Published November 30, 2006

Sentosa Cove condo plot draws record $919 psf ppr

Ho Bee's bid price of $181.2m was the highest of five offers for the 119,508.4 sq ft site


A NEW record has been set for 99-year condominium land on Sentosa Cove, with Ho Bee Investments offering the top bid of $919 psf of potential gross floor area for a tender which closed yesterday.

In absolute price terms, its bid price was $181.2 million, and was the highest of five offers for the 119,508.4 sq ft site, which can be developed into a six-storey condo.

The plot has a 1.65 plot ratio (ratio of potential maximum gross floor area to land area).

The $919 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr) unit land price for the latest Sentosa Cove condo plot is 12 per cent higher than the $818 psf ppr that a Lippo-led consortium paid two months ago for the Marina Collection site in Sentosa Cove's Northern Residential Precinct.

Lippo's site, next to the One Degree 15 Marina Club, can be developed into a four-storey condo.

Ho Bee's breakeven cost for a six-storey condo on the Waterfront Collection site could be about $1,250 psf, reckon market watchers. It is expected to be eyeing an average selling price of around $2,000 psf or even more by the time it is ready to launch the project, say, in next September.

Its 249-unit The Coast condo on Sentosa Cove released early last month is about 90 per cent sold, at an average price of about $1,600 psf.

Yesterday's provisional tender result cements Ho Bee's position as the leading developer in the upscale waterfront housing district, where it has been buying land since master developer Sentosa Cove Pte Ltd began selling land parcels in the location in late 2003.

Assuming it is awarded the latest Waterfront Collection site, Ho Bee would have spent about $724 million buying slightly more than one million sq ft of land on Sentosa Cove - which it is developing into over 600 homes. This is about a quarter of the total 2,446 homes planned for Sentosa Cove.

The Waterfront Collection site is the first of four condo plots in Sentosa Cove's Southern Residential Precinct.

With fewer and fewer sites left in the location, the scarcity value is expected to continue driving up property prices on Sentosa Cove.

Ho Bee clinched its maiden condo plot (which it has developed into The Berth By The Cove, and received Temporary Occupation Permit recently) in late 2003 for $351 psf ppr. The group has achieved an average selling price of about $900 psf for the 200-unit condo, which is fully sold.

Ho Bee's other projects in the location include eight terrace houses (The Berthside) which are all sold, and two man-made islands with luxury villas.

To date, Ho Bee has sold 20 of the 21 bungalows on Coral Island at prices between $5.3 million and $14 million each.

On average, the price works out to about $800 psf of land area. Ho Bee is getting ready to release 29 bungalows on Paradise Island early next year.

Bidders at yesterday's tender for the Waterfront Collection site - besides Ho Bee - are said to have included City Developments, CapitaLand and Frasers Centrepoint. The site will be awarded based solely on price.

While up to 117 homes can be built on the plot, Ho Bee is expected to build about 100 to 110 units as it opts for mostly large units - three and four-bedroom units and penthouses given current strong demand for bigger apartments.

Units on the third storey and upwards will be able to enjoy views of Tanjong Golf Course.

Ho Bee will have 21 berths in the development.

In fact, all of Ho Bee's condo developments at Sentosa Cove will have berthing facilities.