Prices of units at Watermark@Robertson Quay hit a high of $1,879 psf last month as the three-year old condominium played catch-up with neighbouring projects overlooking the Singapore River. From April 12 to 19, there were three transactions at Watermark, with prices ranging from $1,647 to $1,879 psf.
Keith Tan, an agent with APRO Realtors, says there has been increased interest in Watermark, owing to the lower average price psf compared with other newer condo projects. For instance, just next door to Watermark on Rodyk Street is the recently completed boutique condo 8 Rodyk, where units are being marketed at about $2,000 psf, notes Tan. The 50-unit condo was developed by New Century Real Estate.
Watermark, developed by Hong Leong Holdings and completed in 2008, is a freehold condo comprising about 200 units in four 10-storey blocks sitting on top of a row of conserved warehouses and directly overlooking the Singapore River. There is a mix of two-bedroom lofts and three- and four- bedroom units at the project.
Tan says buyers at Watermark are mostly investors who are attracted by the healthy rental yield because of the lower average and absolute prices.
For instance, a two-bedroom unit can be purchased for $1.6 million, while buyers need to pay at least $2 million for a unit at Tribeca and River Gate, points out Tan. Two-bedroom units start from 882 sq ft at Watermark, while those at Tribeca and River Gate start from 1,033 and 1,000 sq ft, respectively. In terms of asking rents, a typical two-bedroom unit at Watermark commands a rental of $5,400 a month, compared with $6,000 at Tribeca and $6,800 at River Gate, according to agents’ listings on propertyguru.com.
Investors who bought units at Watermark in early 2005, when Hong Leong Holdings first launched the project at prices averaging $800 psf, would have seen the capital value of their properties more than double, and are probably getting rental yields in the 7% range.
For example, a 926 sq ft, two-bedroom unit on the sixth floor was sold for $1.6 million ($1,728 psf) recently, according to a caveat lodged with URA on April 19. The seller would have enjoyed a capital gain of 111%, based on the original purchase price of $756,976 ($818 psf) at launch in 2005.
Meanwhile, on the ninth floor of the same block at Watermark, a two-bedroom-plus- study apartment of 1,076 sqft was sold for $1.77 million ($1,647 psf). The seller had purchased the unit in November 2005 for slightly more than $1 million ($934 psf), translating into a 76% price appreciation.
The owner of a 957 sq ft, two-bedroom unit on the eighth floor of another block at Watermark managed to sell it recently for $1.8 million ($1,879 psf), compared with the original purchase price of $863,696 ($902 psf) in 2005.
Condos in the Robertson Quay area are popular with both expatriates and locals, owing to their proximity to the Central Business District and Great World City on Kim Seng Road. They are also a short drive from Orchard Road. Great World City also offers a free shuttle bus service to bring shoppers to Orchard Road at regular intervals.
Along Kim Seng Road, on the other side of the Singapore River, units of the newly completed The Trillium by Lippo Group have seen prices cross $2,200 psf in March, while most recently, on April 18, a 1,377 sq ft unit on the 22nd floor of Tribeca was sold for $2.5 million ($1,810 psf). The two-year old 175-unit freehold condo was developed by City Developments Ltd (CDL), which is part of the Hong Leong Group.
One street away is the 545-unit River Gate, which was completed two years ago. Units at the freehold project, developed by CapitaLand and Hwa Hong Corp, have crossed $2,000 psf. The 43-storey River Gate is the only high-rise condo along the Singapore River. Most recently, a 1,044 sq ft unit on the 31st floor of one of the three towers was sold for $2.26 million ($2,165 psf), according to a caveat lodged with URA on April 19.
Meanwhile, at Marina Bay, at the 428-unit, 55- storey Marina Bay Residences, a new record average price was set when a 2,368 sq ft, four-bedroom apartment on the 46th floor was sold for $10.3 million, or a whopping $4,368 psf, on April 15. Prior to this, the unit had changed hands for $8.3 million ($3,500 psf) in March last year and $6.1 million ($2,580 psf) in August 2009.
The 99-year leasehold residential tower, developed by the consortium of Hongkong Land, Keppel Land and Cheung Kong (Holdings), was completed last year.
Source : The Edge – 9 May 2011