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Thread: The Sunday Times Property Buying Guide

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    Default The Sunday Times Property Buying Guide

    May 20, 2007

    PROPERTY

    Hot spot: River Valley

    By Fiona Chan and Ng Sook Zhen


    From River Valley to Kallang Basin, from Kuala Lumpur to Perth, The Sunday Times brings you a buying guide to property hot spots in Singapore and the region. This week, we focus on River Valley, where home prices have risen by between 15 and 30 per cent in the past year. As condo after condo goes on en bloc in the area, buyers can expect at least a dozen new launches over the next 18 months. Fiona Chan and Ng Sook Zhen zoom in on the area.
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    Default Trendy living by the riverfront

    May 20, 2007

    KIM YAM/ROBERTSON

    Trendy living by the riverfront



    TOWARDS THE RIVER, trendy new launches have pushed up the average price barrier in the area. -- ALPHONSUS CHERN


    BORDERED on two sides by River Valley Close and Kim Yam Road, this area stretches down to the Singapore River and the Mohamed Sultan corridor.

    On one end are old-style shophouses and walk-up apartments, with the odd condominium such as Kim Yam Heights, Gambier Court and Euro-Asia Court.

    Average prices of units in these older developments range from more than $710 psf to over $1,000 psf. One of the few new projects in River Valley Close, Urbana, broke past the $1,400 psf mark in April.

    Towards the river, trendy new launches have pushed up the average price barrier. Recent sales at Inspira have averaged $1,140 psf, while those at Watermark Robertson Quay have gone up to an average of $1,220 psf.

    Over at Rivergate, average prices since the start of the year have even hit $1,600 psf.

    In general, home prices in this area have moved up about 15 per cent to 30 per cent over the past 12 months, according to caveats lodged with the URA.

    Asking rentals for a three-bedroom apartment range from more than $3,000 at Rivera Point to about $5,500 for Kim Yam Heights and $6,500 for Urbana.

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    Default Sprightly old-world retreat

    May 20, 2007

    HOLT/MUTIARA

    Sprightly old-world retreat



    FAMOUS EATERIES and popular restaurants such as chicken rice chain Boon Tong Kee line this section of River Valley Road. -- ALPHONSUS CHERN


    LACED with famous eateries along the main road, with a sprinkling of some newer developments, the Holt/Mutiara area oozes old-world charm with its low-rise architecture.

    Shophouses and boutique condos are the mainstay of the area, which is also home to popular restaurants such as chicken rice chain Boon Tong Kee.

    From the fairly new Nathan Place to the older Nathan Ville, most of the apartment blocks in the area are below 24 storeys and offer a wide range of prices.

    At the Jervois and Holt end, average home prices top $1,100 per sq ft (psf) and buyers can expect to fork out about $2 million or more for a typical unit.

    Units at Valley Park across the road, unusually large for the area with 728 units, have regularly crossed $1,000 psf recently.

    But prices drop somewhat further down the road towards Jalan Mutiara. At projects such as Mutiara View and The Aston, average prices range from $650 psf to $1,000 psf, with most units at around $1 million.

    In general, prices in the area have risen by 15 to 25 per cent over the last year.

    Asking rentals for the area during the first three months of the year averaged $3,500 to $5,000 for a two- or three-bedroom unit, according to property firm Savills Singapore.

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    Default Bustling hive of activity

    May 20, 2007

    KIM SENG

    Bustling hive of activity



    IT'S A FRENZY around Great World City (left), with The Cosmopolitan (right) taking shape while The Trillium awaits construction. -- ALPHONSUS CHERN


    LIFE in this area revolves around anchor mall Great World City. Here, shophouses of the Holt area give way to larger developments and equally large construction sites.

    Home prices in this up-and-coming area have risen about 20 to 30 per cent over the last year, and now it is hard to get a 1,300 sq ft unit for under $1.5 million.

