SINGAPORE'S tallest public housing project Pinnacle@Duxton is defying the sluggish property market with brisk sales - and hefty windfall gains - thanks to its prime location and sweeping views.
More than 60 units at the 50-storey project have been sold in the five months since owners started meeting the five-year minimum occupation period in December last year.
Last month, a five-room unit on the 29th storey went for $1.06 million, the highest resale price to date. Of the 17 transactions for five-room flats since January, six were sold at $1 million and above.
Four PropNex property agents spotted the project's potential as a hot spot for people looking to move to the central area. They teamed up last June and have been knocking on doors to persuade owners to capitalise on the sale of their flats.
Last November, the agents - Mr Alvin Lim, Mr Adrian Lim, Mr Lawrence Tan and Mr Ray Lim - started conducting tours of the project for interested buyers.
They have since sold 24 units.
The Straits Times joined one tour on Sunday as eight potential buyers viewed four units.
The asking price for a four-room unit on the 37th storey with a view of Sentosa was $920,000 while that for a similar-sized unit on the 34th storey with a view of the central business district was $900,000.
The units went for $885,000 and $872,000 respectively at the end of the two-hour tour.
Ms Ma Seow Lin, the seller of the unit on the 34th storey, did not expect her flat to be sold within a month of putting it on sale.
The 36-year-old senior IT analyst, who paid $346,000 for her 93 sq m unit, said: "If I had known that the price would go up by so much, I would have chosen a bigger unit on a higher floor."
Ms Ma, set to net $526,000 from the sale, plans to upgrade to a condominium unit in Jurong. She said: "My husband and I hope to invest in a property in Jurong before the Singapore-Kuala Lumpur High Speed Rail terminus is built."
Mr Ray Lim, PropNex branch director, who sold Ms Ma's unit, said valuations for four-room units at the project range from $820,000 to $910,000 for higher-storey units.
There have been 59 resale transactions at Pinnacle@Duxton to date, as shown on the Housing Board website. The 42 resale transactions for four-room flats have fetched an average of $857,230, while the 17 transactions for five-room flats have fetched an average of $983,092.
Sellers of five-room units would have netted a windfall of more than $500,000 as they paid $345,100 to $439,400 when the project was launched in 2004. Prices for four-room units went for $289,200 to $380,900 then.
Mr Alvin Lim, group division director, said: "We help home owners discover what they can gain from the sale of their flats. By cashing out, they can upgrade to a private apartment or they could invest the cash to help them grow their wealth."
He said most interested buyers who join Sunday tours are young professionals wanting to live near the CBD.
Mr Adrian Lim, assistant group director, said: "Compared with private apartments in the same area, Pinnacle@Duxton is a lot more affordable. Some people do not mind not having full condo facilities."
Mr Rahul Rana, an engineer who joined the Sunday tour, said: "I am looking for a flat here because it is very close to where I work and it offers a good view of the city. I have seen six units in one weekend and I would pick one of them."