Complete Property Market Updates of Singapore

March 25, 2008

Private fund buys remaining 53 Grange Infinite units

Filed under: General — Propertymarketupdates @ 11:41 pm

Average price for the units, bought for $400m, is said to be $2,600-$2,700 psf

A PRIVATE fund managed by ARA Asset Management group is believed to have bought the remaining 53 units at Chip Eng Seng’s and Citadel’s Grange Infinite freehold condo project for almost $400 million.

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Savills Singapore is believed to have brokered the latest bulk deal. The 68-unit condo is now fully sold.

The average price for typical three and four-bedroom units in the transaction is believed to be about $2,900 per square foot (psf).

However, for all 53 units sold under the deal, the average price is said to be slightly lower, at $2,600-$2,700 psf, as the three penthouses and other larger units included in the transaction were priced lower.

This marks a reversal of the previous trend, which set in around late-2006, of bigger units fetching higher psf prices than smaller ones.

‘Now people are more wary and start to get concerned if the overall purchase quantum reaches a very high level, so the tendency is to pay lower psf prices for bigger units,’ a property consultant said.

Another interesting feature of the bulk sale at Grange Infinite is that it is priced lower than individual units sold earlier in the project.

The initial 15 units in the condo fetched a median price of $3,201 psf in September, according to Urban Redevelopment Authority data.

The 15 apartments were sold at prices ranging from $3,025 to $3,299 psf.

This too marks a reversal of what was happening in December, when a Kuwait Finance House (KFH) unit bought 97 apartments at Guocoland’s Goodwood Residence in the Bukit Timah/Scotts Road area for a median price of $3,200 psf – about 25-30 per cent above the $2,500 psf average price that Sui Generis was fetching at nearby Balmoral Crescent at the time.

GuocoLand said this week that KFH is letting the options on that purchase lapse, but added that the two sides are in talks with ‘a view to a grant of fresh options for units in the development’.

A seasoned market watcher said overseas funds, particularly from Europe and Asia, remain interested in bulk purchases in Singapore condo projects – but only at fair valuations, that is, at a discount to the prices at which the units would be sold to individual investors.

‘Right now, such investors are looking for mid to long-term plays. The mood for short-term play is not so positive,’ said the market watcher.

‘Of course, some developers may not want to sell units at a discount, unless sentiment in the market weakens, like now.’

The 36-storey Grange Infinite condo will come up on the former Grange Tower site next to the Indian High Commission.

The property launch scene has generally been quiet lately, as buyers adopt a wait-and-see approach amid US sub-prime jitters in the stock market.

However, some developers have been quietly releasing projects.

Frasers Centrepoint has sold 30 units at its freehold Martin Place Residences in the Kim Yam Road area since mid-January through private previews.

The 30 units were sold at an average price of about $1,800 psf after discounts.

Source : Business Times – 14 Mar 2008

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