    Mid-sized condominiums such as Melrose Park and Tiara sit at one end, with prices hovering at about $1,000 psf to $1,200 psf. Yong An Park, known for its good-sized units, sits at the other end, with at least one recent deal hitting $1,405 psf.

    In the middle is a hotbed of construction activity focusing on The Cosmopolitan and The Trillium, both along Kim Seng Road facing Great World City.

    Units at The Cosmopolitan have averaged $1,450 psf, while those at The Trillium are going for about $1,700 psf.

    Average monthly asking rents for a two- or three-bedroom unit are $4,500 to $6,500, said Savills. At Tiara, the 3+1 bedroom units are seeking more than $5,000 a month.

    At Yong An Park, rents have shot up. Units of 3,300 sq ft in size are now asking about $15,000 a month.

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    Default Towering above the rest

    May 20, 2007

    LEONIE

    Towering above the rest



    IMPOSING SKYSCRAPERS such as Horizon Towers (left) and Grangeford (right) lend an air of majesty to this ultra-posh enclave in River Valley. -- ALPHONSUS CHERN


    KNOWN for its peaceful air and exclusivity, the purely residential Leonie area is River Valley's poshest condominium belt.

    Its mainly bigger units in high-rise buildings have helped make it one of Singapore's most sought-after suburbs.

    As these skyscraping condos test vertical limits by towering over the rest of River Valley, so do their prices, which have risen about 25 to 30 per cent in the last year. They start at about $1,100 psf for Leonie Gardens and soar to $1,630 psf for Leonie Hill Residences.

    But buyers of upcoming developments will have to pay more. A few luxury projects in the area, including The Lumos and Leonie Parc View, are set for launch at prices ranging from $2,500 psf to $3,000 psf.

    And as more condos go en bloc, such as Horizon Towers and Furama Tower, prices could rise even further over the next year. Plenty of construction is also to be expected in the still-quiet area.

    Rentals generally keep pace with the higher prices in this part of town, with average asking rents ranging from $4,500 to $6,500 a month for a two- or three-bedroom apartment, said Savills.

    At brand-new Leonie Studio, asking rents for a two-bedroom unit are about $5,000 to $6,000 a month. But they can go as high as $7,000 to $8,000 for a three-bedroom apartment at Leonie Hill Residences.

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    Default Mid-rise boutique belt

    May 20, 2007

    ST THOMAS/KILLINEY

    Mid-rise boutique belt



    SMALL-SCALE, INTIMATE DEVELOPMENTS like Eng Tai Mansion may soon be a thing of the past as collective sale fever sweeps through the St Thomas area. -- ALPHONSUS CHERN


    THOUGH the area consists of mostly older mid-rise boutique apartments, it is now peppered with construction sites due to bustling collective sale activity.

    Prices on the St Thomas and Devonshire side have risen 20 to 30 per cent in the last 12 months. They average $1,300 psf for The Abode at Devonshire and have hit almost $2,000 psf for one unit at the newly-launched SkyPark.

    St Thomas Suites, which was launched in January, sold for between $1,700 psf and $2,100 psf, according to Savills. Nearby St Thomas Court, Chez Bright Apartments and Airview Towers have all gone en bloc.

    On the other side of River Valley Road, the construction noise diminishes. But the prices have skyrocketed in the last year.

    Prices at Pacific Mansion have risen 70 per cent to about $933 psf, while those at The Regalia have nearly doubled to almost $1,100 psf.

    As for monthly rents, a three-bedroom unit at The Morningside is now going for $4,800, while one at Pacific Mansion can be yours for $3,200.

    At The Abode in Devonshire, the asking price for a two-bedroom unit is $4,500. Next door, Devonshire Apartments has a one-bedroom unit up for grabs at $2,500, and two three-bedroom apartments going for between $3,600 and $4,000.

