873 sq ft, four-bedroom apartment on the 32nd floor, was sold for $2.3 million ($1,250 psf) on June 29. That represents a 23% gain for the seller, who bought the unit for $1.9 million ($1,016 psf) last year.
Another four-bedroom unit on the eighth floor of the same block was sold for $1.9 million ($1,014 psf). The unit went for $1.58 million ($843 psf) last year, giving the previous owner a 20% gain. Also in the same block, a 1,399 sq ft, three-bedroom unit on the fifth floor was sold for $1.46 million ($1,043 psf). That’s a 15% gain for the original owner, who paid $1.26 million or $903 psf for the unit during the launch last year.
Just across the road is the 280-unit Vista Residences developed by Far East Organizzation, which was launched last year at an average selling price of $1,070 psf. The project is expected to receive TOP in 2013. According to a Far East spokesperson, 68 units are available for sale. The latest transaction was for a 1,313 sq ft unit on the 28th floor, which went for $1.78 million ($1,361 psf).
Across the expressway, the latest transaction at Sky @ Eleven was for a 2,271 sq ft unit, which sold for $3 million ($1,321 psf) on July 2. That’s a 20% gain for the seller, who bought the unit for $2.49 million in 2007. The 273-unit, 43-storey condo developed by Singapore Press Holdings received TOP in May. There’s no doubt that with these new developments transforming the Balestier area, projects like The Arte will see further capital appreciation over the long term.
Source : The Edge – 26 Jul 2010