Sentosa condo sold at loss of $3.8m

AUG 31, 2017

Bought for $12.8m in 2010, it went for $9m in July amid tepid market conditions in that area

Grace Leong

A waterway-facing luxury apartment at Seascape in Sentosa Cove has been sold at a loss of nearly $4 million. Owned by Dyna-Mac Holdings chairman and chief executive Lim Tze Jong, the 4,069 sq ft unit was bought for about $12.8 million in 2010, but the market for high-end homes on Sentosa has been in the doldrums for years.

The downturn meant that the apartment could command only $9 million when it was sold last month, price data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) showed.

The Straits Times understands that the unit had been on the market for about six months before it was sold to a foreigner.

Dyna-Mac, an engineering and fabrication firm, has been hit by the weak energy market. It recorded a net loss of $12.8 million for the three months to June 30, compared with a net profit of $6.4 million in the same period a year earlier. Revenue nosedived 84.2 per cent to $5.4 million.

The sale of Mr Lim's unit at $2,212 per sq ft (psf) is an improvement from earlier this year when a similar unit on a higher floor at Seascape chalked up an eye-watering loss of $6.6 million.

That apartment, also 4,069 sq ft, was put up for auction and sold in February to a buyer with a Housing Board home address for $6.2 million, or $1,524 psf, after being bought for $12.8 million in June 2010. It was the most red ink from the 16 loss-making transactions from April last year to March 31, according to Knight Frank. Only 11 of the 30 Sentosa Cove transactions during that period notched up gains.

While interest in Sentosa Cove has picked up in the past two months, prices are still depressed.

In the core central region, which includes Sentosa, private non- landed home values fell 0.47 per cent in the second quarter this year from the previous quarter. Overall, prices were 2.7 per cent lower in the second quarter from the same period a year earlier.

Private home prices fell by 0.1 per cent overall in the second quarter compared with the first, according to URA data. This was the slimmest decline in 15 straight quarters of falls, and is seen as a signal that the market is on the cusp of recovery.

"More people are looking at Sentosa Cove, but it is not a prime target compared with prime districts 9 and 10," said Knight Frank head of consultancy and research Alice Tan.

Savills Singapore research head Alan Cheong said: "The property market is stirring but Sentosa is a very fickle market. Prices have reached a point where they are close to the mid-tier market on the mainland, which is why interest is growing for Sentosa Cove properties."