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    Default Saturated with dramatic contrasts

    May 20, 2007

    LLOYD/OXLEY

    Saturated with dramatic contrasts



    TRADITION TAKES A BACK SEAT as a new apartment block rises next to the Buddhist Lodge in Kim Yam Road. -- ALPHONSUS CHERN


    WHAT is most striking about the area that stretches from Lloyd Road to Oxley, especially as you travel down the River Valley Road, is its inconsistency.

    First you see the Automobile Association, then a line of elderly folks returning from prayers at the nearby Buddhist Lodge.

    Further down the road, aged mid-rise apartments are juxtaposed with new developments, while shophouses selling everything from furniture to beer line the main road.

    It all conjures up an impression of colourful confusion.

    Major developments include newly-completed The Imperial and The Botanic on Lloyd. The former commands average prices of about $1,240 psf; the latter, $1,450 psf.

    Across the road, Aspen Heights, a favourite with expats, averages about $1,030 psf, with asking rents having risen to more than $6,000 for a four-bedroom unit.

    Rents at The Imperial are slightly lower, ranging from $5,500 to $6,500 a month for a three-bedroom unit, said Savills.

    But the more upscale Botanic on Lloyd tops the area with asking rents of between $8,000 and $9,500 for a three-bedroom apartment, according to Savills.

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    Default Hot Spot: Holland Road

    May 27, 2007

    Holland Road
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    Default Re: Hot Spot: Holland Road

    May 27, 2007

    GREENLEAF

    Quiet stretch with much promise


    GREENERY SEEMS TO BE THE THEME of the area, giving shade to pedestrians and lending a secluded air to the boutique condos and semi-detached houses there. -- STEPHANIE YEOW


    TOWARDS the far end of Holland Road, after it diverts from the main thoroughfare, is a quiet residential area not many people have heard of.

    A large patch of undeveloped land separates this area from the busy stretch of Holland Road. This provides a clue to its name - Greenleaf - and conjures up development possibilities for the future.

    Greenery indeed seems to be the theme of the area, giving shade to pedestrians and lending a secluded air to the boutique condominiums and semi-detached houses there.

    'The area is not very well known and most of the houses are old, so prices haven't risen very much,' said Mr Ku Swee Yong, the director of marketing and business development at Savills Singapore.

    But he added that rising demand and prices of bungalows in the nearby Queen Astrid area are starting to spill over.

    As bungalow rentals and capital values go up, some home buyers and tenants looking for cheaper alternatives are turning to Greenleaf, said Mr Ku.

    In this area, landed homes are selling for an average of $468 psf, Savills said. This means an average price of $3.7 million for a 8,000 sq ft semi-detached four bedroom house.

    Asking rentals keep pace with the price, at between $14,000 and $16,000 a month.

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    Default Re: Hot Spot: Holland Road

    May 27, 2007

    MOUNT SINAI/GHIM MOH

    High price for right schooling


    WHEN EDUCATION COUNTS, those with children to consider will pay more for homes in this area that boasts schools such as Henry Park Primary.

    THE strong presence of schools such as Henry Park Primary and Dunman High help boost home prices in this area, which extends from Ghim Moh near Holland Village to Mount Sinai and Moonbeam towards Ulu Pandan.

    The choices range from HDB flats in Ghim Moh to a sprinkling of condominiums near Ridgewood and Ulu Pandan.

    The middle portion is dominated by landed housing, mostly semi-detached ones.

    Prices for HDB flats in Ghim Moh hover around $200,000 for a three-roomer and $300,000 for a four-roomer.

    Condo prices vary more. At Pandan Valley, buyers can expect to pay $588 psf, or nearly $1 million, for a 1,700 sq ft unit, said Savills. This amount will cover only a 1,033 sq ft unit at Allsworth Park, where units average $956 psf, it added.

    At Moonbeam, semi-detached houses cost about $689 psf, or $2.4 million and up. The houses sold recently range from 3,400 sq ft to about 4,000 sq ft.

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