Zooming in on Robertson Quay

The Robertson Quay neighbourhood is seeing renewed attention in anticipation of the upcoming launch of the 70-unit boutique luxury condominium development called UP @ Robertson Quay by listed property giant City Developments Ltd (CDL). The development is part of a mixed use project that includes a 300-suite hotel, and it is expected to preview very soon. The 10-storey project is designed by award-winning Axis Architects and it will have a retail podium, with the condo units sitting on top. The unit types available will be a mix of one-bedroom, one bedroom + study, and two-bedrooms. Sizes range from 463 to 614 sq ft for the one-bedroom units; 527 to 743 sq ft for the one bedroom + study units; and 753 to 1,378 sq ft for the two-bedroom units. The apartments are said to have ceiling heights from 3m to 7.2m and are ideal for loft living, giving owners flexibility in the use of space. Prices are said to start from $1.15 million.

“I am not surprised that enquiries are already pouring in even before the project (UP@ Robertson Quay) is launched,” says a property agent, who only wants to be known as Tan.  UP@Robertson Quay together with the hotel, sit on a 48,633 sq ft, 99-year leasehold site just across from Martin No 38. The developer had purchased it for $127.8 million ($938 psf per plot ratio) in March last year after winning the site in a government tender which saw a total of nine participants. The River Valley – Mohamad Sultan- Robertson Quay neighbourhood is popular with investors and young couples owing to its proximity to the CBD, Orchard Road shopping belt and the Clarke Quay MRT station, adds Tan. The waterfront lifestyle, numerous F&B and entertainment options not just in Robertson Quay, but the neighbouring Clarke Quay and Boat Quay enclaves are also a draw. CDL is no stranger to the area. It is the developer of the 201-unit freehold The Pier at Robertson located on Mohamed Sultan Road, which was completed six years ago. Launched in 2003, right after the SARS epidemic scare, prices then hovered around $900 psf. The most recent transaction to date was for a 753 sq ft sixth floor unit that changed hands in March for $1.47 million ($1,951 psf), according to caveats lodged with URA Realis. Meanwhile, CDL’s parent company, Hong Leong Holdings, developed the 206-unit Watermark Robertson Quay, located in the vi- cinity of UP@Robertson Quay. The development is unique as its four 10-storey condo blocks are integrated with a conserved 19th century warehouse. The condo was completed in 2008. The project saw three units change hands last month, according to ca- veats lodged with URA Realis. The most recent transaction at Watermark Robertson Quay was for a 1,572 sq ft unit on the third level of one of the blocks that was sold for $2.73 million ($1,737 psf). The previous owner had purchased the unit during the launch in 2005 for $1.19 millon ($758 psf). Meanwhile, another unit on the same block, this time a 1,733 sq ft unit on the ninth floor, was sold for $2.73 million ($1,574 psf). The seller had also purchased the unit directly from the developer in 2005, and paid just over $1.52 million ($882 psf). He has seen the value of his property appreciate 78.5% over the last seven years. In a neighbouring block, a sixth level, 1,076 sq ft, three-bedroom apartment at Watermark changed hands for $1.87 million ($1,737 psf). This was the second time the unit has been sold on the secondary market. It was last sold for $1.67 million ($1,549 psf) in 2007. The previous owner bought the unit for $987,456 ($917 psf) in July 2005 from the developer. In terms of unit types, the freehold Watermark has a mix of two-bedroom lofts and three and four-bedroom units. When Watermark Robertson Quay was launched in 2005, the average asking price was $800 psf. The highest price psf achieved for the condo to date is $1,906 psf when a 1,033 sq ft, two-bedroom unit changed hands for $1.97 million last August. Those who purchased their units from the developer in 2005 and are still holding on to them are probably enjoying a rental yield of 7%, notes a property consultant. Asking rental rates for four-bedroom apartments at Watermark Robertson Quay are in the range of $8,200 to $8,900 a month, based on recent rental listings on PropertyGuru. Sitting across the Singapore River from Watermark Robertson Quay is the 509-unit condo River Place by Far East Organization.  Fronting Havelock Road, the studio apartments at River Place are said to be popular with property investors. Completed in 1999-2000, the 99-year leasehold units at River Place are large by today’s standards, with studio apartments sized from 688 to 925 sq ft, while two-bedroom units are from 1,033 to 1,054 sq ft. There are also three and four-bedroom apartments, as well as penthouses with sizes ranging from 2,109 to 3,648 sq ft. Despite its age (13 years), apartments at River Place are still sought after by expatriate tenants. Studio apartments can command monthly rental rates of $4,500 while a three-bedroom unit can fetch $9,400 a month, according to rental listings on PropertyGuru. “Most of the properties in Robertson Quay are boutique developments and they are usually smaller compared with a large-scale condo with full facilities such as River Place. It therefore attracts single expats and couples, as well as those with children,” says James Koon, senior marketing director at Huttons. Of late, River Place has been on the radar of investors again. Three units changed hands recently at prices ranging from $1,390 to $1,467 psf, according to caveats lodged with URA Realis. Units were sold at prices ranging from $1,390 to $1,467 psf, based on caveats lodged with URA Realis. It looks like the upcoming launch of UP@ Robert-son is generating renewed interest in the neighbourhood.

Source : Done Deals – 10 May 2012

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