10-09-2012: Investors zoom in on Dakota area

(2012-09-15 12:16:32) 下一個

At the 348-unit Dakota Residences, a two-bedroom unit was recently sold for over $1.4 million

UOL Group’s 616-unit Waterbank is expected to be completed by end-2013


The neighbourhood of Dakota Crescent is once again in the spotlight, largely owing to UOL Group’s Waterbank at Dakota. Construction at the fully sold 616-unit condominium development is underway and property agents are speculating that it could be completed by end-2013. Its units will have direct views of the picturesque Geylang River and Katong landed housing estates, namely the Goodman and Branksome Roads neighbourhood.

Property agents have noted a spike in subsales at Waterbank in recent weeks, which they attribute to its proximity to the Dakota MRT station, which opened two years ago, at the time the project was officially launched. Now that the condo project is being constructed, buyers can see the potential of the location, both in terms of proximity to the MRT station and also accessibility to the CBD, which is 10 to 15 minutes’ drive away.

“Waterbank is one of only two condos in the Dakota area right now,” says Lili Koh, ERA Realty’s senior marketing director. The other is the 348-unit Dakota Residences, jointly developed by Ho Bee Group and NTUC Choice Homes. Completed two years ago, Dakota Residencesis located right next door to Waterbank.

Apart from these two 99-year leasehold private condos, the rest of the neighbourhood is an old HDB estate, observes Koh. “Investors are typically drawn to such a location given that it’s an up-and-coming neighbourhood that is due for renewal and located just on the fringeof the city area,” she adds.

When Waterbank was first launched in April 2010, prices ranged from $1,100 to $1,400 psf, setting a new price benchmark for the neighbourhood. The two most recent transactions recorded in URA Realis for Waterbank were inJuly. One was the sub-sale of a one-bedroom 624sq ft studio on the ninth level, which changed hands for $936,000 ($1,499 psf). The unit was purchased at launch two years ago for $789,000 ($1,257 psf). The other sub-sale was for an 883sq ft two-bedroom apartment on the 17th floor that went for more than $1.1 million ($1,337psf), compared with the $1.07 million ($1,210psf) purchase price two years ago when the project was first launched.

Since June, sub-sale prices at Waterbank have been hovering above $1,350 psf, even hitting a record of $1,522 psf when a 624 sq ft studio unit on the 17th level was sold for $950,000. Prices in the project are expected to rise following Temporary Occupancy Permit (TOP). “As the project is fully sold, most owners are hanging on to their units until closer to TOP, when they think it is a better time to sell as they can fetch a premium upon completion,”observes Koh. “For now, demand is stronger than supply.”

This explains why investors have zoomed in on Dakota Residences. Three transactions were recorded over the period of Aug 13 to 21, based on the caveats lodged and downloaded as at Sept 5. One was for a 1,044 sq ft two-bedroom unit on the 16th level of one of the five 19-storey blocks. It was sold for $1.4 million ($1,368psf) compared with the initial purchase price of $1.1 million ($1,015 psf) in July 2008.

On the fourth floor of another block at Dakota Residences, a 1,313 sq ft three-bedroom apartment changed hands for $1.7 million ($1,314 psf). Compared with the original purchase price of $1.2 million ($880 psf) in June 2009, the seller saw a 41.6% price appreciation in just over three years.

The third unit that changed hands on the secondary market recently was a 1,023 sq ft two-bedroom unit on the 14th level of one of the other blocks. It was sold for $1.4 million ($1,389 psf), 45.4% higher than the initial purchase price of $963,050 ($942 psf) three years ago.

According to ERA’s Koh, three bedroom units at Dakota Residences are now priced above $1,400 psf, and can achieve monthly rental rates of $5,500 to $5,700. “Prices at Waterbank will be comparable, if not higher, once the project is completed,” she says, adding that investors and tenants generally prefer new units.
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