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Thread: 7 villas in Sentosa Cove go on sale

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    Default 7 villas in Sentosa Cove go on sale

    Jan 7, 2010

    7 villas in Sentosa Cove go on sale

    Earlier VIP preview saw 6 out of 7 units sold, biggest at just over $22m

    By Harsha Jethnani

    KASARA The Lake, an exclusive development of 13 luxury villas in ultra-posh Sentosa Cove, will be formally launched today after well-heeled VIPs snapped up half a dozen of them last month.

    Six out of the seven villas put on sale initially were sold during the preview, open only to VIPs. Of those villas sold, the biggest 15,070 sq ft villa went for a little over $22 million.

    The developer did not disclose just what type of VIPs the buyers were, except that three were Singaporean and the others foreign - Asian and European, including one Singapore permanent resident.

    The positive response from Kasara's preview despite the festive market lull reflected significant demand in the luxury property market, according to YTL Singapore director of international real estate Kemmy Tan.

    YTL Singapore is the developer of Kasara, as well as another project, Sandy Island, at Sentosa Cove.

    The villas, ranging in size mainly from 9,000 sq ft to 10,000 sq ft, were launched at a price of about $1,610 per sq ft (psf). A single 14,600 sq foot villa is still up for grabs for anyone with a spare $15 million or $20 million or so.

    Consultancy Savills Singapore managing director Michael Ng said the price would probably be raised gradually to $1,700 psf on average.

    The posh development offers a view of the lake facing the Serapong golf course and a pool that has been designed to extend slightly above the lake amid a landscape of bamboo and eucalyptus trees.

    The developer is counting on the prospect of the upcoming Sentosa integrated resort to help attract buyers.

    Ms Tan said: 'Foreign demand is increasing due to the presence of the integrated resorts, and Sentosa Cove, being the only area where foreigners can buy landed property, is well placed.'

    DTZ South-east Asia executive director and head of consulting Ong Choon Fah said Singaporeans now formed a smaller proportion of buyers at the cove.

    'In the past two years, Singaporean buyers have decreased to 37 per cent (from about 50 per cent). The balance of 63 per cent are foreigners, permanent residents or companies.' The profile of foreigners has widened to include those from Britain, the United States, Russia, Malaysia, India, Europe and Australia.

    Ms Tan said the wealthy are gradually returning to the market, which is evident in deals done. Prices at Sentosa Cove rose to an average of $1,500 psf around the third quarter of last year from $1,100 psf to $1,200 psf in the first quarter of last year.

    According to Savills' analyses of Sentosa Cove Realis data, 80 per cent of transactions took place in the second half of last year when 25 sales were made - far higher than the five in the first half.

    Savills said that 16 sales recorded in the fourth quarter did not include the sales of Kasara villas.

    Ms Tan believes interested parties will buy now to take advantage of anticipated future price gains given the limited supply of about 320 properties at the cove and an expected upswing in demand.

    Savills is suggesting that Sentosa Cove is undervalued.

    'The luxury end is a laggard. Investors are coming in now as they see a lot of upside in the high-end segment, where prices are still 25 per cent to 30 per cent away from the previous peak,' said Mr Ng.

    All bets seem to be on the high-end luxury market this year, according to industry players. They believe that if Kasara The Lake continues to be successful, this could encourage developers back into the high-end property segment.

    Mrs Ong cited the example of CapitaLand's recent Urban Suites launch, and speculated that projects located on the fringes of traditional prime districts might follow suit and get going again.

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