Unit at The Sail hits $2,990 psf

Interest in apartments at the 1,111-unit The Sail @ Marina Bay revived last month, with four units changing hands between Dec 21 and 28 at prices ranging from $1,899 to $2,990 psf.

Eric Tay, an agent with PropNex who specialises in residential projects in the Marina Bay area, attributes the return of interest to the “spillover effect” from the strong take-up rate at the VIP preview of Robinson Suites early last month. All the 1+1 and two-bedroom units were reportedly taken up within five hours of the first day of private preview, except for the five penthouses. Prices of units sold were said to range from $2,600 to $3,300 psf.

The 167-unit Robinson Suites is a redevelopment of the former VTB Building along Robinson Road. The strong interest was attributed to the fact that it’s the first freehold residential project to be launched in the CBD area.

However, despite The Sail’s 99-year leasehold tenure, buyers see value in the development, as it’s one of the few residential projects in the CBD-Marina Bay area where certain high-floor units offer spectacular views of the bay and city skyline.

This could explain why buyers have recently been willing to pay close to $3,000 psf for high-floor units. The project comprises the 70-storey Tower 1, where units look out to Marina Bay, and the 63-storey Tower 2. The project was jointly developed by City Developments and AIG Real Estate and completed in 2H2008.

At The Sail, owners’ asking prices for units overlooking Marina Bay are in the range of $3,000 to $3,200 psf, says Tay. Meanwhile, at the 428-unit Marina Bay Residences, a 99-year leasehold condominium tower that was completed last year and is part of the Marina Bay Financial Centre developed by the consortium made up of Cheung Kong (Holdings), Hongkong Land and Keppel Land, asking prices of units with a view of Marina Bay are generally in the range of $3,500 to $3,700 psf, says Tay.

Marina Bay Residences fetches a higher premium as it’s a newer development, explains Tay. Three and four-bedroom units as well as penthouses also have private lift access, hence, greater exclusivity. Buyers appreciate the value of units in these two developments as they understand that future residential sites released are not likely to enjoy the same direct bay-front views. “Some people believe that prices at The Sail can move beyond $4,000 psf,” says Tay.

Prices at The Sail @ Marina Bay hit a peak of $3,387 psf in April 2008, when a 1,033 sq ft unit in Tower 2 sold for $3.5 million. “Most of the owners are investors, buying with the expectation of future capital gains,” says Tay. He reckons around 90% of units are owned by investors. With the majority of units being one- and two-bedroom apartments, the tenants tend to be singles or young couples with no children, rather than families.

Of the four units that were sold between Dec 21 and 28 at The Sail, one was a 10th-floor, 667 sq ft unit that changed hands for $1.29 million ($1,929 psf). That’s a 106% gain for the previous owner, who purchased the unit for $625,000 ($937 psf) in April 2006. Before that, the unit went for $528,300 ($792 psf) in February 2005, when the first owner purchased it from the developer.

A 688 sq ft unit on the 47th floor fetched $2.06 million ($2,990 psf), translating to a 16% gain for the seller, who purchased the unit for $1.78 million ($2,577 psf) in November 2009. During the launch in November 2004, the unit was sold for only $706,320 ($1,025 psf).

On the 26th floor, a 1,033 sq ft unit sold for $2.69 million ($2,599 psf). That’s a 163% gain for the seller, who paid $1.02 million ($987 psf) for the unit during the launch in December 2004.

The fourth transaction was for an 893 sq ft unit on the 36th floor, which went for $1.7 million ($1,899 psf).

Source : The Edge – 17 Jan 2011

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