Rafflesia Condo unit achieves $988 psf

A record bid by CapitaLand for a plot of land in Bishan has put the spotlight on homes in the area such as Rafflesia Condo and Bishan 8. In February, CapitaLand’s bid of $550 million, or $869 psf per plot ratio, for the 99-year leasehold site at Bishan Street 14 came out tops among 19 bids. CapitaLand has partnered Mitsubishi Estate Asia to develop a 600-unit condo on the 129,137 sq ft site and is expected to launch the new homes in 1H2012, according to a press release dated March 31.

Sunny Wong, a property agent with Global Property Strategic Alliance, believes the new project could be priced as high as $1,500 psf a unit and that the launch next year will give another boost to prices of condos in the area.

The site is a short walk to the Bishan MRT Station, bus interchange, community centre, library and sports and swimming complex. It is also near the Junction 8 shopping centre, which is under CapitaLand’s retail REIT (real estate investment trust), CapitaMall Trust. There are also several reputable schools in the area: Raffles Institution, Kuo Chuan Presbyterian Secondary School and ITE College Central. The site is also a 10-minute drive to the MacRitchie Reservoir Park and a 15- minute drive to the CBD.

A few streets away from the site is the 230-unit Rafflesia Condo. Located a 10-minute walk from the Bishan MRT Station and across from Raffles Institution, Rafflesia Condo is a 99-year leasehold development by Far East Organization and completed in 2002.

For the period of April 1 to 12, there were three transactions at Rafflesia Condo, at prices ranging from $859 to $988 psf, according to caveats lodged with URA Realis. Prices hit a peak of $1,171 psf when a 1,324 sq ft unit on the 18th floor was sold for $1.55 million last November.

On the first floor, a 1,076 sq ft unit was sold for $925,000 ($859 psf), representing a 35.6% gain for the seller, who purchased the unit for $682,000 ($634 psf) in 2001.

Another 1,076 sq ft unit on the first floor was sold for $940,000 ($873 psf). Before this, the unit changed hands for $707,761 ($658 psf), representing a 32% gain on sale.

On the third floor, a 1,195 sq ft unit was sold for $1.18 million ($988 psf), representing a 37% gain over the last transacted price of $861,390 ($721 psf) in 2000.

Wong notes that demand is strong for units at Rafflesia, given that homes in the city area are increasingly out of reach of some buyers, while prices in the suburban areas are rising rapidly as well. “Since prices of homes in the suburban areas are also quite high, buyers would rather go for central areas such as Bishan, as it is near the city,” he says. Wong adds that a three-bedroom unit can fetch $3,800 a month in rent, owing to its proximity to schools and two MRT stations — Bishan and Marymount.

Another condo in the area is the 11-year old Bishan 8, also developed by Far East Organization. The 200-unit condo is located at a junction on the opposite left of the Bishan MRT Station. The most recent transaction was for a 1,162 sq ft unit on the ninth floor for $1.2 million ($1,032 psf) on April 1.

Meanwhile, in the CBD area, a 1,184 sq ft unit at The Sail @ Marina Bay on the 61st storey was sold for $3.6 million ($3,040 psf) on April 4, the first time prices have breached the $3,000 psf level this year. Before this, the unit was sold for $1.82 million ($1,538 psf), representing a 98% gain for the seller. The other transaction for the period of April 1 to 12 was the sale of a 2,002 sq ft unit on the 29th floor for $5.05 million ($2,522 psf) on April 5.

The 1,111-unit The Sail was developed by City Developments and AIG and completed in 4Q2008, at the height of the global financial crisis. Prices peaked in April 2008 when a 1,033 sq ft unit was sold for $3.5 million ($3,387 psf). Desmond Tan, group director at Dennis Wee Group, says prices at The Sail are expected to trend up. “Buyers are comparing The Sail with One Shenton. Some say the views at One Shenton are not as good as expected. This is supporting prices at The Sail,” he says.

Source : The Edge – 2 May 2011

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