Tag Archives: Ardmore Park

Luxury homes left empty in quiet market

COMPLETED luxury homes without owners are gathering dust in exclusive pockets of the city centre as developers hold off selling them in a moribund luxury market.

In the Ardmore Park area off Orchard Road, for instance, an entire condominium project has been completed but not launched for sale. Other projects nearby could soon face the same fate.

Developers who can afford to wait may have chosen to hold back launches in the prime Districts 9, 10 and 11 given the very quiet luxury market, analysts say.

While the residential property market in general has slowed down markedly, the top end has been the hardest hit.

Experts point to recent rounds of property market cooling measures that have driven away many buyers in the high-end segment.

“Wealthy property buyers are the most savvy investors… Many are not in a hurry to buy luxury properties,” said R’ST Research director Ong Kah Seng.

He added that developers may find it feasible to turn their upmarket developments into serviced apartments, though that could incur hefty additional costs, such as beefing up security.

“Another option is to massively slash prices and sell the units in bulk to mega investors,” he said.

One recently built condo that has not been launched is the 58-unit Ardmore Residence, according to Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) data.

The freehold development by Pontiac Land received its temporary occupation permit (TOP) in the second quarter of last year.

It sits on the site of the old Pin Tjoe Court, which Pontiac Land bought through a collective sale for $201 million in 2006, or $1,358 per sq ft (psf) of potential gross floor area. Units in the project are large, at about 3,300 sq feet on average.

A Pontiac Land spokesman said the units are being leased out at around $25,000 a month and that the developer has traditionally preferred to lease out its projects rather than sell them.

Nearby, the 34-unit Sculptura Ardmore project developed by SC Global has also not been put on the market.

However, it still has some time – it is still under construction and is expected to get its TOP this year. Prices for its units had previously been expected to start from $5,000 psf.

Several streets south of the Ardmore Park district, the 30-unit iLiv @ Grange project in Grange Road also has yet to be formally launched, according to URA data. The freehold project got its TOP in the fourth quarter of last year.

Its developer Heeton Holdings first unveiled the project in 2010 with the intention of selling it at above $3,000 psf.

Heeton had bought the site, which formerly housed Grange Court, for $72.8 million, or more than $1,700 psf per plot ratio (ppr) in 2007.

But it was said last year to be looking to bulk-sell the units at $2,200 to $2,300 psf to a single buyer, according to media reports.

Heeton has two years after TOP to finish selling all the units in the project, under Qualifying Certificate (QC) conditions.

Analysts said the QC rules were turning up the heat on some high-end developers to clear their unsold stock.

The rules give developers up to five years to finish building a project and two more years to sell all the units. They are not allowed to rent out unsold units.

Heeton is bound by QC rules because it is a listed company, but Pontiac Land is privately held.

Developers whose shareholders and directors are not all Singaporeans have to get a QC to buy residential property for development. This is imposed to control foreign ownership of land here.

*****************Background Story *****************


Ardmore Residence

  • Developer: Pontiac Land
  • Number of units: 58
  • Location: Ardmore Park, at the site of the old Pin Tjoe Court, which Pontiac Land bought through a collective sale for $201 million in 2006.
  • When TOP was received: Second quarter of last year

iLiv @ Grange

  • Developer: Heeton Holdings
  • Number of units: 30
  • Location: Grange Road, at the site which formerly housed Grange Court. Heeton bought the site for $72.8 million in 2007.
  • When TOP was received: Fourth quarter of last year

Singapore Property : Ardmore Park sales cross $3,000 psf

A bungalow on Chatsworth  Park with a 43,497 sq ft  area was sold for $37.5  million.

View PDF Version Done Deals

The luxury residential segment is starting to see prices inch back to peak levels recorded in late 2007 and 1Q2008. The bellwether of luxury condos, Wheelock Properties’ Ardmore Park recently saw two units change hands in the resale market at above $3,000 psf, according to caveats lodged with URA Realis from Oct 9 to 16. Some property consultants attribute it to owners re-setting their prices to more lofty levels after SC Global’s announcement early last month that six units at its luxury Seven Palms in Sentosa Cove were sold at record prices of $11 million each, or $3,100 to $3,400 psf.

The 330-unit freehold Ardmore Park, located along Ardmore Park Drive and completed in 2001, features only four-bedroom apartments of 2,885 sq ft each and penthouses of 8,740 sq ft each.

Recently, a 27th floor apartment in one of the three towers changed hands for the third time at $9.2 million, or $3,189 psf.

The vendor had purchased the apartment for $5.25 million, or $1,820 psf, in October 1999, reaping a 75% capital gain after holding the property for a decade. The first owner had purchased the property at launch in July 1996 for $5.87 million, or $2,037 psf, which was the peak of the property boom a decade ago before the Asian financial crisis.

Another apartment on the 23rd floor of the same tower was sold for $8.8 million, or $3,051 psf. The seller had purchased the apartment just six months earlier in May for $6.45 million, or $2,236 psf, flipping it for a 36% capital gain.

This is the first time this year that apartments at Ardmore Park have crossed the $3,000 psf level. The last time was in April 2008, when an apartment on the 15th floor of another tower was sold for $8.68 million, or $3,009 psf. The record price psf achieved at Ardmore Park was for a 28th floor apartment sold in October 2007 for $10.05 million, or $3,484 psf.

Jacqueline Wong, head of residential at Jones Lang LaSalle, says the recent transactions at Ardmore Park of more than $3,000 psf is an indication that prices of luxury condos at selected projects are gradually returning to the levels seen during the peak of late 2007 and early 2008. “Apartments like Ardmore Park are the crème de la crème of the top-end market because of their quality, spaciousness and location,” she adds. “There’s not much new supply of such luxury condos right now, so buyers are looking at existing properties.”

In the landed-housing market, two Good Class Bungalows (GCBs) changed hands at $37.5 million and $27.35 million in the week of Oct 9 to 16. The $37.5 million, or $862 psf, achieved was for a conservation GCB on Chatsworth Park situated on a 43,497 sq ft freehold land area. “This GCB is sitting on a large plot of land, which is a rare find nowadays,” says JLL’s Wong. In the past, there were more GCBs with land areas of 25,000 to 45,000 sq ft but, over the years, many have been sub-divided into smaller entry-level GCB plots of 15,000 to 16,000 sq ft. Thus, investors are willing to pay a premium for such large GCB plots because of their scarcity, especially if there is potential for sub-division, Wong points out.

The site at Chatsworth Park has the potential for sub-division into two smaller GCB plots, even though the existing main house is a conservation building that has to be restored, notes Wong. While buyers of GCBs are mainly Singaporeans, increasingly, they comprise foreigners-turned-citizens or permanent residents.

The other GCB, on Belmont Road and with a sizeable land area of 29,310 sq ft, was sold for $27.35 million, or $933 psf. This is the third time the property has changed hands in as many years. The vendor in the most recent transaction had purchased the property in August 2007 for $23.3 million, or $795 psf, according to a caveat lodged with URA Realis. The previous seller had flipped the GCB after barely two months, having purchased it for $21.5 million, or $734 psf, in June 2007.

Source : The Edge – 9 Nov 2009