The 84-unit Mount Faber Lodge was completed 29 years ago, with themost
recent transaction done at $1,118 psf
BY JO-ANN HUANG | THE EDGE | SEPTEMBER 17, 2012
The attention garnered from high-profile properties such as KeppelLand’s Reflections at Keppel Bay, Bukit Sembawang Estates’ SkylineResidences and the CapitaLand-led consortium’s The Interlace hasrenewed interest in Telok Blangah and Mount Faber, say property agents. Condosin those areas have seen an uptick in sales, thanks also to the picturesqueviews and accessibility to the CBD.
Even older properties such as Mount Faber Lodge saw somebuying activity in recent months. The freehold hillside condo has just 84 unitsand was developed by Wan Li Trading in 1983. The condo’s terraced structure andred-brick façade are easily recognisable even from a distance. It is located atthe foot of Mount Faber, on Mount Faber Road.
Very few units change hands in the resale market. Most recently, a2,594 sq ft, three-bedroom unit on the third floor was transacted for $2.9million ($1,118 psf) at end-August. Before that, a 3,703 sq ft, five-bedroomunit on the seventh floor changed hands for $4.52 million ($1,221 psf) in June.
Units at Mount Faber Lodge have generous sizes, with unit types rangingfrom studios of 1,098 to 1,173 sq ft, two-bedroom apartments of 1,044 to 1,313sq ft, maisonettes of 2,454 to 2,669 sq ft, and penthouses larger than 3,700 sqft, according to Singapore Real Estate Exchange. John Koh, a property agentwith ERA Realty Network, says Mount Faber Lodge is popular with Westerners. “Theylike the place because the units are very spacious, and there are not many ofsuch properties nearby,” he says. “They also like the greenery of Mount Faberand the condo’s full facilities.”
The neighbourhood has become an attractive place to live, owing toits elevated site and picturesque views of the sea and Mount Faber, sayproperty agents. Infrastructure has also improved, with the completion of theTelok Blangah and Harbourfront MRT stations, which have made the condos in thearea more accessible, thereby increasing their attractiveness, says Sam Lin, anagent with DTZ. “It’s also near Resorts World at Sentosa and the manyactivities on Sentosa Island. And the CBD is just 10 to 15 minutes’ drive away.”He says most residents in Telok Blangah are expatriates who work at the officetowers at HarbourFront and the Alexandra area, for instance, Mapletree BusinessCity.
The newer, 99-year leasehold condos have seen prices surpass olderfreehold projects in the Telok Blangah area, including Mount Faber Lodge. Theyare notably the 1,129-unit Reflections at Keppel Bay, designed by celebratedarchitect Daniel Libeskind and completed towards the end of last year, as wellas Keppel Land’s other project in the vicinity, also a redevelopment of theformer shipyard, the 969-unit Caribbean at Keppel Bay, which wascompleted in 2004. It is one of the most actively traded projects in the area,with the most recent recorded transaction being a 1,772 sq ft three-bedroomunit on the first level of one of the 10-storey blocks, which changed hands for$3.15 million ($1,829 psf) towards end-August. Situated on the water front, withmost units enjoying views of the sea or the waterways, sizes range from 840 sqft two-bedroom units to duplex penthouses of 6,135 sq ft.
Reflections at Keppel Bay has also seen renewed interest frombuyers since its completion, with the most recent transaction being that of a1,281 sq ft three-bedroom unit on the seventh floor of one of the towers thatchanged hands for more than $2.25 million ($1,760 psf) in a sub-sale in August.The unit was purchased by the original buyer five years ago when the projectwas launched for close to $1.99 million ($1,553 psf). Another unit that changedhands in a sub-sale in
August was a 1,259 sq ft three-bedroom unit on the eighth floor ofanother tower. It was sold for $2.18 million ($1,731 psf), 5% more than itsinitial transaction of $2.07 million ($1,647 psf) in 2009.
The most recent launch in the Telok Blangah area was the freehold 283-unitSkyline Residences, which was launched last July. More than 80% of the unitshave been sold, at prices ranging from $2,000 to $2,100 psf. The high-endproject offers unobstructed views of the Keppel Club golf course. According toURA Realis, the most recent recorded transaction was that of a 1,345 sq ft,three-bedroom unit on the 22nd floor that was sold for $2.82 million ($2,096psf).
On Depot Road, on the site of the former Gillman Heights HUDC estateis The Interlace, an iconic 1,040-unit 99-year leasehold condo designedby German starchitect Ole Scheeren. The development, which was launched in 2009and scheduled for completion in 2015, was priced at an average of $900 psf inthe initial phase. The highest price psf achieved so far is $1,338 psf for an807 sq ft unit that changed hands in a sub-sale for $1.08 million in June lastyear. More than 70% of the units in the development have been sold, with themost recent recorded sale in URA Realis being that of a 1,744 sq ftthree-bedroom unit on the 14th level of one of the blocks that was sold formore than $2.2 million ($1,277 psf) last month. A four-bedroom unit of 3,757 sqft was recently sold for $3.7 million ($987 psf). The MRT station closest tothe project is the upcoming Labrador Park MRT station.
Elsewhere, on Holland Road, two older condos — The Cornwall andFairlodge — saw a flurry of activity because of the launch of newer propertiesin the area. Private previews of the 381-unit Leedon Residence, a freeholdproject by GuocoLand on the site of the former Leedon Heights, started last Emonth. Prices are said to be in the $2,000 to $2,100 psf range, and about 40units have reportedly been sold. Next door is the massive 1,715-unit D’Leedon,a redevelopment of the former Farrer Court HUDC estate and which was designedby renowned architect Zaha Hadid. Units at D’Leedon were sold at a median priceof $1,527 psf in July.
The Cornwall, a freehold condo adjacent to LeedonResidences and built by construction firm Lum Chang Development, saw three unitssold in August. On Aug 28, a two-bedroom unit on the fourth floor measuring1,044 sq ft was sold for $1.78 million ($1,705 psf). In September 2005, it wastransacted at $934,000 ($895 psf), reflecting a price increase of 90.5% in justseven years. On Aug 7, a 958 sq ft, two-bedroom unit on the first floortransacted for $1.5 million ($1,566 psf). It was first sold in August 2009 for$1.29 million ($1,350 psf), thus it has seen a 16% price increase. On Aug 1, a635 sq ft one-bedroom unit changed hands for $1.01 million ($1,590 psf), or a 71.7%price increase over its original sale of $588,000 ($926 psf) in March 2006. TheCornwall has 99 units and was completed in 2005.
“Units at The Cornwall have a bigger layout than new launches nearby.And it’s exclusive, with only 99 units. It is also freehold and, for its price,offers value over the new launches in the area. But it’s also quite new, as itwas completed only in 2005,” says Joe Sevilla, a property agent with PropNexRealty.
The freehold Fairlodge, which is a block away from TheCornwall, saw one unit transacted in August. The 1,658 sq ft three-bedroom uniton the first floor was sold for $1.95 million ($1,176 psf). This is the thirdtime that the unit has changed hands in the resale market. The last time was inOctober 2009, when it was sold for $1.78 million ($1,074 psf), and prior tothat it went for $1.35 million ($814 psf). The first buyer paid $1.12 million($676 psf) for the unit in June 1999. Fairlodge was developed by Far EastOrganization and has 22 units. It was completed in 1999.