Property Spotlight: Novena area

By The Folks @PropTalk - November 5, 2012 1 Comment

Subsale transactions are picking up at Viva. Located at Suffolk Walk, the freehold 235-unit condominium developed by Allgreen Properties recently obtained its Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP). The development consists of three 30-storey blocks of two- to four-bedroom units.
On Oct 5, a 1,346sqft three-bedroom unit on the seventh floor changed hands at $2.58 million ($1,918psf). The original owner bought it in September 2009 for $1.95 million ($1,449psf), thus realizing capital appreciation of 32% in three years. On Oct 8, a 1,324sqft three-bedroom unit on the 18th floor transacted at $2.84 million ($2,148psf). The original owner had purchased the unit for $2.08 million ($1,572psf) when it was launched in August 2009. The unit thus saw a capital appreciation of 36.6%. The price achieved on Oct 8 is also the highest psf price so far for a unit at Viva.

According to caveats lodged with URA, when Viva was launched, units were going for an average of $1,500psf. Nearby, at Khiang Guan Avenue, Lincoln Suites was launched in October 2009 at $2,800psf. The freehold 175-unit Lincoln Suites was developed by a consortium made up of Koh Brothers Group, Lian Beng Group, KSH Holdings and Heeton Holdings, and is expected to be completed in 2014.

Phylicia Ang, Savills' executive director, feels that both transaction at Viva are reasonable, considering that the units are freehold, located in prime District 11 and within walking distance from the Novena MRT station as well as shopping malls such as United Square, Velocity and Square 2. Vivais also the only freehold development in the Novena neighborhood that has been completed. Buyers generally prefer new developments, Ang says, adding that there is a good mix of local and foreign buyers looking for units in Novena for investment and personal use. The other significant freehold development is the 486-unit Park Infinia, developed by Keppel Land and completed in 2008.

With Viva newly completed, Ang expects to see renewed interest from buyers, and secondary market activity to pick up. She notes that the price achieved on Oct 8 is also a good deal compared with other developments in the Novena area that have a 99-year leasehold tenure. Soleil@Sinaran, for example, has been selling at $1,900psf, with some units surpassing the $2,000psf. Developed by Frasers Centrepoint, the 417-unit, high-end condo was completed early last year. Ang predicts that, when Lincoln Suites is completed, owners at Vivawill start pegging their selling prices closer to those of Lincoln Suites, which was launched later and priced higher, especially as the project contains compact apartments, which generally command a higher price psf.

Edward Lim, head of business unit at KF Property Network, who specializes in marketing units in Districts 9, 10 and 11, says in terms of location, Lincoln Suites is unmatched, as it is right next to United Square. Viva, on the other hand, distinguishes itself with its facilities, water features and quality finishing, he adds.

Units in the Novena area have seen good rental rates, says Savills' Ang. Units at Soleil@Sinaran, for instance, have been able to achieve rentals of between $5 and $5.50psf, and is popular with expatriate families because of its quality facilities and landscaping. She expects Viva to achieve a similar rental rate.

KF Property's Lim notes that rental yield in Novena, Newtonand Orchard has been hovering around 3%. "The rental yield is not very high, as there are many condos in the area competing for tenants,"  he says. He adds that buyers who are looking to invest in these areas should expect to hold them for the medium to long term to reap the returns of capital appreciation. Compared with Newton, Novena has also been more popular among buyers, as it has more amenities, says Lim.
Unfortunately the wife and I did not visit the showflats of Lincoln Suites and Viva. But we did see Soleil @Sinaran. You can click on the link below to read our review on Soleil:

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