As part of our comprehensive coverage of our 2Q 2018 Quarterly Property Report, we’re bringing you the top five transactions in that quarter for non-prime condos.
Location-wise, there are two distinct breeds of condominiums in Singapore, the first being condos in the prime and central districts (of 1, 2, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11 and Sentosa), and the other being non-prime and non-central condos. While it’s often the prime, high-end condos that hit the news headlines because of sky-high transactions, much more actual attention is turned towards the non-prime, non-central properties as they are within the budget of most condo buyers, or are viewed as attainable within a foreseeable timeframe as an investment property or an upgrade.
Non-prime condos in the limelight
According to the 2Q 2018 price index flash estimates from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), the prices of non-landed private residential properties in the Rest of Central Region (RCR) district rose the highest that quarter — a 5.7% increase — compared to prices in the Core Central Region (CCR; 1.4% increase) and Outside Central Region (OCR; 2.9% increase). Many non-prime condos that capture the attention of property watchers is located in the RCR, also commonly called the city fringe.
Indeed, when it comes to property, there’s plenty of variety and plenty of gems to be found in non-prime, non-central districts, in particular the RCR. We dive into our data and present five such condos that have recorded the highest transactions in 2Q 2018, in ascending order. You might not have heard of some of these names, but chances are you’ll be putting these condos on your to-view list once you’re finished with this article.
5th place: The Sovereign
TOP year: 1993
Top transaction in 2Q 2018: $5,000,000 (for a 5th floor, 2,637 sq ft unit)
According to our records, this particular 5th storey, 4-bedroom unit at The Sovereign has been resold four times. The owner who sold this unit for $5 million in April 2018 had bought it at $4,300,000 in August 2012, near the height of the last property boom. Even though the unit was bought high and sold high, the owner still managed to make a profit of more than 16%.
The Sovereign is a single-block, 87-unit freehold condo located at Meyer Road, and it’s a short 5-minute drive away from East Coast Park. It’s within walking distance from the upcoming Tanjong Katong MRT station (due to open in 2023) and bus services that lead to the city in about 20 minutes. Some units enjoy unblocked views of the sea.
Nearby amenities: Katong V, I12 Katong Mall, Roxy Square, Parkway Parade, Kallang Wave Mall, Kallang Leisure Park, East Coast Park, Katong Shopping Centre, Singapore Sports Hub, Chatsworth International School, Canadian International School
4th place: Regency Suites
TOP year: 2008
Top transaction in 2Q 2018: $5,100,000 (for a 35th floor, 4,413 sq ft unit)
In what was the highest transaction ever recorded for this condo project, the sale of a 4-bedroom, 3-level penthouse in June for $5.1 million certainly got our attention. The lowest floor of the penthouse comes with a roof terrace (in both the living room and a bedroom) that opens up to the sky, as well as a wet and dry kitchen; the middle floor of the penthouse is where the master bedroom is located (complete with a walk-in wardrobe, lounge area and another roof terrace); and the top floor is a roof terrace, this time with a private jacuzzi. Notably, all four bedrooms have ensuite bathrooms.
Regency Suites is located in the heart of Tiong Bahru, and walking distance away from both Tiong Bahru MRT and the conservation area that’s home to a hip and lively cluster of restaurants, cafes, boutiques and art galleries. Motorists can get to both Orchard Road and the CBD in under 10 minutes. Facilities-wise, the offerings at Regency Suites is typical of a smaller condo (it has only 104 units), although it does have a sauna.
Nearby amenities: Tiong Bahru Plaza, Tiong Bahru Park, Zhangde Primary School, Gan Eng Seng School, Overseas Family School, Outram Secondary School, Alexandra Primary School, Singapore General Hospital
3rd place: Iresidences
TOP year: 2011
Top transaction in 2Q 2018: $5,201,336 (for a 26th floor, 3,821 sq ft unit)
Again, a project record, this time also for a 4-bedroom, 3-storey penthouse. The triplex unit sold comes with a private lift that provides access to all three floors. The master bath on the 2nd highest storey is a luxurious affair with a standalone bathtub, whereas the top floor is a stunning private pool the size of a 3-bedroom HDB flat with a timber pool deck to boot.
What makes this sale even more head-turning is the condo’s location. Once thought to be an unfancied part of town, Balestier is quietly coming into its own as it starts to gentrify like Tiong Bahru. At the heart of the transformation and within walking distance to the already vibrant Novena commercial and business hub, Iresidences appears a better location than many buyers give credit to. It’s a compact development with 70 units, so units for sale might be few and far between.
Nearby amenities: Velocity @ Novena Square, United Square, Square 2, Balestier Hill Shopping Centre, Zhongshan Mall, Dulwich College, Balestier Hill Primary School, Balestier Hill Secondary School, CHIJ Primary (Toa Payoh), CHIJ Secondary (Toa Payoh), St Joseph’s Institution Junior, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Thomson Medical Centre, Novena Specialist Centre
2nd place: The Interlace
TOP year: 2013
Tenure: 99 years
Top transaction in 2Q 2018: $5,224,000 (for a 19th floor, 5,210 sq ft unit)
Spot something interesting? The Interlace is the only 99-year leasehold condominium on this list. The development, which was designed by architects OMA and Ole Scheeren, won the 2014 Urban Habitat Award by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat; it also snagged the title of World Building of the Year at the 2015 World Architecture Festival.
The unit that sold for a quarter-high of $5.2 million is a 5-bedder penthouse that offers stunning unblocked city views, partial sea views and and a roof garden large enough to hold parties for 50 guests. Nearby amenities run the gamut from shopping malls (VivoCity and IKEA Alexandra) to green spaces (Telok Blangah Hill Park, Mount Faber Park) and more.
Nearby amenities: VivoCity, Resort World Sentosa, Sentosa, Anchorpoint, IKEA Alexandra, Alexandra Village Food Centre, Alexandra Hospital, Telok Blangah Hill Park, Mount Faber Park, The Southern Ridges, HortPark, Blangah Rise Primary School, ISS International School
1st place: The Meyerise
TOP year: 2016
Top transaction in 2Q 2018: $14,000,000 (for a 31st floor, 5,490 sq ft unit)
Rounding off our list is The Meyerise, yet another condominium located along Meyer Road in the east of Singapore (it’s right next to The Sovereign). And if a 5th floor unit at The Sovereign can fetch $5 million, it’s not that shocking to consider that this top — 31st — floor, penthouse unit at The Meyerise sold for a cool $14 million, which could easily have bought the owner a sizeable condo in a prime district. Alas, there’s no rival to a gorgeous, 180-degree seaview!
The 5-bedroom penthouse unit — and the one and only penthouse unit in the entire condo — comes with not one, but TWO private lifts (and a private lift lobby). All rooms are located on the lower level with ensuite bathrooms, with the upper level reserved for a private pool with a pool deck.
Maybe in time to come, we’ll be considering D15 as a prime location as well, just maybe.
Nearby amenities: Katong V, I12 Katong Mall, Roxy Square, Parkway Parade, Kallang Wave Mall, Kallang Leisure Park, East Coast Park, Katong Shopping Centre, The Singapore Sports Hub, Chatsworth International School, Canadian International School
***[Browse all non-prime condo units listed for sale in Singapore here.]***
Which of these non-prime condos do you fancy? Voice your thoughts in the comments section or on our Facebook community page.
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