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Published February 19, 2010

Unit in leafy Siglap sold at $1,634 psf

Boutique Siglap V development raises eyebrows with high median prices

By EMILYN YAP


(SINGAPORE) Few would associate the leafy suburbs of Siglap with lofty property prices.

But at least one unit at a boutique development there has been sold for $1,634 per sq ft (psf) - an eye-popping psf price for a project that isn't located centrally.

The freehold development at East Coast Road, Siglap V, also achieved a high median price of $1,508 psf across 50 units sold in January. This is according to Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) data.

Properties located some distance from town, or in the Outside Central Region (OCR), usually command prices below $1,000 psf.

But the hefty psf price tag at Siglap V has not deterred buyers because most of the apartments are relatively small. The 114 units available include one-bedders starting from 366 sq ft in size and one-bedroom plus study units starting from 463 sq ft.

This means that the absolute price of a small unit would be fairly modest. Assuming that a 366 sq ft one-bedder went for $1,634 psf, the buyer would have to fork out some $598,000.

'The psf price may raise eyebrows but if you look at the total quantum, it's very affordable,' said Cushman & Wakefield Singapore managing director Donald Han.

A Huttons senior marketing associate Edmond Pak added that Siglap V's location is a selling point. It is next to Siglap Centre and is near schools, cafes and other amenities.

From his experience marketing the project, Mr Pak observed that many buyers were interested in the one-bedroom units as investments. He also noted that several buyers are residents of landed properties in the area.

Developers have launched more shoebox apartments since early 2009 in a bid to keep overall prices attractive amid uncertain times. And the formula has worked to some extent. The 72-unit [email protected] for example, was sold out even though some units measured just 258 sq ft.

'That's where the market niche is for some of these developers with smaller land parcels,' Mr Han said. The projects have smaller units and may not offer a full range of facilities, but they allow people to own a private address 'at a fraction of the cost'.

Siglap V is not the only project in OCR with a high psf price tag.

In July last year, the 99-year leasehold Centro Residences at Ang Mo Kio made headlines for prices crossing $1,100 psf. According to URA, seven units there changed hands at $1,164-$1,233 psf last month.

Nearer Siglap V, buyers paid $883-$1,538 psf for five units at Elliot at the East Coast last month. Units at this freehold project are typically larger than those at Siglap V.