Sentosa Cove property sales pick up in H2 2022 with more bungalows, condo units sold

Sentosa Cove condo sales rose 85 per cent or 74 units in the second half of 2022, from 40 sales in the first half. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

SINGAPORE - Sales of luxury houses in Sentosa Cove picked up in the second half of 2022 as the high-end landed market softened elsewhere, said a CBRE report on Friday.

Bungalow sales jumped almost 60 per cent in value to $207.5 million, with 10 units sold in the July-December period, from $130.3 million in the first six months when eight bungalows were sold.

Sentosa Cove is the only place in Singapore where a foreigner who is not a Singapore permanent resident may buy a landed property. Properties on Sentosa are all on 99-year leasehold tenures.

In comparison, the Good Class Bungalow (GCB) market slowed in the second half of 2022, in both volume and value. CBRE noted that 18 GCBs worth $613.5 million were sold in H2, down from 29 GCBs worth $751.4 million in the first half of 2022. This was despite a rise in average prices in H2 by 14.3 per cent to $2,106 per square foot (psf) from $1,842 psf in the first half of 2022.

Sentosa Cove bungalow prices also tracked upwards, rising 9.1 per cent to an average of $1,940 psf from $1,778 psf in 2021. Sales volume is, however, down year on year, tallying 18 bungalows worth $337.7 million for 2022, against 26 bungalows worth $440.4 million in 2021, representing a 23.3 per cent fall in value. 

Ms Tricia Song, CBRE head of research in South-east Asia, said Sentosa Cove bungalow sales continued to rise in H2 even though the GCB market was down because of their relative price attractiveness. 

Sentosa Cove bungalows generally have smaller quantums relative to GCBs, with the average price in 2022 coming in around $18.8 million while that of GCBs was $29 million, she said.  

Prices of Sentosa Cove bungalows have also risen at a slower rate at 12.3 per cent since 2020, Song added, and now average $1,940 psf for 2022. In comparison, GCB prices hit a record high of $1,952 psf in 2022, a surge of 37.5 per cent from $1,419 in 2020. 

Nonetheless, despite rising prices, some Sentosa Cove owners made loss-making transactions in 2022, such as Indian singer and businessman Shael Oswal who sold his villa for S$32 million, below his $39 million purchase price in 2012. 

Ms Song said this was due to average prices of bungalows still being lower than the peak of $2,150 psf in 2012, as well as cooling measures in the market. 

“The private residential market has since been hit by six rounds of property cooling measures, including the increase in additional buyer’s stamp duty levied on foreigners implemented from January 2013 which had an especially adverse effect on the Sentosa Cove market,” she noted. 

Sales of Sentosa Cove condominiums jumped in the second half of last year on the launch of Ho Bee and IOI Properties’ Cape Royale project in July. Sentosa Cove condo sales rose 85 per cent or 74 units in H2 2022, from 40 sales in the first half, while transaction value more than doubled to $357.6 million from $159.8 million in H1.

The total transaction value of Sentosa Cove condos was marginally higher in 2022, at $517.4 million with 114 units transacted, from $516.9 million and 128 apartments sold in 2021.

The average condo price rose 13.4 per cent to $1,936 psf from $1,707 psf in 2021.

Prices were propped up by the launch of Cape Royale last July, when 20-25 units were sold. In H2, 46 units sold at a median price of $2,174 psf, said CBRE.

As at March 17, 2023, URA caveats captured a total of 62 Cape Royale units sold, at prices ranging from $3.53 million for a 1,680 sq ft unit sold in July 2022, to $11.02 million for a 4,810 sq ft unit transacted in September 2022.

In May 2022, three-bedroom units at Cape Royale of 1,900-2,000 sq ft in size were said to rented for $8,200 to $11,200 a month, while four-bedroom units ranging from 2,500 sq ft to 4,200 sq ft in size fetched $12,800 to $22,000.

Latest data as at Mar 17, 2023 shows that leases signed in January and February 2023 ranged from $13,500 to $18,000 for three-bedroomers, and $17,000 to $26,000 for four-bedroom units. THE BUSINESS TIMES

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