Alexis achieved an all-time-high price of $2,084 psf on Aug 26. Agents say it is in demand because of its location near the Queensway MRT station and its freehold status Unit at Alexis
At Far East Organization’s Tanglin View, a three-bedroom unit was transacted at $1.57 million ($1,376 psf) last month
THE EDGE SINGAPORE, |September 16, 2013
BY Joann Huang
New condominiums and the prospect of more amenities in the form of more shops, restaurants and a business hotel are some of the attractions drawing investors and owner-occupiers to the Alexandra Road neighbourhood. In August, several transactions took place in some condos there. Along Alexandra Road, in the neighbourhood of Leng Kee Road and Queenstown, is Alexis, a six-storey residential block with 293 units sitting on top of 21 ground-floor shop units. The residential units are predominantly one-bedroom units starting from 366 sq ft, one-bedroom-plus-study units from 474 sq ft and two-bedroom units from 527 sq ft. The freehold Alexis was developed by EC Prime, a joint-venture company comprising privately held developers Fission Group and Yi Kai Group.
When Alexis was launched four years ago, all the units were snapped up in three days at prices ranging from $850 to $1,100 psf. Completed last year, the project is often regarded by property observers as a litmus test for shoebox apartments, given that it was the first and largest such project to be developed at that time. Last month, a 398 sq ft, one-bedroom unit changed hands at a record price of $2,084 psf, translating into a total quantum of $830,000. The unit was purchased by the previous owner for $460,000 ($1,155 psf) when the project was launched in March 2009. This reflects a price appreciation of 80%.
Jasmine Tan, a senior sales director at DTZ, is marketing two 2-bedroom units at Alexis. Despite the units’ small sizes, they are in demand because of the location and freehold tenure. The condo is also a short walk from the Queensway MRT station. “Such a property in the Alexandra area is rare,” she says. According to Tan, her clients are not in a hurry to sell and will only do so if their asking prices of $1.37 million ($2,120 psf) for a 646 sq ft unit and $1.35 million ($2,126 psf) for a 635 sq ft unit are achieved. She adds that the residents at Alexis are a mix of tenants and owner-occupiers.
Most of the one-bedroom units at Alexis are selling at just under $1 million even after a hefty 15% additional buyer’s stamp duty is levied on foreigners. As such, the project has attracted mainland Chinese buyers, who are cash-rich and do not require financing for their purchases.
Near Alexis is an older 99-year lease-hold condo. The Anchorage has 775 units and is integrated with Anchorpoint, a boutique shopping mall with eateries and shops that was completed in 1997. Developed by Frasers Centrepoint, apartments at The Anchorage are large by today’s standards, with one-bedroom units starting from 818 sq ft, two-bedroom units from 1,044 sq ft, three-bedroom units from 1,378 sq ft and four-bedroom units from 2,077 sq ft.
A 1,163 sq ft unit on the fourth floor of The Anchorage changed hands for $1.5 million ($1,290 psf) in August. The two-bedroom unit previously changed hands in January 2006 for $718,000 ($618 psf), which translates into a price increase of more than twofold.
Meanwhile, properties along Alexandra Road in the neighbourhood of Tanglin Road, Prince Charles Crescent and Tiong Bahru also saw an uptick in buying activity. Property agents attribute this to the success of recent launches in the area such as the 508-unit Echelon, jointly launched by City Developments Ltd (CDL) and parent company Hong Leong Group, towards the end of last year, before the seventh round of measures were imposed in January. As at end-July, the project had only three penthouses still available for sale, and the median price achieved for units sold in that month was $1,556 psf.
Echelon is located next door to Wing Tai’s newly completed 373-unit Ascentia Sky.
Located across the road are two older condos — the 384-unit Tanglin View, developed by Far East Organization and completed in 2002; and GuocoLand’s 210-unit Tanglin Regency, which was completed in 1998. Both these developments are 99-year leasehold condos in the vicinity of Prince Charles Crescent.
Last month, a 1,141 sq ft, three-bedroom unit on the ninth floor of Tanglin View was sold for $1.57 million ($1,376 psf). This is the fourth time the unit has been sold. The last time it was sold was in May 2007, for $1.25 million ($1,096 psf), and the previous transaction was just two months earlier, at $800,000 ($701 psf). The first owner purchased it for $933,338 ($818 psf) from the developer in 1999. “Compared with the new launches, Tanglin View presents good value as it’s more affordable on a psf basis and more spacious,” says DTZ’s Tan. “The project has also seen an upgrade last year, with a new link to the Alexandra Park Connector.” Tanglin View is said to be popular with expatriate tenants from Japan and South Korea. Rental rates are said to start from $5,000 a month for a three-bedroom unit, with rental yields in the 3% to 4% range, she estimates.
The Prince Charles neighbourhood has also seen an increase in interest, owing to new launches. UIC and Singapore Land jointly launched Mon Jervois on Jervois Road in April. The developer had released just 22 units as at end-July, of which 16 have been sold at a median price of $2,211 psf.
Adjacent to Mon Jervois is another 99-year leasehold site won by a consortium comprising Wing Tai Holdings, Metro Holdings and UE E&C. The 469-unit private condo is expected to be launched before year-end. The site was acquired in September 2012 for $516.3 million, or $960 psf per plot ratio. The new project at Prince Charles Crescent is expected to be priced between $1,800 and $2,000 psf. The landmark condo at Prince Charles Crescent will be designed by renowned Japanese architect Toyo Ito, who also designed Wing Tai’s Belle Vue condo on Oxley Walk and CapitaGreen, a Grade-A office development by a consortium consisting of CapitaCommercial Trust, CapitaLand and Mitsubishi Estate Asia.