Published January 14, 2010

Property sales pick up again at Sentosa Cove in 2009

Foreigners again look to buy homes on the island as the economy improves


AFTER a muted 2008, property sales at Sentosa Cove picked up again in 2009 as buyer interest returned to the high-end and luxury segments of Singapore's property market.

Unique lifestyle: YTL says it has sold six of the 13 villas at Kasara

According to data compiled by Savills Singapore, 125 non-landed and 33 landed homes were sold on the island in 2009, up from 67 non-landed units and just five landed homes in 2008.

And more homes worth more than $10 million apiece were also sold on the island last year. Savills' data shows that 30 homes worth $10 million and more were sold at Sentosa Cove in 2009, compared to just one such property in 2008 and 15 during the height of the property boom in 2007.

Developers and analysts say that with the global economy picking up, foreigners are once again looking to buy properties on the island.

Sentosa Cove is the only place in Singapore where foreigners can own landed property without special permission.

'Sentosa Cove with its unique lifestyle offerings has already attracted a strong following of high net-worth individuals from around the globe,' said DTZ managing director Margaret Thean.

She noted that the recent sales of Malaysia-based YTL Corporation's Kasara project at Sentosa Cove demonstrates the optimism of market sentiment and confidence in Singapore's luxury property market, which is expected to be further strengthened with the completion of the developments around the Marina Bay Financial Centre and the two upcoming integrated resorts.

YTL said last week that it has sold six of the 13 villas at Kasara at prices ranging from $14 million to $22 million. This works out to about $1,600 per square foot on average. Buyers included foreigners from Asia-Pacific and Europe.

The improved sentiment means that potential buyers can expect project launches on the island soon. City Developments is expected to launch its 228-unit luxury project The Quayside Collection soon.

The property group last year announced that it will delay launching the project due to the subdued property market and global economic uncertainty but will proceed with construction.

And Ho Bee Investment could also launch its two remaining Sentosa Cove projects later this year. The group has the 151-unit Seascape as well as Pinnacle Collection, which has some 280 apartments in all, left in its portfolio.