Rush at Marina Bay condo lifts prices of nearby projects
Sale prices of District 1 condos have risen by up to 50%; prices of upcoming projects are up by 30%

By Fiona Chan
Dec 16, 2006
The Straits Times

THE sizzling sale of Marina Bay Residences this week has pushed up the prices of homes in District 1.

Condominiums now being sold in Marina Bay and the Central Business District have seen prices rise by up to 50 per cent, while indicative prices of upcoming projects have risen by up to 30 per cent.

All eyes are now on the next launch in the area - City Developments' (CDL's) high-profile One Shenton in Shenton Way, which may start previews as early as next weekend.

Although CDL has not yet released official prices for the 99-year leasehold project, property agents had been advertising indicative prices of about $1,500 per sq ft (psf) over the last few weeks.

But a check with some agents yesterday showed that prices are now likely to hit $2,000 psf after the bullishness at Marina Bay Residences, where all 422 units were sold out in two days and prices reached stratospheric heights of up to $3,500 psf.

One Shenton may also take another leaf out of Marina Bay Residences' book.

Its 11 penthouses - comprising eight 'sky suites' of between 5,300 sq ft and 6,300 sq ft and three 'sky villas' of between 6,800 sq ft and 9,600 sq ft - may be sold via a bidding system, agents said.

This follows the unprecedented tender process for Marina Bay Residences' 10 penthouses, which took place earlier this week amid overwhelming demand.

All CDL has said so far is that One Shenton will be 'attractively priced below Marina Bay Residences', one agent revealed. 'We are expecting some units to cost more than $2,000 psf.'

All the agents that The Straits Times contacted said they were now collecting blank cheques - a trend that has been dormant since the last property peak in the mid-1990s - from interested buyers to reserve choice units in One Shenton once CDL releases official prices.

Another anticipated launch in District 1 is BS Capital's The Lumiere off Anson Road. Previews by invitation are said to be starting on Monday.

Property agents have raised their indicative prices for The Lumiere from $1,300 psf to between $1,500 psf and $1,600 psf since the success of Marina Bay Residences.

In the meantime, developments in the area that are already on the market are also seeing prices soar.

At The Clift in McCallum Street, prices have risen more than 50 per cent since Far East Organization started selling the 99-year leasehold project in July.

The Straits Times understands that units at The Clift are now fetching an average of $1,700 psf, up from $1,100 psf in July and $1,450 psf just last month.

Asking prices at nearby Icon at Tanjong Pagar and The Sail @ Marina Bay have also jumped to $1,800 psf, from an average of $810 psf and $1,360 psf respectively last month.

In general, prices of up to $1,800 psf for this area are still sustainable in terms of rental yields, said Mr Ku Swee Yong, director of marketing and business development at Savills Singapore.

But he added that District 1 is still unlikely to surpass the traditional prime districts of Orchard, Draycott and Cairnhill in terms of rental popularity, so 'to jump to $3,500 psf today is pricing yourself too far forward'.