UOL Group: Waterbank & upcoming new launches

By The Folks @PropTalk - April 23, 2010 4 Comments

TheEdge this week has a featured report about UOL Group’s Waterbank @Dakota project and its upcoming new launches. Below are excerpts of the report.

Waterbank @Dakota

UOL has released 500 units of the 616-unit condo since the private preview of this project first started on April 9. About 380 units had been sold as at last Wednesday. Prices, which started from $1,100psf, hit a high of $1,400psf for the smaller units. In fact, the bestselling units turned out to be the 1+1 studio apartments, says Liam Wee Sin, chief operating officer of UOL Group. “These units boast fantastic views. Typically, small one-bedroom units in most condominium projects rarely have great views”, he says.
* Note: the sales info is somewhat outdated.

The profile of the buyers was “quite surprising” as it is not typical of a mass-market project. About 60% of the buyers have private addresses, while 40% had HDB addresses. More than 80% of the buyers are Singaporeans and permanent residents, and 12% are foreigners.

At Waterbank, even the largest units – the five penthouses measuring 2,842 to 3,089sqft – were snapped up in the first weekend of private previews at $3.3 million to $3.4 million. The showflat was closed last Tuesday and reopened for the official launch on April 17. The official launch was deliberately timed to capitalize on the scheduled opening of the Dakota MRT station on the same day.

The interesting thing about the Dakota area is that those who like it really do because of its central location and accessibility to the CBD via the ECP and Nicoll Highway. And the area is now even more convenient with the opening of the Dakota MRT station – part of the Circle Line – just a short walk away.

Dakota Crescent, where Waterbank is sited, is located off Old Airport Road and the neighborhood consists of mainly old HDB blocks. The exceptions are the upcoming Waterbank and the neighboring 348-unit Dakota Residences, by Ho Bee Group and NTUC Choice Homes, which is expected to obtain its TOP in June or July. The project has only 35 units available for sale. Caveats lodged with URA for sub-sales from January to March this year have ranged from $945 to $1,113psf, with the smaller units fetching higher price psf. These two new projects have kick started the renewal of the Dakota area.

The neighborhood will also benefits from the transformation of the Kallang Basin and Riverside into a waterfront lifestyle residential area and Paya Lebar into a commercial hub, notes UOL’s Liam.

Buying into an old neighborhood on the cusp of renewal is UOL’s forte, as demonstrated by its developments in the Newton-Novena area, where it developed Newton Suites, Novena Suites and 1 Moulmein Rise condominiums, and owns Novena Square (a mixed development with office towers and Velocity lifestyle mall) as well as United Square shopping mall. In recent years, it also transformed the Tiong Bahru area by buying the old apartment blocks en bloc and redeveloping them into condominium towers like Regency Suites, Twin regency and The Regency.

Likewise, its Southbank project on North Bridge Road comprises a 197-unit residential tower and a 20-storey, 60-unit SOHO (small office, home office) tower. Located on the site of the former Eng Cheong Towers, it was considered the first en-bloc sale of a 99-year leasehold project when UOL purchased the site in 2005. Overlooking the Kallang River, Southbank also benefits from the proximity to the Lavender MRT station. The project is expected to obtain its TOP in a month or two. Launched in June 2006, about 90% of the units were reportedly sold within a fortnight at an average price of $600psf. Most recently, according to caveats lodged with URA last month, the 614sqft units in the middle to high floors have achieved prices of $1,396 to $1,451psf in sub-sales.

UOL’s upcoming launches
Up for launch is the Rainbow Gardens en-bloc site, in which UOL acquired a 50% stake in 2008. The site was purchased by the LaSalle Asia Opportunity II fund in a collective sale a few years earlier. The new condo development on Toh Tuck Road will have 172 units and will be called Terrene at Bukit Timah. The site will capitalize on its proximity to the Bukit Timah Reserve as well as the upcoming Beauty World MRT station, which is also within walking distance. The project is likely to be launched in June.

Another project soon to be launched is the redevelopment of the Spottiswoode Apartments and Oakswood Heights en-bloc sites, which UOL purchased in 2007. The developer has purchased the 92-unit Spottiswoode Apartment en bloc for $79.5 million, or $732psf per plot ratio (psf ppr), in April 2007, followed by the neighboring Oakswood Heights a few months later for $132 million, or $740psf ppr. It will develop a 350-unit condo on the freehold site.
spottiswoode Apt

The wife and I (me rather) will be watching the Spottiswoode project with great interest… and special sentiments - I have spent a good number of my late-20 to early-30 years living in Oakswood Heights, while my folks were living in the same apartment until the condominium went en bloc.

4 comments to ''UOL Group: Waterbank & upcoming new launches"

  1. Does anyone know or could guess how much psft for Terrene @bukit Timah?

  2. The Folks @PropTalkJune 1, 2010 at 11:30 PM

    Just a calculated guess here: If units at TREEHOUSE (district 23 and leasehold) have been selling at $800 - $900psf, the wife and I reckon that units at Terrene (district 21 and freehold) will probably start selling at no less than $1150psf... provided the property market continues to hold steady of course.

    But do not quote us! :)

  3. agents are spotted along toh tuck road to market Terrene.

  4. Average psf should be $1150-$1200. But can expect smallest unit to go as high as $1500psf. By the way, appointed agency are knightfrank and black diamond only. Many huttons and orangetee agents claimed that they are the developers's sales team, which is bullshit.