Foreigners grab 5 floors of Prudential Tower

Shanghai native pays $100.6m for 25th-27th floors, European buys 28th-29th for $73.2m

Some well-heeled foreign buyers have been spending big in the strata office market amid selective buying in the segment.

A Chinese buyer has splashed out about $100.6 million on the 25th to 27th floors of Prudential Tower, according to caveats lodged.

This works out to an average of $2,750 per sq ft (psf), based on unit areas of 12,196 sq ft per floor.

The Shanghai native is believed to own food and beverage chains and is a property developer as well. Prudential Tower marks his first strata office investment here, although he already owns several shophouses and residences.

A European buyer has picked up the 28th and 29th floors, paying about $73.2 million, or $3,000 psf. Last year, he bought Samsung Hub's 19th floor for about $41.7 million.

The 30-storey Prudential Tower appears to be the best-selling strata office project on the market. -- PHOTO: DIOS VINCOY JR FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

Both buyers are believed to have bought the units as investments.

The 30-storey Prudential Tower appears to be the best-selling strata office project on the market. The KOP Limited-led consortium, which bought 19½ floors from Keppel Reit last year, has about seven floors left to sell.

Three units on the 11th floor were also recently picked up at nearby 28-storey GSH Plaza, at $2,850 psf.

But at the far pricier Crown at Robinson, where average prices are about $3,513 psf so far, just 13 units have been sold since it was launched in March.

Mr Donald Han, Chestertons' managing director, noted that while Crown would appear to have superior tenure, many buyers also look to occupy a portion of the floor themselves.

Thus Crown at Robinson and GSH Plaza, which are expecting completion only next year, are tougher sells for those who want units on a vacant possession basis.

Crown at Robinson is freehold, while Prudential Tower has about 80 years left on its lease and GSH Tower , about 73 years left.

"The market is unique in that you find transactions happening more when some leases come near to expiry... If not, it tends to move more slowly," said Mr Han, adding that this appears to be the case at Samsung Hub and Prudential Tower.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 15, 2015, with the headline 'Foreigners grab 5 floors of Prudential Tower'. Subscribe