Project Spotlight: RiverGate

By The Folks @PropTalk - February 19, 2012 1 Comment

There has been notable increase in the number of transaction at the 545-unit RiverGate early this year. Last december, the pace of transactions in the freehold development took a plunge following the property cooling measures introduced by the government on Dec 8, but the recent spike in transactions at the waterfront project along the Singapore River indicates that there is renewed interest in the area.

A 1,841sqft, four-bedroom apartment on the 31st level of RiverGate recently fetched $3.6 million ($1,956psf) in the resale market, according to the latest caveats lodged and downloaded from URA Realis as at Feb 8. The seller had purchased the apartment from the developer in October 2006 for $3.03 million ($1,645psf), and hence enjoyed a capital gain of 18.9% in five years. The price achieved for the unit, however, is nowhere near the peak in May 2007, when a 3,143sqft unit on the 40th level was sold for $8.5 million ($2,701psf).

Prior to the sale of the 1,841sqft unit, a 2,077sqft, four-bedroom apartment at a neighbouring block was transacted for $4.3 million ($2,090psf), according to a caveat lodged on Jan 19. The seller had purchased the unit on the 18th level in June 2009 for $2.95 million ($1,420psf).

On Jan 17, a 1,507sqft, three-bedroom apartment on the 21st floor of the same block changed hands for $2.8 million ($1,851psf). The previous owner paid $2.3 million ($1,551psf) when he purchased the unit in July 2009, thus recognising a profit of 19.3% in just over two years.

In the three months prior to the government's announcement of the additional buyer's stamp duty (ABSD) on Dec 8,2011, apartments at RiverGate were going for $1,980 to $2,173psf. The highest unit price achieved last year at the freehold condo was for a 2,077sqft unit on the 41st level that was sold for $4.7 million ($2,262psf) in June 2011.

Benny Lim, a sales director at DTZ Debenham Tie Leung, admits that the cooling measures, coupled with the global economic uncertainty and year-end holidays, led to a slowdown in transaction volume in December. Developers sold only 623 new homes that month, a 63% plunge from November, and the lowest level in two years since December 2009. "the ABSD will take some getting used to, but I believe the property market will begin to pick up in the coming months," says Lim. "Properties in Robertson Quay have always been a favourite among investors, so the demand will always be there."

Lim, who is also marketing a few units at RiverGate, says the average asking price for a three- or four-bedroom unit is $2,000 to $2,300psf. "The prices vary, depending on the orientation of the units and, of course, those that command a premium are units overlooking the Singapore River or with unobstructed city view on high floors," he adds.

Developed by CapitaLand and Hwa Hong Corp, RiverGate was awarded landmark status by the URA - the first residential project in Singapore to be accorded the status. While most of the property developments along the Singapore River have a height restriction of 10 storeys, RiverGate's three towers are 43 storeys tall. The project also sits on one of the largest sites in the area. In addition to the uninterrupted views, residents also enjoy full condo facilities, direct access to the riverfront promenade and amenities such as a convenience stored and an Italian pizzeria and grill.

RiverGate tends to attract interest from investors from Indonesia and mainland China. DTZ's Lim still received inquiries from these investors for the units he is currently marketing. "After more than a month, these investors are beginning to get used to the idea of the 10% ABSD, and have included it as part of their overall transaction cost," he adds. "And they are still keen to invest in Singapore."

Keith Tan, director of APRO Realtors, agrees and notes that rental rates at RiverGate have risen rapidly since its completion in 2009, as the project is popular with expatriates. A three-bedroom unit at RiverGate now fetches $8,500 to $10,000 rent a month, he says. Two-bedroom units, "which are exceptionally popular", can command $6,500 to $7,000 a month, adds Tan, who recently rented out a two-bedroom apartment for $6,900 a month. Two years ago, two -bedroom units fetched $4,500 a month, while three-bedroom units were rented out at $5,000 to $6,500 a month.

The wife and I have been into and around the compound of RiverGate a number of times. We quite liked the project (externally) but have yet to see what the interior of the apartments are like. However, there is one aspect of RiverGate that we do not particularly like - the parking for the F&B outlet is located within RiverGate itself. And although parking meant for patrons are separate from those for residents, everybody still go through the same main entrance and into the development. This reduces the "privacy" factor, which we would expect a lot more of, if we are paying in excess of $2,000psf for a unit.

Click on link below to read our previous post on properties in the Robertson Quay/Martin Road area

1 comment to ''Project Spotlight: RiverGate"

  1. Wish I've always liked rivergate as an investment project. Been looking into this condo price as well recently but unit sizes a little on the large end hence making txn price pretty much out of reach.

    Nevertheless very happy to see this project on the spotlight.

    Good stuff guys;)