Straits Times: Wed, Nov 30
A DOCTOR has paid about $5.4 million for a piece of property in the Orchard Road area - an 893 sq ft medical suite at Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre.
This is believed to be the most expensive medical suite - at $6,100 per sq ft - sold since 1993, when a 797 sq ft unit, also at Mount Elizabeth, was sold for $7,539 psf.
The buyer is Dr Denis Nyam, 49, of Nyam Colon, Rectal & General Surgery, which moved into the 17th-floor unit in July.
The colorectal surgeon said he had only six months to move from a unit he had been renting in the same medical centre as the owners wanted it back, and there were few medical suites for rent or sale in centres with adjoining hospitals.
'Uprooting was not an option as I've been practising at Mount Elizabeth for 12 years now, and I'm a specialist who performs procedures in a hospital setting. My unit is above valuation but I had no choice. It is a seller's market,' he added.
A report on sales transactions of medical suites this year by real estate consultancy Knight Frank shows Mount Elizabeth and Gleneagles medical centres - owned by Parkway Pantai - remain 'the crown jewels of their class', despite competition from suites in new projects.
Gleneagles Medical Centre in Tanglin Road has the second-most expensive medical suites in town, with two units sold this year for an average of $5,296 psf.
The rates at Mount Elizabeth and Gleneagles are about 14 to 16 per cent higher compared to the previous year's. Overall, average psf prices of medical suites rose by about 3 per cent. This, despite remaining leases of 64 and 71 years at Mount Elizabeth and Gleneagles, respectively.
But a head-start in establishing themselves as a medical cluster, a network of reputable specialists and accessibility to hospital facilities have been key to both centres' enduring appeal, said Mr Png Poh Soon, a director and head of consultancy and research at Knight Frank.
'Interest in and demand for these suites will always be there as younger doctors would like to be located here. They may find it useful to tap the guidance of experienced doctors and be associated with the centres' brand,' he added.
For consultant cardiologist V.P. Nair, the network of specialists under one roof makes the inter-referral process easier, especially when he sees patients who may suffer from multiple conditions.
He bought a unit on the 16th floor at Mount Elizabeth over 15 years ago, paying about $900 psf.
While new medical suites have been launched since last year, they will not all be completed until 2013. Then, there will be twice as many medical suites in the market - 1,400 units.
The newest kids on the block are Far East Organization's Novena Specialist Centre, Parkway Pantai's Parkway Novena Hospital and The Farrer Park Company's Connexion at Farrer Park.
To date, units available for sale at Parkway Novena Hospital have been bought at prices from $3,588 to $5,088 psf.
Of Novena Specialist Centre's 69 units, 21 have been bought at prices from $3,600 to $4,000 psf.
About 80 per cent of 189 units at Connexion have been sold. The prices for those sold range from $3,000 to $3,800 psf, and are expected to rise to at least $4,000 to $4,500 psf next year.
Other medical centres with suites for sale that were included in the study are Far East Organization's Novena Medical Centre and Orchard Medical Specialists Centre at Lucky Plaza.
Suites at Thomson Medical Centre, Mount Alvernia Medical Centre, Camden Medical Centre and Paragon Medical Centre are only for lease.
DRAW FOR YOUNG DOCTORS
'Interest and demand for these suites will always be there as younger doctors would like to be located here. They may find it useful to tap the guidance of experienced doctors and be associated with the centres' brand.'
Mr Png Poh Soon, a director and head of consultancy and research at Knight Frank
Source: The Straits Times