Property Spotlight: West Coast area

By The Folks @PropTalk - October 27, 2011 No Comments

There has been buying interest in the West Coast area. At the 276-unit Regent Park, which was completed in 1997, two units changed hands over the week of Sept 20 to 27, based on the latest caveats lodged and downloaded from URA Realis as at Oct 12.

One was a two-bedroom, 807sqft unit on the eighth level, which changed hands for $845,000 ($1,047psf). That was the third time the unit has changed hands so far. The first buyer had purchased it at launch in February 1997 for $685,000 ($849psf) and sold it two years later, in November, for $540,000 ($669psf), which was 21.2% below the original purchase price. The buyer enjoyed a 56.5% price appreciation, however, when he sold it recently for $1,047psf. This is an all-time-high price psf achieved in the 99-year leasehold condo.

On the first level of the same block, a 1,227sqft, three-bedroom apartment changed hands for the fourth time for $1.16 million ($945psf), or a 55.1% gain. The first owner had purchased the unit in March 1996 for $760,000 ($619psf) and sold it in January 2000 for $786,000 ($641psf). The buyer subsequently held it for eight years, and sold it for $748,000 ($610psf) in mid-September 2008, right after Lehman Brothers investment bank collapsed, heralding the start of the last global financial crisis.

Regent Park, located on Jalan Lempeng, is just a short distance from the new Clementi Mall, which is integrated with the bus interchange and the Clementi MRT station. It is also accessible via the Pan Island Expressway (PIE) and Ayer Rajah Expressway (AYE), say property agents. West Coast Park and West Coast Recreation Club are in the vicinity, and there is also the popular Nan Hua Primary School nearby.

Apartments at Regent Park are said to appeal to not just local owner-occupiers but also expatriates, especially those from China and India. Three-bedroom units at the condo can command rental rates of $2,500 to $3,500 a month.

Adjacent to Regent Park is the 432-unit Park West Condo, a 99-year leasehold condo completed in 1986. Park West Condo was put up for en bloc sale by tender in late September with a price tag of $803 million. The differential premium and topping-up of the lease work out to an additional $230 million, which means an overall price tag of $1.03 billion.

The most recent transactions at Park West were in July, at transaction prices from $808psf, for a 1,894sqft unit, to $913psf, for a 915sqft unit.

New developments in West Coast area have been seeing quite a lot of activity in the last two years. An example is the 659-unit freehold The Parc Condominium by Chip Eng Seng, which was completed in 2010.

There were two transactions at The Parc Condo over the week of Sept 20 to 27. One was the sale of a three-bedroom, 1,442sqft unit on the 19th floor that went for $1.7 million ($1,179psf). The seller had purchased it in 2007, when the project was first launched, at $1.255 million ($870psf). He thus made a 35.5% gain.

In another block, a 1,421sqft, three-bedroom apartment on the 14th floor was sold for $1.59million ($1,119psf). The previous owner had purchased the unit, also at launch in 2007, for $1.252 million ($881psf) and made a 27% gain.

Other condos in the vicinity that saw units changed hands include the 530-unit, 99-year leasehold Varsity Park Condominium by CapitaLand Ltd and completed in 2008. A 1,453sqft unit was sold last month at $1.65 million ($1,135psf). Another was Blue Horizon, a 616-unit by Far East Organization completed in 2005, where a unit was recently sold for $1,029psf.

Last month, Hong Leong Garden Shopping Centre in West Coast Way was sold en bloc for $171 million to a consortium of boutique developers including Oxley Holdings, Heeton Holdings and KSH Holdings. This is by far the biggest en bloc sale successfully completed this year.

Whether Park West Condo’s collective sale will be successful or whether even Regent Park itself will be put up for en bloc sale is anyone’s guess.

“While it is good for investors and owners to remain hopeful, it is quite impossible to tell whether there is en bloc potential for Regent Park,” says Joseph Ong, a property agent at DWG. “Even so, there may not be many developers keen to [purchase a large en bloc site], given that the market is already slowing down.”

It does not seem that long ago (was it really 2007?) at The Parc Condo that the wife and I first experienced what can only be described as "carpark sale" for a new condo project - marketing agents were setting up tables and chairs at the open-air carpark outside Clementi Sports Stadium (i.e. just next to the sales gallery of The Parc Condo, which was not opened for viewing yet), making their sale pitches to potential buyers or "blur sotongs" like yours truly who made the trip down to see the showflat not knowing that the sales gallery was still not ready,  and collecting cheque in advance for the VVIP preview. The project has now been completed for almost a year. How time flies!


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