Condo cluster in the east still attracting buyers

Demand remains strong despite lack of amenities and MRT station

Published on Sep 08, 2012

By Amanda Tan

IT IS one of the older condo clusters around but Bayshore Park, Costa Del Sol and The Bayshore just off Upper East Coast Road are still attracting buyers - even without an MRT station nearby.

There is plenty to attract, from the impressive sea views many high-floor units enjoy to the quiet, private surroundings, the proximity to the beach and the rental potential.

The lack of amenities in the area also does not seem to deter. Most residents wanting a supermarket or choice of restaurants head to nearby Siglap, although the condos have some shops and eateries within the grounds.

The nearest MRT and bus interchange is in Bedok. There is an upcoming Eastern Region Line, slated for completion in 2020 at the earliest. Details of station locations have not been disclosed yet.

Property consultant Ong Kah Seng noted that resale activity in the enclave has been "consistently fairly active" in the past two or three years.

For instance, Costa Del Sol, which is almost 10 years old, has recorded sales of more than 20 units in most of the quarters over that period.

And 30 to 50 units were transacted in each quarter during 2010 and 2011. There has been a slowdown in resale activity since, but that is in line with islandwide trends, said Mr Ong, the director at R'ST Research.

The 15-year-old The Bayshore across the road has had 20 to 40 resale transactions in each quarter during that period.

Not to be outdone, Bayshore Park saw at least 10 resale transactions each quarter despite being 26 years old - an ancient relic in Singapore property terms.

The estates - all are 99-year-leasehold condos - were the top three suburban condos in terms of resale transactions in June.

Whether or not sellers reaped profits depends on the time of purchase, Mr Ong said. But generally, those who held on to their units at The Bayshore and Bayshore Park for at least two years saw a price increase of at least 15 per cent, while owners at Costa Del Sol would have made at least 18 per cent.

For instance, a 1,313 sq ft unit at Costa del Sol sold for $1.62 million in May, a 36 per cent gain from its purchase price in 2009.

Broadly speaking, prices at the condos are about 5 per cent higher than those in nearby Upper East Coast Road.

Rents ranged from $3 to $3.80 per square foot (psf) a month in the first six months of the year. Rents tend to be lower at The Bayshore, where the sea views are blocked.

Larger launches in areas like Punggol and Pasir Ris may have diverted interest away from the Bayshore cluster, Mr Ong said.

Knight Frank research head Png Poh Soon noted that several upcoming condos such as Uber 388 and Suites @ East Coast will pop up in the area in the next couple of years, with these two adding over 200 units alone. Both were over 80 per cent sold by July, with Uber 388 prices averaging $1,487 psf at Uber 388 and $1,382 psf at Suites @ East Coast.

Property agent Jackie Mang said demand for homes in the area has always been strong and he gets daily enquiries.

"It is easy to get tenants, like those who are working at the airport or Changi Business Park, and units get sea views," Mr Mang said.

Despite being older, the condos still attract interest from buyers and tenants who favour a predominantly private residential area, Mr Ong added.

Ms Jamie Li, who is in her late 20s, and her husband recently paid $920,000 for a two-bedder at The Bayshore.

"All the new launches are (mostly) priced at $1,000 psf and above... This unit is about $900 psf or so, and there's also room for capital gains," she said.

The couple chose to buy a unit at a bigger project because of the facilities, something smaller projects may not always have.

[email protected]