Face of Redhill to change with more condo projects

Central location makes it popular with investors, expats

Published on Oct 13, 2012

By Amanda Tan

THINK Redhill and a plethora of car showrooms as well as blocks of public housing probably spring to mind.

But a dramatic increase in private housing in this city-fringe neighbourhood is set to modify the area's image.

Until recently, interest focused mainly on the 1,000 or so completed condominium units at four projects there.

But three upcoming projects will more than double that figure by adding more than 1,500 units.

Of the three, only one - the 373-unit Ascentia Sky - has been launched. As of August, it was more than 98 per cent sold, at a median price of $1,398 per sq ft. The other two projects will be built in Alexandra Road and Prince Charles Crescent, on sites sold earlier this year, property analyst Lee Sze Teck noted.

Another two sites in the area, which can yield more than 1,000 units, are on the reserve list of the Government Land Sales programme. This means they will be put up for sale only if a developer makes an acceptable minimum bid.

Mr Lee, senior manager of training, research and consultancy at Dennis Wee Group, said prices have generally held up well in the area partly because it is popular with investors and expatriates.

Most condos are close to Redhill MRT station, just a couple of stops from the city centre. Amenities in the area include Crescent Girls' School, a swimming complex and several places of worship.

But there are no major malls. The nearest ones are Tiong Bahru Plaza and Great World City.

Since 2009, when property prices were at a low, prices have jumped at least 37 per cent.

For instance, median resale prices at the 14-year-old Tanglin Regency stood at $1,216 per sq ft in the third quarter, up from $826 psf in the second quarter of 2009.

Next door, prices at the 11-year-old Tanglin View have surged 54 per cent to $1,285 psf in the same period.

Across the road, at The Metropolitan condominium, completed three years ago, median prices are also up more than 50 per cent to $1,317 psf.

And at the nine-year-old freehold Alessandrea, prices have risen by 37 per cent in that period.

Still, SLP International research head Nicholas Mak noted that the number of resale transactions seems to have dipped. He said it could be due to last year's cooling measures.

In 2010, 134 sales were recorded at the five condos in the area including Ascentia Sky. In the first nine months of this year, there were only 59 sales.

Still, compared to nearby estates like Tiong Bahru and Queenstown, Redhill boasts the lowest median resale prices so far this year, at $1,350 psf.

At Tiong Bahru, with its many amenities, the figure is $1,378 psf while at Queenstown, it is $1,450 psf because of the limited private homes available.

Median rentals are also up since 2010, Mr Mak said. The rate of growth is higher than projects in nearby areas like Tiong Bahru.

In the second quarter, rents at Tanglin View were $4.46 psf a month - a rise of 8.9 per cent - and $4.39 psf a month at Tanglin Regency, a rise of 20.1 per cent.

Mr Mak added that industrial sites around Redhill present a catchment area of tenants and "is a very promising area due to its proximity to the city".

"Prices of the newer condos may be relatively high now. But in a few years, the price increase in other parts of Singapore will make the prices in this area appear acceptable to more buyers," he said.

Ms Sara Shantelle, 25, has been living with her parents at Tanglin Regency for about two years. They bought a two-bedder for $1 million in 2010.

"It's very centralised and near where we work and play. Our family business has an office within walking distance and we go often to Orchard which is nearby," the Singaporean said, adding that the estate is quiet and has mostly expats.

"Also, even though it's so central, we can get cheap hawker food from a market... It's the best of both worlds," she added.

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