Friday, July 13, 2007

Cove rolls out final units

Final sale of land parcels late this year may top even current high prices

Christie Loh
[email protected]

The chance to own an upscale home in Sentosa Cove is fast drawing to a close.

Today marks the sale launch of four bungalow plots on the luxurious waterfront district. As they are among the final few batches of land parcels left for the master developer to sell later this year, prices may set fresh records, analysts said.

Since Sentosa Cove Pte Ltd (SCPL) started in late 2003 to sell parts of the residential enclave that is open to foreign ownership, offers for the land parcels have been climbing, hitting a new peak last month of over $1,400psf for bungalows facing the sea.

Plots along waterways or facing golf courses, also known as fairway, are often deemed less prime.

But even these types recently fetched an all-time high of $960psf and $910psf, Government-linked SCPL said yesterday.

The latest bungalow plots on the market three waterway types and one fairway could garner even more when interested investors submit their "expressions of interest", which are non-binding compared to a tender bid, on July 25.

The highest offer wins and Mr Vincent Chong, associate director for residential sales at Colliers International's, foresees offers from $1,000psf to $1,500psf.

"The whole of Sentosa Cove is taking shape. As more developments are built up, there is more confidence in the market. As prices go up and as supply becomes less, that's where expectations go up," he said.

Some 120 families have moved to the island, which is currently 89-per-cent sold, SCPL said. It will soon roll out the last of 20 bungalow parcels in the southern residential precinct.

Based on Mr Chong's predicted prices, bids for the four plots on offer would range from around $9.4 million to $16.1 million.

Each parcel spans between 9,365sqf and more than 10,764sqf.

Homebuyers and investors have been willing to fork out premiums for Sentosa Cove, even though its tenure is 99 years, compared to freehold bungalow space on mainland Singapore.

Property developers are also hoping to cash in on the destination's marina lifestyle as a unique selling point.

When SCPL puts up for sale the final condominium parcel "in the next few months", a scramble is expected.

But the strongest contenders for the condominium parcel could be City Developments Ltd and Ho Bee Investment, Mr Chong said.

Both have Sentosa Cove housing projects, which have given them "strongholds" and economies of scale to build new developments on the island.

But it is possible "one gungho developer might bid a very high price" to use the Sentosa Cove brand name to establish its standing in the global arena, Mr Chong added.