Property Spotlight: Tanah Merah vicinity (Part 1)

By The Folks @PropTalk - November 14, 2012 No Comments

The District 16 neighbourhood in the vicinity of Tanah Merah MRT station has seen a surge in activity, owing partly to the sale of three government land parcels and the launch of eCOon Bedok South Avenue 3.

The developers of eCO are a consortium made up of Far East Organization, Frasers Centrepoint and Sekisui House, which won the 308,330sqft, 99-year leasehold site with a bid of $345.9 million ($534psf ppr) in February. The consortium launched eCO in late September and, as at Nov 6, 547 units of the 620 released in the project had been sold at an average price of $1,300psf. eCO comprises a mix of five residential types, with 244 condo units, 237 suites, 220 SOHOs, 17 lofts and 34 townhouses.

The take-up in eCO has been strong, and prices achieved have also set new benchmarks for the area. Based on caveats lodged between Oct 19 and 25, transaction prices had ranged from $1,172 to $1,491psf.

Most potential buyers of eCOhad initially compared the project with Optima @Tanah Merah, which was completed earlier this year and is adjacent to Fragrance and World Class Land's Urban Vista. The 297-unit Optima was launched for sale in 2009, and most of the units were snapped up within three days at an average of $810psf. The project is developed by TID, a joint venture between Mitsui Fudosan and Hong Leong Group. In recent sub-sales done in October, prices of units ranged from $1,027 to $1,350psf.

Most recently, on Oct 23, an 850sqft, two-bedroom apartment on the sixth floor changed hands for $1.1 million ($1,294psf). The previous owner had paid $748,000 ($880psf) for the unit at launch and had enjoyed a price gain of 47% over the last three years. A similar-sized unit on the 11th floor was sold for $1.02 million ($1,199psf), compared with the original purchase price of $804,800 ($946psf).

Meanwhile, two larger units at Optimawere also transacted recently in the secondary market. According to Dan Soon, associate branch manager of PropNex Realty, which brokered the sale of the units, sellers are pegging their asking price to those achieved at eCO. For instance, Soon had brokered the recent sale of a 1,259sqft three-bedroom unit on the sixth floor of one of the blocks at Optima for $1.7 million ($1,350psf). The original owner paid $1.04 million ($828psf) for the unit three years ago, thus seeing a capital appreciation of 63%. The other one sold was a slightly smaller three-bedroom unit of 1,195sqft located on the third floor of another block. It went for $1.5 million ($1,255psf). The previous owner purchased it for $955,200 ($799psf) in 2009, so his capital appreciation was 57%.

"Increasingly, more young couples are looking for small units below $1.2 million in the East,"  observes Soon. The area has also attracted more expatriates, as it is near Changi Business Park, where banks such as Citi, DBS, Standard Chartered and Credit Suisse have their global support and backroom services. The Singapore University of Technology and Design coming up near Changi Business Parkis also a draw. With amenities such as the upcoming Bedok Mall, the new Changi City Point mall and the proximity to MRT station, the area has become a more desirable neighbourhood to live in, adds Soon, with cheaper rents relative to the CBD.

Older condos in District 16 have also seen their prices being driven up by the new launches. PropNex's Soon observes, however, that there have been fewer transactions in these older developments, as many owners are reluctant to sell. "Once they sell their unit, it is difficult for them to find a replacement property in the same neighbourhood, as the newer units cost more and are generally more compact in size,"  he says. Besides, most of them are owner-occupiers, so there are also few units for rent in the older condos.

Most of these older condos are trading in the $1,000psf range or lower. For instance, at the eight-year-old Tanamera Crest, a 288-unit, 99-year leasehold condominium developed by CapitaLand, a 1,173sqft three-bedroom unit on the 10th floor changed hands at $1.09 million ($927psf) on Oct 19. It last changed hands in February 2010, for $735,000 ($626psf). Prior to that, it was sold for $460,000 ($392psf) in 2006. The original buyer paid $593,800 ($506psf) for the unit in late 2001.

At the 1,038-unit The Bayshore, developed by Far East Organization 13 years ago, a 1,184sqft three-bedroom unit on the 10th floor was sold for $1.16 million ($980psf). Also, a 1,012sqft two-bedroom unit on the 28th floor of another block was sold for $1.1 million ($1,087psf).
{To be continued...}


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