Soaring above the Hillview and Bukit Batok estates in District 23, Regent Heights is one of the tallest condominium projects in the area. The 11-year-old development by Bukit Landmark Properties, a unit of Far East Organization, recently saw significant interest from HDB upgraders.
“The price in the area is still very affordable,” says DTZ realtor Eric Kang, who was negotiating deals for a couple of units in the 645-unit project last week. Dennis Wee Properties’ John Wong, a marketing agent who specialises in properties in western Singapore, agrees that the price is Regent Heights’ main selling point, noting that new launches are typically priced at more than $1,000 psf.
Wong, currently the agent for a three-bedroom ground-floor unit in the development, says interest in housing there typically comes from foreigners who work at the nearby International Business Park. “Many are Indian Permanent Residents [PRs] who first rent and then buy.” Wong adds that they are generally attracted by the growing Indian PR community and available amenities in the neighbourhood.
Kang says the condo facilities are “pretty good”. There are several water features and pools, tennis courts and even a putting green. The mass-market condo is also practically next to Bukit Batok Town Park and near Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, which means that units on the higher floors command spectacular views of the surrounding greenery, including Little Guilin.
Moreover, “two MRT stations are a walking distance away”, Kang adds. Located along Bukit Batok East Avenue 5, Regent Heights sits between the Bukit Gombak and Bukit Batok MRT stations. The latter also has a suburban shopping centre next to it, containing a cinema, restaurants, a supermarket and other shops.
Both Kang and Wong say most of the 99-year leasehold condo’s units are owner-occupied, although there are some that are tenanted out. Wong says rental yields are relatively attractive, with two bedroom units rented out for up to $2,600 a month.
Meanwhile, the bigger three-bedroom apartments can fetch up to $3,300 a month in rental.
At least four units at Regent Heights were sold from Nov 2 to 4, with the apartment on the 26th floor fetching the highest price, at $745,000, or $729 psf. According to URA records, the purchaser had an HDB residential address. The 1,023 sq ft, two-bedroom apartment was bought for $387,000, or $378 psf, in May 2006. This means the seller made a gain of more than 90%. The unit was first sold in May 1999, the year of completion, at $555,500 ($607 psf).
Another similar-sized unit on the 18th floor of the same block sold for $710,000 ($694 psf). The previous transaction for the unit was in November 2007, at $590,000, or $577 psf. This translates into a 20% gain for the seller this time around. The previous owner had bought the unit for $420,000 ($411 psf) in October 2003,
according to a caveat lodged with URA. The first buyer, who bought from the developer in October 1996, which was the peak of a property boom, paid $650,000, or $636 psf.
On the 17th storey of another block, another 1,023 sq ft apartment was sold for just under $700,000 ($684 psf) on Nov 3. The apartment had been bought at $392,000 ($383 psf) in March 2005, which means that the seller would have made a gain of almost 80%. The previous owner had purchased the unit in June 1998 for $518,000.
Meanwhile, a fourth-floor unit in the same development was also sold recently to a buyer with an HDB address. At $650,000, or $636 psf, it is just 12% higher than the purchase price the seller paid when the apartment was purchased from the developer at $579,686 ($567 psf) in July 1997.